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Why MercadoLibre Stock Just Popped 5%

By Rich Smith – Jul 20, 2020 at 1:45PM

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Shareholders get a double dose of good news from Wall Street.

What happened

Shares of MercadoLibre (MELI -0.14%), the online retailer sometimes called the Argentine eBay, are soaring in Monday trading, up 4.7% as of 12:50 p.m. EDT.

Two analyst notes -- one sort of positive and the other even better -- appear to be fueling enthusiasm for the shares. First, Jefferies this morning raised its price target on MercadoLibre stock from $800 a share to $990. That sounds pretty good, except for the fact that MercadoLibre already costs more than $1,010 a share, reports

Upward arrow rising over 2020

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

More unqualifiedly good news, though, comes from Brazilian investment banker Banco Bradesco, which this morning upgraded MercadoLibre stock from neutral to outperform -- and gave the stock a $1,250 price target to boot.

Despite all the troubles Brazil has been having with coronavirus this year, Banco Bradesco believes that MercadoLibre is nonetheless "well-placed to capitalize" on e-commerce growth in Brazil, reports In fact, the analyst is forecasting a "much stronger quarter in Brazil" than was initially predicted back in March.

Now what

"Stronger" is, of course, a relative term. The consensus estimate for MercadoLibre's earnings this quarter is for only a break-even profit -- zero dollars, zero cents per share, according to Yahoo! Finance. Still, three months ago most analysts were calling for a very large loss ($0.46 per share) for this quarter. Bradesco's view appears to be gaining popularity, too, with predictions of MercadoLibre's losses steadily shrinking over the last 90 days.

We should know in under two weeks whether the analysts are correct. MercadoLibre is scheduled to report earnings on July 31.  

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends MercadoLibre. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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