Upgrade Fuels Match Stock Surge

There's plenty of skepticism priced into MTCH stock

by Karee Venema

Published on Sep 27, 2019 at 10:06 AM

Evercore ISI lifted its rating on Match Group Inc (NASDAQ:MTCH) to "outperform" from "in line," and boosted its price target to $95 from $78 -- a 33% premium to last night's close at $71.44, and just below the stock's Aug. 7 record high of $95.31. In reaction, MTCH stock is up 3.6% at $74.01.

Match Group shares have already turned in a strong performance in 2019, up 73% so far. Plus, the stock's pullback from that all-time peak was contained near familiar support in the $68 region -- currently home to its rising 140-day moving average.

Options traders have been bracing for a bigger retreat from record highs. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Match stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.72 ranks in the 84th annual percentile, meaning puts have been bought to open relative to calls at a quicker-than-usual clip.

This skepticism is seen elsewhere on Wall Street, with the majority of the 16 covering analysts maintaining a lukewarm "hold" rating, and more than half of Match Group's float controlled by short sellers. More bull notes or a capitulation from some of the weaker bearish hands could create bigger tailwinds for the outperforming shares.


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