Analyst Update: Peabody Energy, Fleetmatics, First Solar

Analysts adjusted their ratings on Peabody Energy Corporation (BTU), FleetMatics Group PLC (FLTX), and First Solar, Inc. (FSLR)

Feb 25, 2015 at 12:04 PM
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Analysts are weighing in today on coal issue Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU), fleet management software developer FleetMatics Group PLC (NYSE:FLTX), and alternative energy concern First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR). Here's a quick look at today's brokerage notes on BTU, FLTX, and FSLR.

  • This morning, Deutsche Bank cut its price target on BTU by $1 to $9 while reiterating a "hold" assessment, prompting the shares to fall about 0.9% to hit $7.77. Looking back, Peabody Energy Corporation has been struggling, with the shares down nearly 54.2% year-over-year. What's more, the equity hit a decade-plus low of $5.91 on Jan. 28. The brokerage bunch is still divided on BTU, with six covering analysts calling the stock a "buy" or better, versus eight "holds" and only one "strong sell." Additionally, the stock's consensus 12-month price target of $10.06 stands at a 30.6% premium to current trading levels, leaving plenty of room for a round of analyst downgrades and/or price-target cuts to create headwinds.

  • Last night, FLTX released an impressive fourth-quarter earnings report and announced it is acquiring Ornicar SAS, a rival fleet management solutions provider based in France. In response, RBC raised its price target on the security to $45 from $42 while underscoring an "outperform" rating, boosting the shares to an annual high of $42.05 before settling at $40.92 for a 7.9% gain so far on the day. Year-to-date, FleetMatics Group PLC has advanced 15.3%. Accordingly, calls are popular in the stock's options pits, as its Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.43 sits in the 11th percentile of its annual range, showing that short-term traders have rarely been more call-skewed over the past year. However, over 22% of FLTX's available float is sold short, which would take nearly 24 sessions to cover, at average trading volumes.

  • This week, FSLR announced a partnership with competitor SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) and released an earnings report that highlighted impressive fourth-quarter growth, but predicted disappointing sales results for the current quarter. Reacting to the news were no fewer than four brokerage firms, which all raised their price targets on the equity. Specifically, the most dramatic increases came from Baird and Needham, which lifted their price targets to $69 and $75, respectively, with both reiterating the equivalent of a "buy" rating. On the charts, First Solar, Inc. has been on a tear in 2015, with the shares up 5.7% this afternoon to reach $57.79, for a 29.5% year-to-date gain. FSLR calls are slightly more popular than usual in the options pits, as its 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 2.00 sits in the 56th percentile of its annual range.

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