Tech Today: Buy Nvidia's Crypto, Two Hewletts Rising, Stop Shorting Applied Opto

Here are some things going on today in your world of techNvidia and AMD got crypto mo

Shares of Nvidia (NVDA) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) should both be bought on the prospect of their chips being used in crypto currency trading, writes Merrill Lynch's Vivek Arya, citing "accelerating trends," according to a summary of the report from TheFlyontheWall.

Nvidia stock is up $2.19, or 0.9%, at $244.34, while AMD is up 24 cents, or 2%, at $12.08.

Okta liked by Deutsche

Deutsche Bank's Gray Powell starts coverage of identity-management technology maker Okta (OKTA) with a Buy rating, and a $43 price target, citing the company's "disrupting" legacy companies in the market.

Okta stock is up 43 cents, or 1.2%, at $36.25.

Altaba is too cheap

Altaba (AABA), the stub company that spun out of the former Yahoo!, holding the remainder of its Asian investments, gets a price target increase from J.P. Morgan's Doug Anmuth, to $90 from $65, citing the deep discount of its NAV in advance of the company's financial update on February 27th. Anmuth maintains an Overweight rating.

Altaba stock is up $1.23, or 1.6%, at $76.75.

Fiber's rough times

One of the voices selling short Applied Optoelectronics (AAOI) last fall, Hamed Khorsand with the boutique BWS Financial today writes that he's dropping his coverage of the stock, following another disappointing earnings report on Wednesday afternoon, concluding the easy money has been made shorting the thing.

Khorsand thinks "there are several items from the fourth quarter earnings call to attract us in maintaining our short thesis" like the company still relying 40-gigabit transceiver revenue "to help gross margin stay above 40 percent," and a potential capital raise this year.

"Nevertheless, much of the'easy money' has been made." Applied shares, at a recent price of $26.98, are down 69% since Khorsand's July 20 warning, and down another 2% today.

Speaking of fiber optics, shares of Acacia Communications (ACIA) are down $7.64, or over 18%, at $34.20, after the company yesterday afternoon reported Q4 revenue of $86.6 million, missing the consumes for $88.4 million, and also missed by a wide margin with its forecast for revenue this quarter of $67 million to $74 million, versus $93 million.

The stock has gotten three downgrades from D.A. Davidson, Needham & Co., and MKM Partners.

Needham's Alex Henderson, cutting from Buy to Hold, concludes he should have "acted more aggressively on our concerns." He thinks the company's China market will recover, but that it still faces risk of business lost as customer ZTE losses market share to Huawei.

Western Dig has good trends

Stifel Nicolaus's Kevin Cassidy this morning resumes coverage of Western Digital (WDC) and Seagate Technology (STX), writing that both companies "continue to innovate" in the hard-disk drive market, and dismissing any worries about pricing decline in Western Digital's market for NAND.

He prefers Western's stock, assigning it a Buy rating and a $105 price target, while setting a Hold rating for Seagate and a $49 price target.

Western shares this morning are up $2.61, or 3%, at $88.14, while Seagate is up $1.40, or 2.8%, at $52.76.

Two HPs Shine

Shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) are up $1.61, or almost 10%, at $18.02, holding onto most of their gains from last night, after the company reportedfiscal Q1 results that handily topped analysts' expectations, beat with its outlook for profit this year, and announced a hike in its dividend of 50%.

There are no ratings changes this morning, but several price target changes. Simon Leopold of Raymond James, reiterating an Outperform rating, and raising his price target to $22 from $17, writes that "Although comparisons become tougher in 2HFY18, growth looks improved."

Hewlett's other half, personal computer giant HP Inc. (HPQ), is also on the march, after its own fiscal Q1 report that easily topped analysts' expectations and forecast of higher profit this quarter and for the year. The stock is up $1.34, or 6%, at $22.73.

Many are noting that the other shoe has to drop, as HP deferred announcing an increase to its capital returns following U.S. tax law changes.

But there's some good feeling from the bulls, with RBC Capital's Amit Daryanani, for example, reiterating an Outperform rating, writes that he expects "the strong performance to sustain, but expect growth to moderate given tougher compares and commodity headwinds."

"Net/Net," he concludes, "We think HPQ remains uniquely positioned to sustain upside through FY18 driven by end-demand, share gains and integration of Samsung assets."

Others have qualms about the business: Guggenheim's Robert Cihra reiterates a Neutral rating, writing that earnings are still tied to how much "leverage" the company gets from printing, something he doesn't like: "Outside recent memory-driven price hikes, we continue to see both PCs and Printing flat LT at best, so with HPQ's P/E having expanded 3 turns over the past year, we remain Neutral."

Trade Desk Soars

Shares of recently public programmatic ad buying tech firm The Trade Desk (TTD) are up $11.30, or almost 24%, at $59.70, building on last night's after-hours gains, after its report yesterday afternoon of Q4 revenue and profit that topped analysts' expectations, and beat with its quarterly and full-year forecasts.

Among the many bullish notes this morning with price target increases, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey's Youssef Squali reiterates a Buy rating, and raises his target to $64 from $60, writing the report "implies strong sustained momentum into Q1 and 2018," and that higher investments will pressure its profit margin, but are justified.

Appian's too pricey

Another recently public name, software tools maker Appian (APPN), are down $1.26, or 4%, at $29.37, despite its Q4 beat and higher outlook yesterday.

There's lots of applause today, but also lots of reluctance given a high valuation.

For example, Cowen & Co.'s Gregg Moskowitz reiterates a Market Perform rating, writing that "we remain constructive on APPN's low code opportunity" but "also believe this is being more than captured by APPN's current valuation at 9x 2018E EV/Sales."

Universal plunges

Shares of Universal Display (OLED), makers of organic light-emitting diode technology for displays, continue their decline after yesterday afternoon's report of Q4 results that topped analysts' expectations, but a year outlook that was below consensus. The stock is down $25.50, or almost 17%, at $129.35.

Hendi Susanto of Gabelli, who has a Hold rating, writes "We view management's expectations and guidance to be prudent and consistent with our belief that ramping up to a full production capacity at a high yield takes time and can be technically challenging, especially for new entrants.

Here comes AirPower?

The " AirPower," a wireless charging mat from Apple (AAPL) that is supposed to support charging of multiple devices simultaneously, which was unveiled in September, may go on sale next month, according to a speculative piece by Christian Zibreg of the iDownloadblog, citing a rumor at Japanese blog Mac Otakara.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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