Analyst Update: Boston Scientific, El Pollo Loco, Chevron

Analysts adjusted their ratings on Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX), El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc (LOCO), and Chevron Corporation (CVX)

Jan 5, 2015 at 1:13 PM
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Analysts are weighing in today on medical device issue Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE:BSX), quick-service restaurateur El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:LOCO), and oil giant Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX). Here's a quick look at today's brokerage notes on BSX, LOCO, and CVX.

  • BSX is 4.6% higher today due to bullish attention from J.P. Morgan Securities, which increased its price target to $17.50 from $14.50, and upgraded the stock to "overweight" from "neutral." The gap higher brings the security's 52-week gain to nearly 12%, with the stock last seen at $13.80. This may only be the beginning of Boston Scientific Corporation's run higher, considering the pessimism in its options pits. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), BSX's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.37 sits only 2 percentage points from an annual bearish peak. Simply stated, traders have rarely bought to open puts over calls at a faster rate in the past year. A shift in speculator sentiment could help the shares move even higher.

  • An upgrade from Baird to "outperform" from "neutral" has LOCO 5.4% higher today to trade at $21.35. This dose of optimism is surprising, considering the stock has underperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by over 48 percentage points during the last three months. Another potential contributing factor to the rally is the stock's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI), which registers at 27 -- in oversold territory -- suggesting LOCO may have been due for a short-term bounce regardless. Amid the equity's mostly poor performance of late, analysts have remained neutral toward El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc, with four out of five covering firms rating it a "hold."

  • CVX is just one of several energy stocks getting clobbered today, due to plummeting crude oil prices. The stock was last seen trading at $108.10, down 4%. Adding insult to injury was a $10 price-target cut to $115, and downgrade to "neutral" from "buy," at Citigroup -- which weighed in on a number of energy names. Chevron Corporation could also fall victim to an exodus of option bulls, as its 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 1.77 ranks in the 69th percentile of its annual range. However, this preference for calls over puts isn't being reflected today, as seven of CVX's 10 most active strikes are puts.

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