ech Stocks This Week: Netflix Soars, Square Gets a New CFO, and More

Wild volatility continued yet again this week, with the S&P 500 falling 2.5% on Thursday and then gaining about 3.4% on Friday. For the whole week, the S&P 500 finished up nearly 2%.

Amid all this volatility, there're three stories in tech you might have missed that are worth a closer look:

  1. Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) stock surged 16%.
  2. Square (NYSE: SQ) hired a new CFO.
  3. One analyst gave Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) stock a $60 price target.

Netflix stock soars

Shares of streaming TV company Netflix soared during the first week of the year, gaining a total of 16%. Helping the stock's rise during the week was a bullish call on Netflix from Goldman Sachs. "We believe Netflix represents one of the best risk/reward propositions in the Internet sector," said Godman analyst Heath Terry. Goldman reiterated its buy rating and its $400 12-month price target for the stock.

The analyst believes the stock's decline from a high above $400 last summer gives investors an attractive entry point. Better-than-expected subscriber growth as the company moves toward positive cash flow in 2022 will help drive the stock higher over the long haul, Terry believes.

Square's new CFO

Investors knew when Square's chief financial offer, Sarah Friar, announced she was stepping down from her job at the financial-technology company to take on the job as CEO of Nextdoor, a social network for neighbors and communities, that the company had difficult shoes to fill.

Fortunately, Square managed to find a talented executive to fill the role. Amrita Ahuja, who formerly served as CFO of Activision Blizzard's (NASDAQ: ATVI) Blizzard Entertainment division, is taking on Square's CFO position.

As a daughter of entrepreneurial parents, Ahuja says the job "has personal resonance" for her. "I believe Square is building the most innovative commerce ecosystem for sellers and consumers, and I am excited to help the company execute against this massive opportunity," she added.

Ahuja joins Square at a time of extraordinary momentum. The company's adjusted revenue soared 68% year over year in Q3, crushing analyst estimates for the period.

Intel stock gets a buy rating

Intel stock jumped on Friday, rising 6% by the time the market closed. The stock's gain followed a bullish note from Merrill Lynch analyst Vivek Arya (by way of Barron's). The stock is a "compelling large-cap investment levered to multiple secular advances (cloud, artificial intelligence, 5G, autonomous cars, the internet of things)," said Arya. Along with the note, Arya increased his 12-month price target for the stock by $8 to $60.

Intel's price-to-earnings ratio of under 15 does seem conservative for a company growing as fast as it is. In the company's most recent quarter, revenue was up 19% year over year and non-GAAP earnings per share increased 39% year over year. Even for the broader nine-month period ending Sept. 29, 2018, non-GAAP earnings per share was up 38% year over year.

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Daniel Sparks owns shares of Netflix and Square. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Activision Blizzard, Netflix, and Square. The Motley Fool has the following options: short January 2019 $80 calls on Square. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.