Analyst Upgrades Alphabet Stock, Bashes Facebook

Alphabet stock dropped below the 200-day moving average during yesterday's trading

by Emma Duncan

Published on Apr 25, 2018 at 10:18 AM
Updated on Apr 25, 2018 at 10:18 AM

Shares of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) are slightly higher this morning, after Stifel upgraded the FAANG stock to "buy" from "hold," and lifted its price target to $1,234 from $1,150. The covering analyst highlighted continued strength in search, YouTube, and advertising, while adding Google's products are more important to consumers than Facebook's (FB). Independent Research, meanwhile, moved its price target up to $1,160 from $1,130.

Of course, this comes just one day after the stock suffered a negative earnings reaction. The tech giant was trading up 0.2% at $1,024.42, at last check, putting its year-over-year gain at 15.3%. Alphabet is still staring up at its Jan. 29 record peak of $1,198, however, and during yesterday's trading it dropped back below the 200-day moving average.

Most analysts share Stifel's bullish outlook, though. Specifically, there are 30 brokerage firms covering the security, and 26 of them say it's a "buy" or "strong buy." The average 12-month price target, meanwhile, stands up at $1,267.62.

Digging deeper, options traders have been leaning bullish, too, with data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) showing the stock sporting a 50-day call/put volume ratio of 1.43, ranking in the 72nd percentile of its annual range. This suggests that calls have been purchased over puts at a faster-than-usual clip during the past 10 weeks.

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