Analyst Upgrades: Nike Inc, Monster Beverage Corporation, and Yelp Inc

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Nike Inc (NKE), Monster Beverage Corporation (MNST), and Yelp Inc (YELP)

Dec 21, 2016 at 9:18 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on Dow stock Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE), drink distributor Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ:MNST), and social media issue Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on NKE, MNST, and YELP.

  • NKE is set to jump 2.2% higher at the open, after the apparel manufacturer reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings, prompting a pair of bullish brokerage notes. Specifically, Jefferies and Susquehanna raised their respective price targets to $75 and $64 -- the former in record-high territory, with Jefferies predicting "margin recovery, China growth and improved signature bball" next year. That said, at least four other analysts trimmed their price targets. Since bottoming at $49.01 in early November, Nike Inc has been muscling higher, up 5.7% at $51.79 -- with an assist from the $50 half-century level. And with a majority of analysts still doling out "hold" or worse assessments, NKE stock has plenty of room to run on future upgrades.

  • Jefferies upgraded its rating on MNST to a "buy," and boosted its price target into all-time-high territory, at $58. Moreover, the brokerage firm dubbed the stock its top large-cap growth pick in the sector, citing accelerated sales growth, an attractive valuation, and strategic optionality should The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO) acquire the remaining 82% of outstanding shares. Given these positive drivers, Monster Beverage Corporation is perched nearly 4% higher pre-market, after settling yesterday at $43.54. The stock badly needs a boost, too, considering it's lost 11% of its value since the start of the quarter. In the options pits, bears have been piling on. Specifically, MNST has amassed a 10-day put/call volume ratio of 3.29 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) -- in the high 94th percentile of its annual range.

  • YELP was dubbed RBC Capital's top 2017 small-cap internet pick, lifting the shares 0.8% ahead of the bell. At $37.14, it's been a sensational year for the shares, up 29%. As such, short sellers have been hitting the exits lately, with short interest plummeting nearly 25% in the most recent reporting period. That said, one-tenth of Yelp Inc's float remains dedicated to short interest. At the stock's average trading levels, this represents one week's worth of pent-up buying power.
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