Analyst Downgrades: Barrick Gold Corporation (USA), Yahoo! Inc., and Yum! Brands, Inc.

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (ABX), Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO), and Yum! Brands, Inc. (YUM)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jul 15, 2015 at 9:42 AM
Updated on Jul 15, 2015 at 9:42 AM

Analysts are weighing in today on mining company Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX), Internet stock Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), and Pizza Hut parent Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on ABX, YHOO, and YUM.

  • ABX is off 0.5% this morning at $9.84, following a price-target cut to C$15.65 from C$15.75 at Haywood. This is business as usual for the shares, which have charted a steady path lower -- pressured by their 10-day moving average -- since mid-May. In fact, since touching its most recent peak of $13.60 on May 14, Barrick Gold Corporation has shed roughly 28%. Nevertheless, option traders are counting on a comeback. During the last 50 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), speculators have bought to open 7.62 calls for every put -- a ratio that ranks a mere 2 percentage points from a 12-month peak.

  • YHOO, which will report earnings after the close next Tuesday, July 21, received a price-target reduction to $50 from $59 at SunTrust Robinson. As such, the shares are down 0.6% out of the gate at $38.40, bringing their year-to-date deficit to 24%. Amid this prolonged downtrend, option traders have been upping the bearish ante. Yahoo! Inc.'s 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.50 outstrips all but 3% of readings taken in the past year. In other words, traders have been buying to open YHOO puts over calls at a breakneck pace.

  • In the wake of a poorly received earnings report, YUM saw its price target trimmed by $2 to $103 at J.P. Morgan Securities -- though this still represents all-time-high territory for the shares. Collectively, these developments have the stock off 2% out of the gate at $89.74 -- though this move is less than the market had priced into short-term options. Nevertheless, Yum! Brands, Inc. is still sitting on a year-to-date advance of more than 23%. Taking a step back, the brokerage bunch is fairly skeptical of the equity, with nearly 56% doling out tepid "hold" ratings. Also, YUM's consensus 12-month price target of $93.47 is just a chip-shot away from the stock's current perch.

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