Why Sea Limited Stock Popped Today

What happened

Asian digital products and services conglomerate Sea Limited (NYSE:SE) was a buoyant stock on Wednesday, closing more than 3% higher. The company benefited from a clutch of analyst upgrades, despite a mixed second quarter that featured a bottom-line miss.

So what

On the back of those earnings, which were published Tuesday, several prognosticators modified their expectations for Sea. And for the most part, they became more bullish.

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On Wednesday, for example, Citigroup’s (NYSE: C) Alicia Yap raised her price target on the tech stock to $335 per share from the preceding $320, maintaining her buy recommendation on the stock. And HSBC (NYSE: HSBC) analyst Piyush Choudhary kept his own buy rating while upping the price target more significantly, from $315 to $355.

The previous day, Stifel’s (NYSE: SF) Scott Devitt also did the price-target-raise shuffle, adding $65 to his to bring it up to $325. Interestingly, though, he is maintaining his hold recommendation on Sea. And on the same day, CLSA prognosticator Neel Sinha changed his target, to $352 from $285 per share. However, he’s downshifted his recommendation to outperform from the former buy.

Now what

Those analysts, even the more cautious ones, have plenty of justification for upping their price targets. Yes, Sea missed on the bottom line, but it wasn’t exactly a big whiff. At $0.61 per share, it was only $0.09 deeper than the average analyst estimate. Meanwhile, the company boasted triple-digit sales growth in all of its key segments, and provided revised guidance indicating that significant top-line improvement is very much on tap in the coming months.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the official recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. Were motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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