Analyst Update: AOL, Inc., Caterpillar Inc., and LinkedIn Corp

Analysts adjusted their ratings on AOL, CAT, and LNKD

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Oct 22, 2014 at 1:42 PM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Analysts are weighing in today on Internet issue AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL), construction equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), and professional networking site LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD). Here's a quick look at today's brokerage notes on AOL, CAT, and LNKD.

  • AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) has advanced 1.6% to trade at $41.38, following an upgrade to "buy" from "equal weight" at Evercore Partners. Nevertheless, the stock remains down 11.2% year-to-date. On the sentiment front, options traders have been drawn to puts over calls in recent weeks. Specifically, AOL's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 2.30 ranks in the bearishly skewed 93rd percentile of its annual range.

  • Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), by contrast, has stumbled to a 1% loss at $94.90, bringing its year-to-date gain down to 4.5%. Spurring the move lower was data showing a 10% year-over-year drop in global retail sales, and a subsequent price-target cut to $104 from $109 at UBS, which also reiterated its "neutral" assessment of the equity. From a wider perspective, most brokerage firms are similarly skeptical toward CAT. Specifically, 11 of the 17 analysts following the stock have doled out "hold" ratings. Looking ahead, CAT will step up to the earnings plate bright and early tomorrow.

  • LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) -- which will report earnings next Thursday evening -- is off 2.6% this afternoon to churn near the round-number $200 level. This, despite a price-target hike to $265 from $258 at Macquarie, which underscored its "outperform" opinion, as well. Today's move lower is likely being cheered in the options pits. During the past 10 weeks at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, LNKD has racked up a put/call volume ratio of 1.03, which sits just 2 percentage points from a 12-month high. In other words, speculators have been buying to open bearish bets over bullish at a near-extreme rate.

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