More Price-Target Hikes For Salesforce Stock as Earnings Near

Analysts expect record highs for CRM stock in the coming weeks

Josh Selway
Aug 22, 2018 at 10:12 AM
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Several analysts have raised their outlooks on Salesforce.com, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) since the close yesterday. Cowen, BMO, RBC, Wedbush, and Jefferies all hiked their price targets to at least $155, with the latter firm setting the highest mark of $168. Such praise from the analyst community is just more of the same for CRM stock, which earned a price target of $175 from Stifel a month ago. Overall, 27 of 30 brokerage firms have "buy" or better ratings on the enterprise software specialist.

Digging into recent options activity, there was notable interest in the September 150 call during the past 10 days, where more than 1,800 contracts were added. However, there was a near-even split between buyers and sellers, making the $150 level a price point to watch in the coming weeks. Overall, it's certainly not like bullish traders have been flocking to Salesforce, since call open interest ranks just 1 percentage point from an annual low at 129,538 contracts.

That could be because CRM has failed to live up to elevated volatility expectations in the past, according to its Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS). This reading of 38 out of a possible 100 shows the options market has consistently overpriced premium during the past year.

Looking ahead, the company is set to report earnings after the close on Wednesday, Aug. 29. CRM stock was last seen up slightly on the day at $145.86, putting its 12-month gain at 58.6%, with a recent pullback contained by the 50-day moving average.


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