Analyst Downgrades: Baidu, Yelp, and Chesapeake Energy

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on Baidu Inc (ADR) (BIDU), Yelp Inc (YELP), and Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK)

Jul 28, 2015 at 9:40 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on Beijing-based search engine Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU), business review site Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP), and oil-and-gas issue Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on BIDU, YELP, and CHK.

  • BIDU is smarting this morning, following an earnings miss, weak current-quarter guidance, and a resultant round of bearish analyst notes. Among the brokerages weighing in are Pacific Crest and Brean Capital -- which lowered their opinions to the equivalent of a "hold" from a "buy" -- and Piper Jaffray, which slashed its price target to $210 from $230. As such, Baidu Inc has plunged 13.5% at the open to trade at $171.25 -- a bigger-than-expected post-earnings move -- and skimmed a new annual low of $170.22. There's plenty more room for additional bearish attention, as 73% of analysts consider the stock a "strong buy," with not a single "sell" to be found. Similarly, BIDU's average 12-month price target of $242.96 represents a 42% premium to the current price.

  • YELP is down 2.5% in early trading at $32.92, ahead of tonight's earnings release. Expectations are low heading into the event, with short interest soaring 43.2% during the latest reporting period -- and now representing 17% of the equity's float. In addition, Yelp Inc's rating was downgraded to "hold" from "buy" at Deutsche Bank, which also slashed its price target to $33 from $56. Of course, the shares haven't given the Street many reasons to be confident. YELP has surrendered roughly 40% this year, and earlier touched a two-year low of $32.55.

  • Spiraling oil prices have crushed energy stocks, and CHK is no exception. Although the shares are 1.1% higher this morning at $8.48, they're down nearly 57% year-to-date, and hit a 12-year low of $8.11 yesterday. Earlier, Wunderlich weighed in on a number of energy names, including Chesapeake Energy Corporation -- reducing its price target to $13 from $24. Wunderlich isn't alone in its bearish assessment. Eighty-five percent of covering analysts have tagged CHK with a "hold" or worse opinion, while almost 30% of the stock's float is sold short -- representing nearly two weeks' worth of activity, at typical volumes.

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