Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Upgrades: GOLD, AOL, and TITN

Analysts adjusted their ratings on GOLD, AOL, and TITN

by 4/9/2012 11:15 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on gold mining outfit Randgold Resources Limited (GOLD - 90.29), Internet services company AOL, Inc. (AOL - 26.14), and agriculture and heavy construction equipment retailer Titan Machinery, Inc. (TITN - 29.01). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes.

Expectations are way low for first-quarter earnings

  • This morning, Stifel Nicolaus raised its rating on GOLD to "buy" from "hold." Most of the other analysts following the stock are bearish, as Zacks tallies two "strong buys," five tepid "holds," and one "strong sell." On the charts, the shares last week logged their lowest weekly close since June 2011, compounding their 20% year-to-date deficit. In fact, GOLD has also lagged the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 32% during the past 60 sessions, pressured in part by concerns over potential supply disruptions in Mali. As a result of the equity's poor price action, its Relative Strength Index (RSI) now rests at 18 -- in oversold territory -- suggesting that the stock could be due for a short-term rebound. In fact, GOLD is up nearly 10% with today's positive note, bucking the broader-market downtrend.

Don't overreact to today's sell-off. Post-Easter Mondays are historically grim

  • Following news that AOL will sell more than 800 patents to Microsoft (MSFT), the stock has skyrocketed roughly 42% so far today. Plus, AOL received a few upbeat brokerage notes. Benchmark increased its price target by $10 to $28, but kept its middling "hold" rating, Miller Tabak upped its price target to $30, and Barclays hiked its target to $27 from $19. Technically speaking, the shares have climbed 22% in 2012. Should this uptrend continue, AOL could benefit from additional price-target hikes. Thomson Reuters places the average 12-month price target at $19.33, representing a discount to today's new annual peak of $26.69.

Apple (AAPL) was hit with a rare negative analyst note

  • Finally, TITN is benefiting after Baird lifted its rating to "outperform" from "neutral," and boosted its price target to $37 from $29. Zacks is reporting that the majority of analysts agree with Baird's upbeat opinion, as four out of five have doled out "strong buy" recommendations. Despite TITN's 25.7% year-to-date gain, though, a number of traders are betting against the positive momentum. Short interest jumped 13.6% over the past month, and now accounts for 9.2% of the security's available float. These bearish bets would take roughly eight days to unwind, at TITN's typical pace of trading. Currently, TITN is up 6.2%.


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