Analyst Downgrades: Peabody Energy, Barrick Gold

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on Peabody Energy Corporation (BTU), Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (ABX), and Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX)

Mar 10, 2015 at 9:36 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on commodity concerns Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU), Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX), and Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on BTU, ABX, and FCX.

  • Jefferies -- which weighed in on several commodity stocks -- cut its price target on BTU to $6, while lowering its outlook to a "hold." The shares have lost well over half their value in the past 52 weeks, yet many analysts have stayed in the bulls' corner. Specifically, seven out of 16 covering brokerage firms still rate Peabody Energy Corporation a "buy" or better. Should the security continue its downtrend, a round of additional analyst downgrades could be on the horizon. BTU was last seen 3.3% lower at $6.14, following oil into the red.

  • ABX is lower out of the gate, dropping 0.6% to $10.73, after Jefferies cut its price target to $12. Analysts on the Street have made their doubts loud and clear, with 88% of covering brokerage firms rating the shares a "hold" or worse. Year-over-year, Barrick Gold Corporation has struggled -- along with many of its peers -- dropping over 45%, and speculators have been picking up puts in the meantime. The equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) sits at 0.90, higher than 89% of all such readings from the past year, meaning short-term options traders are more put-skewed than normal.

  • FCX is another victim of Jefferies, as the stock saw its price target reduced to $27 by the brokerage firm. The security is 2.8% lower today at $19.07, steepening its 18.4% year-to-date decline. It's no surprise, then, to see options traders buying to open puts at a faster-than-normal rate. Freeport-McMoRan Inc's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 0.85 ranks in the 79th percentile of its annual range.

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