Skepticism Could Stoke Fresh Tailwinds for International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)

Analysts and short sellers are skeptical toward Big Blue, despite the stock's positive price action

Jan 24, 2017 at 7:35 AM
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Shares of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) initially moved lower last Friday, following the tech titan's quarterly earnings report. However, a solid forecast and subsequent round of bullish brokerage notes had the stock swinging higher -- notching a fresh annual high along the way -- and bouncing off possible newfound support atop the formerly resistant 40-day moving average. This positive price action is just more of the same for the stock, which is up nearly 39% year-over-year -- and signaled a potential change in trend last November when it broke out above a trendline connecting a series of lower highs since early 2013.

 

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And while IBM's fundamental and technical backdrop are seemingly in check, there's still plenty of room for analysts to upwardly revise their skeptical ratings. Of the 17 brokerages covering IBM, 11 maintain a "hold" or "sell" rating, meaning a round of upgrades could add fuel to IBM's post-earnings fire.

A continued round of short-covering could also create more tailwinds for the shares. Although short interest declined nearly 8% in the most recent two-week reporting period, there are still 23.1 million shares sold short. Even more convincing, this translates into 8.2 days' worth of pent-up buying demand, at IBM's average daily pace of trading.

Subscribers to Schaeffer's Weekend Series service received this IBM commentary on Sunday night, along with a detailed options trade recommendation -- including complete entry and exit parameters. Learn more about why Weekend Series is one of our most popular trading services.
 

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