Analyst Downgrades: Yelp Inc., Las Vegas Sands Corp., and Chevron Corporation

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP), Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), and Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX)

by Karee Venema

Published on May 18, 2015 at 9:24 AM
Updated on May 18, 2015 at 9:33 AM

Analysts are weighing in on business review name Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP), casino concern Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), and oil-and-gas issue Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on YELP, LVS, and CVX.

  • Piper Jaffray downgraded YELP to "neutral" from "overweight," and hacked its price target on the shares to $46 from $70 -- sending the stock almost 2% lower in electronic trading. Technically speaking, the security has been in a long-term downtrend, shedding 46% since hitting an annual high of $86.88 in early September. Ushering YELP lower has been its 80- and 120-day moving averages -- the latter of which quickly rejected the stock's M&A inspired rally earlier this month. Should the shares continue to struggle, another round of bearish brokerage notes could be on the horizon. More than half of analysts covering Yelp Inc maintain a "buy" or better rating, while the average 12-month price target of $54.73 stands at a 16.7% premium to Friday's close at $46.89. Meanwhile, YELP is slated to host its annual shareholders meeting this Wednesday.
  • Goldman Sachs weighed in on a number of casino names today, and for LVS, this meant a downgrade to "neutral" from "buy" and a price-target cut to $52 from $60. The stock has been losing ground on the charts for some time now -- most recently due to disappointing earnings from one of its sector peers -- down more than 30% year-over-year to trade at $50.97. In the options pits, speculators have shown a preference for puts over calls among options set to expire in three months or less. Specifically, Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.60 ranks in the 92nd percentile of its annual range.
  • The energy sector is also in Goldman Sachs' crosshairs today, with the brokerage firm slashing its rating on CVX to "sell" from "neutral." In addition, the analysts reduced their price target to $99 from $111. As such, the shares are trading lower ahead of the bell, and are on track to test their 80-day moving average -- a trendline that has served as support since mid-April. Since topping out at a record peak of $135.10 last July, CVX has surrendered 20%, and closed last week at $108.03. Option traders, in the meantime, have been gambling on more downside in recent weeks. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Chevron Corporation's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.15 rests higher than 64% of all similar readings taken in the past year.

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