Analyst Downgrades: Barrick Gold Corporation, Delta Air Lines, Inc., and La Quinta Holdings Inc

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX), Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL), and La Quinta Holdings Inc (NYSE:LQ)

by Karee Venema

Published on Sep 18, 2015 at 9:45 AM

Analysts are weighing in on commodities concern Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX), airline issue Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL), and hotel operator La Quinta Holdings Inc (NYSE:LQ). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on ABX, DAL, and LQ.

  • Despite a price-target cut to $8 from $10, ABX is up 1% at $6.87 -- as gold trades higher in the wake of the Fed's latest policy decision. Longer term, the shares have struggled, shedding roughly 36% of their value year-to-date -- and hitting a nearly 26-year low of $5.95 one week ago. Nevertheless, option traders have kept the faith, and at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), ABX's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 6.63 ranks in the 83rd annual percentile. Simply stated, Barrick Gold Corporation calls have been bought to open over puts at a faster-than-usual clip in recent months.

  • Wolfe Research lowered its price target on DAL to $54 from $58, sending the shares down 1.4% to $46.83. Technically speaking, it's been a lackluster year for DAL, which has struggled against the $48 mark for the majority of 2015. Should the shares continue to stare up at this nagging layer of resistance, another round of bearish brokerage notes could come down the pike. Currently, all 13 analysts covering Delta Air Lines, Inc. maintain a "buy" or "strong buy" recommendation. Plus, the average 12-month price target of $59.87 stands at a 28% premium to DAL's present price, and sits in territory yet to be charted.

  • LQ has plunged 13.3% out of the gate to $16.45, and earlier touched a new record low of $15.69, after the company said its CEO is hitting the bricks, and offered up a dismal outlook. What's more, the shares were slapped with a downgrade to "neutral" from "buy" at both Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Securities, with the brokerage firms also lowering their price targets. Additionally, JMP Securities and Stifel also reduced their target prices to $23 and $21, respectively. Heading into today's trading, La Quinta Holdings Inc was already staring at a 14% year-to-date deficit, and option traders have been rolling the dice on more downside. In fact, the equity's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 11.34 sits just 5 percentage points from a 52-week peak.

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