Stocks quoted in this article:
The major market indexes are significantly higher this afternoon, as Wall Street applauds encouraging employment trends and a rate cut across the pond. Among the stocks in focus include casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), optical technologies concern JDS Uniphase Corp (NASDAQ:JDSU), and precious metal producer Yamana Gold Inc. (USA) (NYSE:AUY), which have all attracted the attention of analysts.
- LVS jumped to a new annual high of $57.88 today, but has since trimmed its lead to 1.3% to trade at $56.94. The company last night reported stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings, and data rolled in this morning showing overall gambling revenue in Macau soared 13% year-over-year last month. Against this upbeat backdrop, Las Vegas Sands has earned price-target increases from Deutsche Bank, RBC, Nomura, Cantor, Barclays, and Stifel, just to name a few. What's more, the options crowd is likely cheering the results, considering the accelerated call buying heading into last night's numbers. On the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 2.59 stands higher than 89% of all other readings of the past year.
- Moving on, JDSU is up 3.1% at $12.90, despite posting a wider quarterly loss and issuing lackluster revenue guidance. In light of JDSU's unimpressive turn in the earnings confessional, a handful of analysts have slashed their price targets, including Stifel, Piper Jaffray, and Jefferies. There could be more negative analyst notes on the horizon, too, considering eight out of 11 brokerage firms rate the stock a "buy" or better, with not a single "sell" suggestion to be found. Plus, the equity's consensus 12-month price target stands at $16.32 -- representing expected upside of 26.5% from JDS Uniphase's current price, and in territory not charted in nearly two years.
- Finally, AUY was last seen 3.1% higher at $11.95, paring a portion of its post-earnings losses. From a longer-term perspective, the security has shed more than 40% since peaking at $20.59 in November, and analysts are finally starting to abandon the bullish camp. So far today, AUY has been slapped with no fewer than four price-target cuts, and there's still plenty of room in the bears' camp. Despite underperforming the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 33 percentage points during the past three months, Yamana Gold harbors nine "strong buys" and six "buy" endorsements, with not one "hold" or worse rating in sight.