Stocks quoted in this article:
Analysts are weighing in today on petroleum refiner Valero Energy Corporation (VLO - 24.94), plastic clogs company Crocs, Inc. (CROX - 20.69), oilfield services issue Oceaneering International (OII - 54.97), semiconductor stock OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (OVTI - 16.67), and restaurant chain operator P.F. Chang's China Bistro (PFCB - 37.83). Here's a quick roundup of today's upgrades and downgrades of note.
- Starting with VLO, the stock has slipped 1.6% after a downgrade to "neutral" from "buy" at UBS. The energy issue is now testing support at its 10-day moving average, which -- along with its 20-day counterpart -- has propelled VLO higher since mid-January. Year-to-date, the stock has managed to gain more than 20%, but VLO is still sitting on a 52-week deficit of 16.3%.
- Elsewhere, CROX is off nearly 3% following a Standpoint Research downgrade to "hold" from "buy." The stock has racked up an impressive advance of 44.3% so far in 2012, but CROX is now perched right below its 10-month moving average -- which hasn't been bested on a monthly closing basis since last September. CROX could attract more brokerage attention next week, as the company is slated to confess its fourth-quarter results on Thursday, Feb. 23.
- A slew of brokerage firms hiked their price targets on OII today, just one session after the stock's well-received fourth-quarter earnings report. So far, analysts at Howard Weil, Macquarie, BMO, Jefferies, and RBC have all raised their respective price targets on the shares, with the upwardly revised figures ranging from a high of $62 (BMO) to a low of $52 (Jefferies). There could be more upward revisions in store, as Thomson Reuters pegs OII's average 12-month price target at $51.47 -- a discount to Thursday's close at $54.27. At last check, OII is up 1.3%, after earlier hitting a fresh 52-week high of $56.33.
- J.P. Morgan slashed its rating on OVTI to "neutral" from "overweight," prompting a 5.3% slide in the shares as we head toward midday. However, OVTI remains well north of former resistance at its 10-week and 20-week moving averages. These trendlines had kept OVTI under consistent pressure since late July, but the shares are now on pace to collect their fourth straight Friday finish above this duo. Year-to-date, OVTI has added roughly 44%.
- Finally, PFCB has bounced to a gain of 6.2% after scoring a pair of post-earnings upgrades. RBC lifted its opinion to "outperform" from "sector perform," while Raymond James raised its rating to "strong buy" from "outperform." PFCB gapped higher out of the gate this morning, and the equity's uptick could be accelerated by a wave of short-covering activity. Currently, about 20% of the stock's float is sold short, which translates into 16.4 days' worth of pent-up buying pressure, at PFCB's average daily volume.