Analyst Upgrades: Alphabet Inc, Baidu Inc, and Hershey Co

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Alphabet Inc (GOOGL), Baidu Inc (BIDU), and Hershey Co (HSY)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Oct 28, 2016 at 9:10 AM

Analysts are weighing in on Google parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Chinese search engine Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU), and candy stock Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes for GOOGL, BIDU, and HSY.

  • Fresh off an earnings beat, GOOGL is winning support on Wall Street. No fewer than eight analysts have raised their price targets on the stock, with the highest mark set by Deutsche Bank, in record-high territory at $1,080. Ahead of the open, Alphabet Inc has popped 1.6%, after settling Thursday at $817.35 -- suggesting the shares could make a run at their all-time peak of $838.50, notched earlier this week. Bullish options traders should be pleased. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), speculators have bought to open 1.73 calls for every put in the past two weeks -- a ratio that ranks in the high 79th percentile of its annual range.
  • BIDU is pointed nearly 4% higher pre-market, despite a mixed earnings report that included the company's first-ever quarterly revenue drop. Attention among analysts has been understandably varied, with Piper Jaffray lifting its price target to $190 from $180, while Deutsche Bank slashed its target to $173 from $193. As noted yesterday, Baidu Inc has had a seesaw year, and at last night's close of $175.10, is down 7.4% as a whole in 2016. Most of the brokerage bunch is still in the stock's bullish camp, though, with two-thirds of covering analysts doling out "buy" or better recommendations.
  • HSY reported better-than-expected earnings, and Citigroup bumped its rating up to "buy" from "neutral," sending the shares 1.6% higher in electronic trading. Of course, the stock recently took a big-league tumble after the company saw its M&A hopes dashed -- down 19% from its late-June record high of $117.79, as of Thursday's close at $95.51. Meanwhile, short-term options traders are extremely put-skewed toward Hershey Co, per its Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.62 -- which ranks just 2 percentage points from a 52-week high.
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