Cowen Gives MSFT Bull Note; Jefferies Cuts View on Video Game Stocks

Jefferies lowered its price targets on TTWO and ATVI stocks

by Josh Selway

Published on Jul 11, 2019 at 9:25 AM

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is trading in positive territory this morning after Cowen began coverage with an "outperform" rating and $150 price target, banking on more strength from the company's commercial cloud business. This view puts the brokerage firm in opposition with analysts at Jefferies, but mirrors the general bullishness on the street, where 19 of 20 analysts have "strong buy" recommendations.

MSFT shares are up roughly 36% in 2019, and are trading right near their July 10 record high of $138.58, last seen at $138.15. Traders in yesterday's sessions seemed to be gearing up for more gains through week's end, with heavy trading at the weekly 7/12 137-, 138-, 139-. and 140-strike calls.

Speaking of Jefferies, analysts there weighed in on video game stocks Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO) and Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI). For TTWO, the brokerage cut its rating to "hold" from "buy," and moved its price target down to $115 from $135. The "Grand Theft Auto" publisher was last seen down 1.3% at $115.70.

ATVI shares saw their price-target trimmed to $56 from $60. This is still a notable premium to the equity's current perch of $46.84, though the stock was recently struggling near the $48-$50 area that's acted as a ceiling all year. Near-term traders have seemingly taken bearish positions based on the Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.47 that ranks in the 94th annual percentile.


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