Analysts are weighing in on video game stock Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), cloud concern Arista Networks Inc (NYSE:ANET), and gene therapy specialist bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ:BLUE). Here’s a quick roundup of today’s bullish brokerage notes on shares of ATVI, ANET, and BLUE.
Activision Stock Eyes Record Highs on Call of Duty Release Day
Activision Blizzard stock is up 2.4% before the open, after the company reported a third-quarter beat and upwardly revised its full-year outlook. This news comes as the firm’s highly anticipated Call of Duty: WWIIgame begins to hit the shelves today. Meanwhile, Barclays raised its price target to $66 from $65, while Jefferies upped its target to $82 from $80. Most analysts are already very bullish on the shares, with 17 of 21 covering brokerage firms rating the equity a “buy” or “strong buy.”
After closing yesterday at $65.45, this morning’s pre-market move puts ATVI on pace to open at a record high. Still, the pending price action is well below what options traders were pricing in.
ANET Stock Set for Huge Post-Earnings Session
Arista Networks stock is in line for an even bigger post-earnings rally, with the shares pointed 11% higher before the open. The cloud company blew past Wall Street’s third-quarter estimates, resulting in several bullish notes from analysts. For example, D.A. Davidson upgraded ANET to “buy” from “neutral,” and raised its price target to $224 from $180.
The security actually pulled back sharply yesterday ahead of the quarterly event, settling at $181.17, but it remains up more than 87% year-to-date, and could take out its Oct. 31 record high of $201.95 today. Many options traders were betting on more gains, too, based on Arista Networks’ 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.47 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which ranks in the 79th annual percentile — meaning call buying has been unusually popular relative to put buying.
Morgan Stanley Upgrades High-Flying Bluebird Bio
Morgan Stanley this morning upgraded bluebird bio stock to “equal weight” from “underweight,” and boosted its price target to $151 from $105. However, this is still below the equity’s Thursday close of $154.05. An upbeat earnings report recently sent BLUE shares to a two-year high of $161.82 earlier this week, and they currently sport a 52-week gain of 232%. But even after a 41.5% decline in the last two reporting periods, short interest represents 11.2% of the security’s float, suggesting bluebird bio could benefit from a short-squeeze situation.
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