The market is opened shaky, the Nasdaq slipping 21 points, but quickly rallied, and now the Nasdaq is up 17 points a t 7,133.36.
Amazon (AMZN) is on pace to close above Microsoft (MSFT) for the first time ever, with a market cap of $706 billion or so, versus $697 billion for Microosft, according to the data gurus at Dow Jones. That would make Amazon the new number-three U.S company by market capitalization.
Snap (SNAP) is one of the stand-out gainers, rising $4.69, or 33%, to $18.75, following yesterday afternoon’s surprise Q4 beat, and better-than-expected rise in daily average users.
THe stock has gotten at least five upgrades this morning, from Merrill Lynch, SunTrust, Susquehanna, JP Morgan, Evercore ISI, and RBC Capital.
RBC’s Mark Mahaney, raising his rating to Outperform from Sector Perform, and raising his price target to $21 from $15, writes that this is the “reacceleration and inflection” that he thought might come later this year. He thinks it’s sustainable, thanks to an improvement in the Android version of the app, the transition of Snap’s ad business to an auction model, and the company slowing its employee growth, keeping operating expenses in check.
The enthusiasm is spreading to other parts of social media. Twitter (TWTR) shares are up $1.10, or 4.3%. At $26.34, after Deutsche Bank’s Lloyd Walmsley raised his price target on the shares to $22 from $18, while reiterating a Hold rating, writing that he’s hearing improved feedback from ad buyers, and seeing better user trends in comScore data.
Earnings results mostly gainers
Among other earnings gainers this morning, Akamai Technologies (AKAM) is up $3.27, or 5%, at $66.94, after yesterday afternoon’s Q4 beat and higher Q1 forecast.
Ultimate Software (ULTI) and Zendesk (ZEN) are both up sharply today, 7% and 8%, respectively, after yesterday afternoon’s reports prompt multiple price-target increases.
Another winner is Match Group (MTCH), makers of the “Tinder” dating app, as well as Match.com. Its shares are up $2.71, or 8%, at $35.97, after it reported Q4 revenue and Ebitda beat expectations, and it forecast revenue for this quarter above consensus, at $380 million to $390 million, versus the average estimate for $365 million.
New Relic (NEWR) is building on yesterday’s gains, up $3.83, or 7%, at $63.13, and for a moment up 9%, after the company beat fiscal Q3 revenue expectations and delivered its first quarterly profit, a surprise for the Street, and forecast this quarter’s results higher as well, sending its stock higher in late trading.
Among this morning’s reports, Cognizant Software Technologies (CTSH) is up $4.81, or 6.5%, at $78.71, after the company reported Q4 revenue just a hair above consensus, at $3.83 billion, and beat by 7 cents on the bottom line. The forecast for this quarter is also higher, for both revenue and profit. Cognizant said it will buy back $1.2 billion of its shares this year.
Among the losers is Microchip Technology (MCHP), after yesterday blaming its Atmel business for warping its March-quarter outlook.
There are several bulls stepping up to defend the stock, but SunTrust Robinson Humphrey’s William Stein, reiterating a Hold rating, writes that it “confirms a more abrupt industry-wide slowdown is at hand – as we warned in Dec.”
Goldman wants to fund your iPhone
Goldman Sachs (GS) is looking to expand its consumer banking effort by financing purchases of Apple (AAPL) gear, according to an article this morning by Peter Rudegeair and Liz Hoffman in The Wall Street Journal, citing multiple unnamed sources. Purchasers of an iPhone, for example, could get a loan from Goldman instead of putting it on a credit card. The talks between the two companies for the effort are ongoing and “could still fall apart,” the authors write.
Infinera, Synaptics on tap
On tap for earnings this afternoon, after the closing bell, are Infinera (INFN), Inphi (IPHI), Limelight Networks (LLNW), NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), Synaptics (SYNA), Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO), Yelp (YELP), Zayo Group (ZAYO), and Zynga (ZNGA).