BKNG Inching Toward Record Highs After Upgrade

Boost from analyst upgrade

Last week, Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: BKNG) made it onto Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White's list of 25 stock with the best returns in April, and things are certainly looking up for the stock today. Though the equity was marginally higher at the last check, up 0.3% at $2,409.05 ahead of the bell, Jefferies just upgraded it to "buy" from "hold." The firm cited a rebound in global travel as the reason for the upgrade and followed it up with a 12-month price-target hike to $2,800 from $2,300.

On the charts, Booking Holdings stock has hovered just below its March 17 all-time high of $2,469.58 for much of the month. Yesterday, the security bounced off the 10-day moving average, locking in its sixth-consecutive close above the $2,400 level. Longer-term, BKNG is up 69.6% year-over-year.

Circling back to the analyst front, the majority were skittish coming into today, leaving plenty room for additional upgrades going forward. In fact, 13 of the 22 in coverage rated the equity a "hold" or worse. Meanwhile, the 12-month consensus price target of $2,481.27 is just a 3% premium to last night's close.  

A shift in the options pits could also act as a tailwind for BNKG. This is per the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.36 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio sits in the elevated 85th percentile of its annual range, suggesting the appetite for puts is higher than usual. 

Disclaimer: Schaeffer's Investment Research ("SIR" or "we" or "us") is not registered as an investment adviser. SIR relies upon the "publishers' ...

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