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Major Movers on May 30; FB, FSLR, BIG, WFR, AVGO

Shares of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) rallied after a pair of equity research firms raised their rating on the stock on Thursday.

Brian Pitz, analyst at Jefferies upgraded the stock to “buy” from “hold” and raised the price target to $32 from $31.

“We think there is room for financial upside as we expect marketers will find Facebook’s 1B+ users irresistible despite any incremental changes in teen usage habits,” said Pitz in a research note.

Pitz believe that video ads could be the next big thing for the social networking giant after mobile ads. Pitz wrote that video ads business could generate billion of dollars for Facebook just as mobile ads were on course to generate $1.9 billion in 2013 revenue.

Daniel Salmon, analyst at BMO Capital Markets raised the rating on the stock to “outperform” from “ market-perform” and boosted price target on the stock to $33 from $32, citing company’s growing potential in generating revenue through advertising. Daniel pointed out in a research note that after garnering views from around dozen ad agencies and other acquaintances in the industry, “sentiment around Facebook advertising remains quite positive, with emphasis on improved customer service in particular.”

Shares of First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) rallied about 7.50% by afternoon trade after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to “buy” from “neutral”, citing that they envision “high quality opportunity” in the stock. The firm now has a price target of $64, adding that there is a chance of 24% upside.

Separately, Goldman Sachs also raised their rating on MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (NYSE:WFR) to buy and added the stock to their conviction list. Shares of MEMC Electronic Materials Inc climbed about 7% by afternoon trade.

Shares of Big Lots Inc. (NYSE: BIG) plunged about 9.50% by afternoon trade. Although the discount retailer’s fiscal first quarter earnings matched Street’s consensus estimate, its outlook on the current and full-year fiscal disappointed investors. Big Lots also warned that comparable-store-sales could fall between 2% to 4% in the fiscal second quarter from the same period of last year. For the current quarter, Big Lots anticipates earnings to be in the range of 17 cents to 27 cents a share, on assumption that sales would increase or decrease by 1%. Analysts’ consensus estimate was for earnings of 43 cents a share.

Shares of Avago Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: AVGO) leaped about 10.30% by afternoon trade after the Singapore based chip maker, late last evening reported better-than-expected fiscal second quarter results despite weakness in the chip industry. The Company also provided optimistic outlook for the current quarter. The Company expects revenue to be in the range of $595.7 million to $612.5 million compared to analysts’ consensus estimate for $598 million. For the quarter ended May 5, Avago posted a profit of $113 million or 45 cents a share down from $134 million or 54 cents a share, in the same period of last year. Adjusted earnings stood at 61 cents a share compared to 66 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. sales slipped 2.6% to $562 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting earnings of 52 cents a share on revenue of $557 million.

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