Stocks quoted in this article:
Analysts are weighing in today on casual restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG - 299.39), regional lender Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB - 10.61), computer graphics specialist Nvidia Corporation (NVDA - 13.69), coal stock Peabody Energy Corporation (BTU - 35.25), and drug company Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (QCOR - 30.52). Here's a quick roundup of today's upgrades and downgrades of note.
- Starting with CMG, the restaurateur has shed 0.5% after William Blair downgraded the stock to "market perform" from "outperform." Most brokerage firms already maintain a lukewarm opinion of the equity, with Zacks reporting eight "strong buys," 12 "holds," and two "sell" or worse suggestions. However, CMG sports a healthy year-to-date gain of 41.4%, and today's dip has been contained by support at the stock's 160-day moving average.
- FITB is fractionally lower this morning, pressured by a price-target cut to $11 from $12 at Citigroup. The downwardly revised target coincides with the top end of FITB's trading range, as the equity has been bouncing between $9.25 and $11 since the beginning of August. Options traders seem to be looking for FITB to break out to the downside -- during the past 10 days, speculators on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have bought to open 3.22 puts for every call on the security.
- On the other hand, NVDA has added 2.5% so far, completely shrugging off Citigroup's price-target cut to $14 from $16.50. If the stock can maintain its positive momentum through tomorrow's close, NVDA could collect a rare weekly finish above its 10-week moving average. This trendline, along with its 20-week counterpart, has ushered the equity steadily lower since early March.
- As for BTU, the energy issue is down 1.2% in the wake of a price-target cut from -- naturally -- Citigroup. The brokerage firm lowered its target on BTU to $60 from $77, but the downward revision still implies expected upside of more than 68% from Wednesday's close at $35.68. With the stock sitting on a year-to-date deficit of more than 44%, BTU could easily be vulnerable to additional price-target cuts during the near term. Currently, Thomson Reuters pegs the equity's average 12-month price target at a lofty $69.15.
- Finally, ThinkEquity started coverage of QCOR with a "buy" rating, sending the shares to a gain of more than 4% this morning. The biopharmaceutical stock has roughly doubled in value since the start of 2011, which explains why analysts are so enamored. Zacks reports five "strong buy" recommendations for QCOR, compared to just one "hold" and zero "sells."