Analyst Update: BlackBerry, Cliffs Natural, Verizon

Analysts adjusted their ratings on BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY), Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (CLF), and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)

Jan 21, 2015 at 12:11 PM
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Analysts are weighing in today on smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), commodities concern Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF), and telecommunications giant Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ). Here's a quick look at today's brokerage notes on BBRY, CLF, and VZ.

  • Despite offering a bearish view on BBRY's fourth-quarter revenue outlook, RBC spoke positively about the stock's future, saying it "may recognize better device units" and "higher software bookings" beyond this quarter. Today, the equity is 1.4% higher at $10.18, but remains 5.6% lower year-over-year. In recent months, BlackBerry Ltd has been trending higher atop support at its 200-day moving average. If BBRY does gain additional ground on the charts, there's plenty of cash on the sideline to provide a boost. Nearly one-quarter of the security's float is sold short, and would take over eight sessions to buy back, at BBRY's average daily pace of trading.

  • CLF is up 1.3% at $8.57, after Brean Capital raised its price target to $6 from $5, but kept its "sell" rating. The security has struggled on the charts, dropping close to 60% in the last 52 weeks. Still, speculators have been staying upbeat. Cliffs Natural Resources Inc's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 1.36 ranks in the 72nd percentile of its annual range, showing a healthier-than-normal appetite for calls over a puts. Yet, with over half of CLF's float sold short, the recent surge in call buying could be the work of short sellers hedging their bets.

  • After being cut to "equal weight" from "overweight" at Barclays, VZ is down 0.4% at $47.98. In the past three months, Verizon Communications Inc. has underperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX), and option bears have stepped up in response. At the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, the equity's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.80 ranks in its 80th annual percentile. Conversely, the brokerage bunch remains mostly bullish, with 75% of analysts rating the security a "buy" or better. VZ will present fourth-quarter earnings before the bell tomorrow.

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