Morning Brief: Wall Street Raises Stock Price Targets for Amazon, Alphabet

October 30, 2017   Stephen Taub

Shares of and Alphabet, widely held by hedge funds, jumped after stronger-than-expected earnings.

Wall Street analysts boosted their price targets for and Alphabet after strong quarterly earnings. Amazon is the second most widely-held stock among hedge funds, according to Goldman Sachs Group. It’s also the second biggest short in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, according to financial analytics firm S3 Partners. David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital, for example, has a short bet against the e-commerce behemoth, whose shares surged Friday, October 27.

UBS Group lifted its price target on Amazon to $1250, from $1200, citing the surprise revenue growth that the company reported October 26. The bank also said it is "deleting" its fears about the company’s near-term margins. "For investors, we continue to reiterate our stance that Amazon is a core holding to gain exposure to secular growth trends in e-commerce, cloud computing, media consumption, digital advertising and AI (artificial intelligence) voice assistants," UBS said in a note. Credit Suisse, meanwhile, raised its price target to $1385, from $1350, partly due to margin-related factors. Shares of Amazon jumped more than 13 percent on October 27 to close at $1100.95.

As for Alphabet, UBS raised its price target on the Google parent’s "C" shares to $1165, from $1080, saying the company’s quarterly results beat expectations "across the board." The "C" shares of Alphabet, the third most popular stock among hedge funds, jumped 4.8 percent on October 27 to close at $1019.27.


Shares of Microsoft Corp., the fourth most popular stock held by hedge funds, surged 6.4 percent to close at $83.81 on October 27, the day after the software giant released earnings results that beat expectations for the first quarter of fiscal 2018. CNBC reported that revenue at Microsoft’s cloud business exceeded its own goal.


Steven Cohen’s family office, Point72 Asset Management, said in a regulatory filing that it owned 1.7 million shares of Oncosec Medical, or 5.7 percent of the biotech company, as recently as October 25. At the end of the second quarter, Point72 did not own any shares of the company, which is seeking new technologies to stimulate the body’s immune system to attack cancer. The firm’s holdings at the end of the third quarter have not yet been disclosed.


O. Andreas Halvorsen’s Viking Global Investors said in a filing that it owned about 17.8 million shares of Parsley Energy, or 7.2 percent of the company. The Tiger Cub did not own any shares of Parsley in June, the latest period for which U.S. stock holdings have been required to be disclosed.

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