Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: Las Vegas Sands Corp., American International Group Inc, and Transocean LTD

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings on LVS, AIG, and RIG

by 5/13/2013 9:10 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), insurance firm American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG), and gas and oil concern Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

  • Up more than 26% so far this year to trade at $58.22, LVS saw its price target lifted to $67 from $64 at Nomura this morning. Meanwhile, data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.92 for Las Vegas Sands Corp., confirming traders have bought to open nearly two calls for every put during the past two weeks. This ratio ranks higher than 64% of similar readings taken within the last 12 months, meaning speculators have been scooping up bullish options over bearish at an accelerated clip.

  • AIG -- which has gained about 25% year-to-date and is currently perched at $44.18 -- was upgraded to "overweight" from "equal weight" at Barclays ahead of the opening bell. The stock has also outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by nearly 9 percentage points during the past four weeks, yet bearish speculation has been heating up on American International Group Inc lately. In fact, short interest surged by close to 43% over the last two reporting periods. However, the equity's pessimistic camp is still far from crowded, as these shorted shares make up just over 2% of AIG's available float.

  • RIG received a price-target hike to $62 from $58 at J.P. Morgan Securities today, after the company announced that chairman and former CEO Michael Talbert will be stepping down from its board of directors within the next year, should he be re-elected. Transocean LTD has advanced more than 22% in 2013 and is presently priced at $54.64, which could explain the bullish attitude among the short-term options crowd. The equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) sits at 0.54, indicating calls almost double puts among options expiring in the next three months. This ratio is just 2 percentage points above a yearly nadir, meaning near-term traders have rarely been more call-heavy toward RIG during the past year.

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