Analyst Cites Crypto Growth for PYPL Upgrade

The security is trading within striking distance of record highs

Deputy Editor
Jan 21, 2021 at 10:09 AM
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The shares of PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL) are up 1.4% at $247.59 this morning, following an upgrade from BTIG. The analyst in question lifted the company's rating to "buy" from "neutral," citing a shift toward digital payments during the pandemic, and PayPal's long-term growth trajectory with its recent Bitcoin initiative, which allows users to deal cryptocurrencies using their service. 

Analysts were already overwhelmingly bullish coming into today, with 26 of the 31 in coverage calling PYPL a "buy" or better, with not a "sell" to be seen. Meanwhile, the consensus 12-month price target of $244.92 stands roughly in line with current levels.

This could bring in more bull notes, considering PayPal stock's impressive trajectory over the past year. The equity's mid-March pullback was merely a whisper compared to the plummet many stocks suffered when the pandemic first hit. PYPL quickly recovered from those losses, and has been hitting record highs on a near monthly basis since May. In fact, the security is just within striking distance of its Jan. 14 peak of $249.85, with solid support from the 20-day moving average and a 111.4% year-over-year lead.

Option bulls have gotten in on the rally, too. In the past 10 weeks, 3.24 calls have been picked up for every put at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio stands higher than 94% of readings from the past year, suggesting a much healthier appetite for long calls of late. 

What's more, PayPal's Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS) ranks at an elevated 88 out of a possible 100. This means the security has tended to exceed these volatility expectations during the past 12 months -- a boon for options buyers. 

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