Whether one views Merrill Lynch’s Henry Blodget as a top-notch analyst or simply a cheerleader for arguably overvalued companies, one has to admit that he is powerful. Obviously, Blodget did not single-handedly account for Wednesday’s sharp gains in the Internet sector, but he played a big part in the furious rally.
Shares of the recently depressed America Online (NYSE: AOL) soared 17.5 percent on Wednesday after Blodget and Merrill Lynch media analyst Jessica Reif Cohen reiterated their buy rating on the stock. Merrill Lynch has a $90 target on AOL. Shares of Time Warner, which AOL has agreed to acquire, also headed skyward by gaining 7-5/16 to 81-1/16.
Also on Wednesday, Blodget gave eBay a buy rating and a $175 price target. Shares of eBay climbed 15.2 percent after the recommendation, gaining 20-7/16 to 154-15/16.
Let’s just go ahead and say it: Henry Blodget is becoming the most influential Internet analyst on Wall Street.