Shares of Snap (SNAP) will be in the spotlight Tuesday evening when the company reports its second-quarter results.
However, the stock is getting a lift ahead of those results. Snap stock is gaining momentum, rising 3.5% to $14.65 in Tuesday afternoon trading after a pair of analyst upgrades.
On Monday evening, Stifel analysts upgraded the stock to a buy rating and assigned a $17 price target. On Tuesday morning, Rosenblatt Securities analysts also upgraded Snap stock to a buy rating, and assigned an $18 price target.
Splitting the difference gets Snap to $17.50, which implies just more than 20% upside from current levels. Of course, a big catalyst to whether that price target is soon very close (and possibly surpassed) or much, much further away lies with the company's quarterly results.
If the reaction is favorable, we could see a big spike in a stock that's already had plenty of momentum this year. Shares of Snap are up just 9% over the past 12 months, but have surged more than 160% so far in 2019. That makes the setup a little more difficult going into earnings.
Trading Snap Stock
Because the stock has been so hot lately and reports on Tuesday after the close, conservative investors may want to wait to see the results. If we were to ignore the fact that Snap stock is reporting earnings tonight, we'd still wait before buying the stock.
It's currently struggling to reclaim its 20-day moving average, which would be a must-do before getting long at this juncture. Failure to reclaim this mark puts its recent lows near $14 back on the table, as well as the 50-day moving average at $13.51.
Over the 20-day moving average and its prior trend-line (blue line) near $15 is a potential upside target. If Snap stock can clear both marks, a test of short-term channel resistance could be in order. In that event, it could drum up a test of its $17 IPO price and Stifel's price target.
The options market is pricing in about a 14.5% move by the end of the week, which would represent a more than $2 per share move in either direction.
Because of the earnings report, Snap stock could move aggressively in either direction. On the downside, it would be ideal if the 50-day held as support, although given its proximity to the current price, that may be unrealistic. If there's a big move lower, let's see if $12.50 holds should Snap stock fall that far. On the upside, I want to see Snap reclaim $15.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author had no positions in the stocks mentioned.