Analyst Thinks Market Volatility Could Help This Stock

NDAQ's recent earnings reactions have been muted

by Josh Selway

Published on Jan 29, 2019 at 10:27 AM

J.P. Morgan Securities moved its price target on Nasdaq Inc (NASDAQ:NDAQ) up to $91 from $89, expecting the recent pick-up in market volatility to result in increased trading volumes -- which obviously would be a boon for the exchange operator's business. This comes as the company just announced that its private market business facilitated a record $12 billion in 2018, while the fourth-quarter earnings release is scheduled for tomorrow morning, Wednesday, Jan. 30.

NDAQ shares were last seen trading near $86.26, up slightly on the day, holding just above the 80- and 320-day moving averages. After a strong multi-year uptrend culminated in a September record high of $96.84, the stock has struggled with the broader market (amid the heightened volatility alluded to above) and moved all the way down to almost $75 in late December, near the site of its 52-week lows from last February.

As for what history says to expect in tomorrow's trading, the shares have ended in the red the day after earnings in four of the past five quarters, including a 1.1% decline after the report from this time last year. Going back two years, post-earnings moves have been pretty muted, with an average single-day swing of just 1.6%, though this time the options market is pricing in a 3.5% move for tomorrow's trading.

Taking a broader view on the sentiment around Nasdaq stock, analysts are evenly split, with six "buy" or "strong buy" endorsements, versus six "hold" ratings. Meanwhile, short interest has been moving higher, up 15.5% in the last reporting period alone to a total of 3.95 million shares, still representing a low 3.5% of the security's float, though.

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