Analyst Update: Garmin, HCA Holdings, Schlumberger

Analysts adjusted their ratings on Garmin Ltd. (GRMN), HCA Holdings Inc (HCA), and Schlumberger Limited (SLB)

Oct 15, 2015 at 1:41 PM
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Analysts are weighing in today on GPS firm Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:GRMN), healthcare concern HCA Holdings Inc (NYSE:HCA), and oil-and-gas company Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on GRMN, HCA, and SLB.

  • GRMN is down 14.3% this afternoon at $31.70, and earlier hit a multi-year low of $31.68, after providing disappointing preliminary third-quarter results. This news prompted a round of bearish notes on Garmin Ltd., including a Dougherty & Company downgrade tto "neutral" from "buy," a Citigroup price-target cut to $30 from $35, and an RBC price-target cut to $40 from $46. Technically, GRMN is on a direct path lower, having shed 44.5% since hitting its 2015 peak of $57.16 in February. While the stock slumps, option players have stocked up on calls. GRMN's 10-day call/put volume ratio on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) checks in at a hefty 12.00, which ranks in the 92nd annual percentile. Likewise, that ratio's 50-day counterpart sits at 3.56, in the 81st percentile. If today's news (or GRMN's final third-quarter results, scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 28) causes this bullish sentiment to unwind, the stock may be facing further losses.

  • HCA has dropped 6.3% to $71.25 today, after it followed GRMN's lead and disappointed Wall Street with its third-quarter earnings projections. Analysts climbed over each other to issue price target cuts; Bank of America/Merrill Lynch cut its target to $95 from $110, Jefferies lowered its target to $88 from $112, UBS dropped its target to $88 from $106, Oppenheimer sliced its target to $100 from $105, and Mizuho Securities dropped its target to $86 from $103. HCA Holdings Inc. has lost 25.4% since July's record high of $95.49, and is now at risk of ending the month below support at its 20-month moving average. Option players are bullishly aligned toward the hospital holding company, as its 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 7.36 ranks in the 92nd percentile of all other readings taken in the past year. Plus, analysts dish out 15 "strong buys" and two "buys" out of 20 total ratings. A capitulation in the option pits or downgrades could serve to push the shares lower. 

  • SLB is set to slip into the earnings confessional after the closing bell sounds today -- and it appears that some analysts wanted to get ahead of a potential disappointment. Following Tuesday's price-target cut, Baird yesterday cut Schlumberger Limited's price target to $99 from $105. And today, SocGen mirrored that move by cutting the oil-and-gas firm's price target to $90 from $104 -- but after three straight days of negative notes, the stock is 0.6% higher at $75.44 in reaction to this news. Analysts are bullishly aligned ahead of this afternoon's report, with 19 of the 27 tracking SLB rating it a "buy" or better. Should today's report disappoint, we could see a wave of downgrades push the stock lower. The options pits also hold further optimism, as SLB's 10-day call/put volume ratio on the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX checks in at 1.54, which ranks higher than 94% of comparable readings from the past year.
For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: Facebook Inc, Xilinx, Inc., and Nike Inc and Analyst Downgrades: Netflix, Inc., Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

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