Analysts Eye Quadruple-Digit Territory for ISRG After Earnings

Options traders and analysts both have high hopes for FAANG name Facebook

Elizabeth Harrow
Jul 21, 2017 at 9:28 AM
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Analysts have upwardly revised their price targets today on social media heavyweight Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), robotic surgery specialist Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG), and credit card giant Visa Inc (NYSE:V). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on shares of FB, ISRG, and V.

More Optimism for FB Ahead of Earnings

Deutsche Bank hiked its price target on FB to $189 from $185, implying expected upside of about 15% to last night's close at $164.53. Facebook shares hit a record high of $165.70 earlier this week, and currently sport an impressive year-to-date gain of nearly 41%; however, they're trading fractionally lower ahead of the bell.

Ahead of FB's July 26 earnings release, bullish bets are in high demand on the FAANG stock. During the past 10 sessions, speculators have bought to open 2.26 FB calls for every put, according to data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio registers in the 94th percentile of its annual range, indicating an unusually strong skew toward calls over puts.

Analysts Look for Intuitive Surgical to Top $1,000

ISRG is in the spotlight this morning, after the company last night comfortably topped Wall Street's second-quarter profit and revenue expectations. The upside surprise has sparked six price-target hikes so far, with no fewer than four brokerage firms lifting their ISRG targets above $1,000 from triple-digit territory. Stifel's freshly revised target of $1,100 is the loftiest; meanwhile, Evercore ISI deviated from the crowd by cutting its ISRG price forecast to $930.

Intuitive Surgical stock is flat ahead of the open, after closing last night at $971.73. The shares have vaulted consistently higher this year atop support at their 20-day and 30-day moving averages, and yesterday hit an all-time peak just shy of $975. As suggested by this morning's flurry of bullish notes, analysts have high hopes for more upside from ISRG -- the average 12-month price target stands at $1,022.13.

Visa Raises Guidance, Analysts Up Price Targets

An upbeat earnings report and freshly hiked earnings forecast have pushed V to a gain of 1% in electronic trading, and inspired a wave of price-target hikes for the Dow component. Nine analysts have upped their targets for Visa so far, with $120 targets from Instinet and Bernstein representing the highest projections.

V stock peaked at a new record high of $99.13 in Thursday's session, and has gained 25.7% so far in 2017. However, with a short interest ratio of 4.7 days to cover, there's still room for the blue-chip credit card concern to benefit from an unwinding of bearish bets.

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