Analyst Upgrades: Visa Inc, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., and Proofpoint Inc

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Visa Inc (NYSE:V), Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD), and Proofpoint Inc (NASDAQ:PFPT)

by Karee Venema

Published on Jul 22, 2016 at 9:26 AM

Analysts are weighing in on Dow stock Visa Inc (NYSE:V), chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD), and IT firm Proofpoint Inc (NASDAQ:PFPT). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on V, AMD, and PFPT.

  • After closing last night at $78.79, V is pointed 1.3% higher in electronic trading -- and could take aim at its late-April record high of $81.73. Boosting the shares is a newly announced partnership with Paypal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL), a second-quarter profit beat, and no fewer than six price-target hikes. BMO and Cowen and Company offered up the most optimistic outlook, raising their respective price targets to $100. Since hitting their most recent low of $73.25 amid the post-"Brexit" broad-market sell-off, shares of Visa Inc have added nearly 8%. Against this backdrop, options traders have been initiating long calls over puts at faster-than-usual clip. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), V's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 2.37 ranks in the 69th annual percentile.

  • AMD's better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and strong current-quarter revenue forecast were met with applause from the brokerage bunch. Included in the batch of at least eight upwardly revised price targets was one from Craig-Hallum to $7.50 from $6 -- a nearly 44% premium to last night's close at $5.22, and territory not charted since May 2012. Against this backdrop -- and running counter to one analyst's downbeat projection -- AMD stock is up 10.9% ahead of the bell, on pace to notch a fresh four-year high out of the gate and add to its already impressive 82% year-to-date lead. Should the stock maintain its momentum, more short sellers could be encouraged to jump ship. Short interest on Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. dropped 16.4% in the two most recent reporting periods, but still accounts for a lofty 11.8% of the stock's available float.

  • PFPT is poised to pop 10.7% out of the gate, after the company turned in a solid earnings report and boosted its full-year forecast. What's more, even though Pacific Crest downgraded the stock to "sector weight" from "overweight," no fewer than nine other brokerage firms raised their price targets. A number of analysts are eyeing a move into uncharted territory, including Northland Securities, which upped its price target to $100 from $85. Longer term, shares of Proofpoint Inc have bounced 84% off their early February annual low of $35.56, and closed last night at $65.27. Short-term options traders have rarely been as put-heavy toward the stock as they are now, though. Specifically, PFPT's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.52 ranks in the 85th annual percentile.
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