Mizuho Thinks Self-Driving Car Efforts Will Help Send Nvidia Stock to New Highs

Options traders have been call-heavy toward the tech stock in recent weeks

Managing Editor
Jan 16, 2018 at 10:21 AM
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Graphic chipmaker Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) has had an impressive year, racing higher since bottoming out at $95.17 last March. In fact, the stock has managed to pick up more than 118% in the past 12 months, thanks to steady support from its 50-day moving average. The tech stock is surging higher again today, with the shares up 1.5% at $226.32 in early trading -- fresh off a new record high of $226.75 -- after a bullish brokerage note.

Specifically, Mizuho waxed optimistic on Nvidia's data center unit, as well as the company's exemption from the Spectre chip threat and its self-driving car initiatives. In reaction, Mizuho raised its price target on NVDA to $240 from $225 -- a 6% upside to current levels.

Unsurprisingly, there has been a surge optimism among options traders. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows Nvidia stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.94 ranks in the 98th percentile of its annual range. In other words, calls have been bought to open over puts at a faster-than-usual clip during the past two weeks.

Outside of the options pits, analysts have more room to raise their outlooks on booming Nvidia stock. Of the 24 brokerages following the tech powerhouse, 12 still carry "hold" or worse recommendations. Plus, the average 12-month price target for NVDA shares stands at $212.11, a discount to current trading levels.

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