Analyst Update: Schlumberger Limited, Halliburton Company, and Five Below Inc

Analysts adjusted their ratings on Schlumberger Limited (SLB), Halliburton Company (HAL), and Five Below Inc (FIVE)

by Mark Fightmaster

Published on Sep 3, 2015 at 1:38 PM

Analysts chimed in on oil companies Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB) and Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL), as well as teen-centric retailer Five Below Inc (NASDAQ:FIVE). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on SLB, HAL, and FIVE.

  • SLB is 1% higher this afternoon, trading at $76.18, after receiving an upgrade from Citigroup. The brokerage upped Schlumberger Limited to "buy" from "neutral," but lowered its price target to $87 from $93. HSBC also hit the firm with a price-target cut to $96 from $101, keeping a "buy" rating. Technically, the stock has shed 20% since hitting its year-to-date high of $95.13 in late April. Despite the struggles, analysts maintain a bullish view of the oilfield operator, as 20 of the 28 tracking the firm rate it a "buy" or better (with 19 of those rankings checking in as "strong buys"). Bearish brokerage notes (like the one from late last month) from this bullish bunch could push the stock lower.

  • HAL was also a target of HSBC's trek through the oil patch, receiving an upgrade to "buy" from "hold." The brokerage firm also cut Halliburton Company's target price to $44 from $45, and at last check, the stock was down 0.6% at $37.95. Like its oil brethren SLB, HAL has had a rough go technically. Since hitting a record high of $74.33 in July 2014, the shares plunged 49%. Options players remain undeterred though, adding calls at a rapid pace. As a result of the bullish activity, HAL's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.45 ranks lower than 98% of the readings taken during the past year. If this optimism unwinds, the stock could drill to further lows.
  • FIVE is more than 9% lower at $34.54 this afternoon -- and on track for its worst day since Jan. 15 -- after Credit Suisse cut the retailer's target price to $39 from $40 with an "outperform" rating. Additionally, RBC cut Five Below Inc's price target to $46 from $48 and Deutsche Bank lowered the firm to $42 from $44 in response to the company's second-quarter results. Specifically, Credit Suisse cited concern over FIVE's ability to drive traffic, while Deutsche Bank said, "Investor frustration continues to build on management falling short of top-line expectations, leading to questions on credibility and inconsistent product excitement." While the stock continues to test support in the $34 region, analysts maintain a bullish outlook. At last check, 8 of the 12 following FIVE rate it a "buy" or better. Downgrades from this group could put serious strain on any potential support. 
For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: eBay Inc, Lululemon Athletica inc., and Lannett Company, Inc. and Analyst Downgrades: Twitter Inc, Verint Systems Inc., and Ambarella Inc.

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