Analyst Downgrades: Ford, Las Vegas Sands, Talisman Energy

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on F, LVS, and TLM

Dec 15, 2014 at 9:25 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on automaker Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), casino concern Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), and oil-and-gas issue Talisman Energy Inc. (USA) (NYSE:TLM). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on F, LVS, and TLM.

  • Deutsche Bank slapped F with a downgrade to "hold" from "buy," sending the shares lower ahead of the bell. It's been a rough ride for F, with the shares off 17.3% from their late-July three-year peak of $18.12. What's more, the equity's 10- and 20-day moving averages are on the verge of forming a bearish cross. Should Ford Motor Company continue to struggle, an additional round of downwardly revised brokerage notes could be on the horizon. Currently, half of the 14 analysts covering the shares maintain a "buy" or better rating. Plus, the consensus 12-month price target of $17.21 stands at a nearly 15% premium to Friday's closing price of $14.99.

  • Stifel cut its price target on LVS to $75 from $80, but reiterated its upbeat "buy" rating. On the technical front, the stock was pressured lower by broad-market headwinds last week, shedding 6.5% on a week-over-week basis to settle at $55.35 on Friday. As such, LVS' 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) is docked at 32 -- near oversold territory -- suggesting a near-term bounce may be in the cards. Additionally, the stock's front-month gamma-weighted Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 2.34 indicates near-the-money put open interest more than doubles call open interest among December-dated options. This could create a short-term floor for Las Vegas Sands Corp., as the hedges related to these bets unwind ahead of this Friday's close, when the series expires.

  • TLM is ready to rally 22% out of the gate, as confirmation the company is in takeover talks with Repsol SA overshadows the stock's price-target cut to $5.50 at Goldman Sachs. Repsol's board of directors will meet later today to vote on moving forward with the bid. It's been a terrible year for Talisman Energy Inc. (USA) (NYSE:TLM), which is staring at a 63.2% deficit to churn at $4.29. Not surprisingly, option traders have been taking the bearish route in recent months. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), for example, TLM's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.39 ranks in the 96th percentile of its annual range. Simply stated, puts have been bought to open over calls with more rapidity just 4% of the time within the past year.

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