Analyst Update: Verastem Inc, Transocean LTD, and Seadrill Ltd

Analysts adjusted their ratings on Verastem Inc (NASDAQ:VSTM), Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), and Seadrill Ltd (NYSE:SDRL)

by Josh Selway

Published on Sep 28, 2015 at 2:09 PM

Analysts are weighing in today on cancer fighter Verastem Inc (NASDAQ:VSTM), as well as offshore drillers Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG) and Seadrill Ltd (NYSE:SDRL). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on VSTM, RIG, and SDRL.

  • VSTM is contributing to the Nasdaq's demise today. Shares of the drugmaker have fallen 72.5% to $1.56, after the company announced it would be putting an end to its study of its experimental mesothelioma drug. To put the equity's technical struggles into perspective, the shares were flirting with double digits this time last year. Elsewhere, Roth Capital lowered its opinion on Verastem Inc to "neutral" from "buy," while lowering its price target all the way to $2 from $23. More downgrades could be coming, too, since seven of eight brokerage firms say VSTM is a "strong buy."

  • RIG received an upgrade to "hold" from "sell" at Deutsche Bank, which also raised its price target by $4 to $10, but that hasn't helped the stock today. The shares are still 4.1% lower at $12.06. This is just more of the same for Transocean LTD, and options traders couldn't be happier. RIG's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio stands at 4.40, higher than three-fourths of readings taken in the last year. In other words, put buying has been more popular than normal in recent months. 

  • SDRL is also wasting some bullish attention from the Street, dropping 7.7% to $5.70, despite a price-target hike to $13 at Deutsche Bank. Over the past three months, the shares have trailed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by more than 34 percentage points, and earlier today hit a nearly seven-year low of $5.65. In the meantime, short sellers have emerged. Short interest on Seadrill Ltd increased by almost 28% during the two most recent reporting periods, and now represents almost a week's worth of buying power, at typical trading volumes. 

For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: Citigroup Inc, Facebook Inc, and J C Penney Company Inc and Analyst Downgrades: Caterpillar Inc., BlackBerry Ltd, and Micron Technology, Inc.


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