Analyst Upgrades: Facebook Inc, NVIDIA Corporation, and Merck & Co., Inc.

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

by Josh Selway

Published on Aug 8, 2016 at 9:29 AM

Analysts are weighing in on social media stock Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), chipmaker NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), and Dow component Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on FB, NVDA, and MRK.

  • FB is edging higher ahead of the open, after SunTrust Robinson reiterated its "buy" rating on the stock. The brokerage firm cited Facebook-owned Instagram's new Stories feature, which should help it compete with social media rival Snapchat. Facebook Inc closed at $125.15 on Friday, just short of its post-earnings record high of $128.33 from July 28. With the stock already sporting a 33% 12-month lead, options traders are betting on more upside, according to FB's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 2.14 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). Not only does this ratio shows long calls more than doubling puts over the period, but it also ranks in the 85th percentile on its annual range

  • It seems like every day lately NVDA is hitting new highs, and it doesn't look like today will be any different. Ahead of the open, the stock is up 1.6%, thanks to a price-target hike to $69 from $56 at Jefferies. The firm's analysts added, "We think NVDA products have momentum and that there is high probability for more upside surprises over the next 6-18 months." The stock finished pennies below record-high territory on Friday, at $58.20. For reference, NVIDIA Corporation was trading below $24 per share this time last year, but the stock could climb even higher if more analysts jump on the bullish bandwagon -- something to watch as the company prepares to report earnings after the close this Thursday. Despite NVDA's epic run, nearly half of covering analysts still rate it a "hold" or "strong sell." 

  • MRK is rubbing salt in rival Bristol-Myers Squibb Co's (NYSE:BMY) wounds this morning. After BMY sold off on Friday following a stunning clinical trial failure from its cancer drug Opdivo, Merck & Co., Inc. announced its competing drug Keytruda passed yet another regulatory hurdle. Still, MRK is pointed 1.7% lower in pre-market trading, even after BMO and Credit Suisse each upgraded the stock to "outperform," and at least seven brokerage firms raised their price targets. Part of today's pending setback may be explained by MRK's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 78, which suggests the stock's been overbought and is technically due for a breather. 
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