Shares of MicroStrategy (MSTR) - Get MicroStrategy Incorporated Report were higher on Thursday after analysts at BTIG initiated coverage of the analytics software and services provider with a buy rating and $850 price target.
The initiation is based on the firm's bullish outlook on bitcoin, which BTIG estimates will be priced at $95,000 by the end of 2022.
"We fully acknowledge that MSTR, which last August became the first publicly traded U.S. company to adopt bitcoin as a Treasury reserve asset, has taken a massive unhedged long position on a highly volatile speculative asset," a BTIG managing director, Mark Palmer, said.
"As such, we believe who invests in the stock should do so understanding that their investment is highly correlated with the price of bitcoin."
MicroStrategy shares at last check were up 3.1% to $700.
MicroStrategy has been on a bitcoin buying spree in 2021, most recently spending $15 million to buy 262 bitcoins, an average $57,146 per coin including fees, in March.
MicroStrategy now owns about 91,326 bitcoins, which it bought for $2.21 billion, or an average $24,214 per bitcoin, according its last 8K SEC filing on March 12.
At last check, bitcoin was trading at $58,623 Thursday.
The company said in February that it was issuing $600 million in bonds to buy more bitcoin.
The company said that as of Feb. 8 it had possessed 71,079 bitcoin at an average purchase price of $16,109.
Then on Feb. 24 the company said it bought 19,452 bitcoins for $1.03 billion, boosting the business-intelligence provider's emphasis on the cryptocurrency.