Analyst Upgrades: Barrick Gold Corporation, Transocean LTD, and Schlumberger Limited

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (ABX), Transocean LTD (RIG), and Schlumberger Limited (SLB)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Mar 1, 2016 at 9:46 AM

Analysts are weighing in on commodity stocks Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX) and Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), as well as Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on ABX, RIG, and SLB.

  • Deutsche Bank offered its two cents on a number of mining stocks this morning, and for ABX, that meant a price-target hike to $14.50 from $12. Out of the gate, the shares have slipped 0.9% at $13.77, though they've surged 133% since hitting a record low of $5.91 in late September. More positive analyst attention could be coming the way of Barrick Gold Corporation, as well. Of the 14 brokerage firms tracking the stock, nine rate it a "hold" or worse, leaving plenty of room for potential upgrades.

  • RIG is unchanged this morning at $8.66, despite an upgrade to "hold" from "sell" at Canaccord Genuity (though the brokerage also cut its price target to $8.50 from $10) and an upward price-target revision to $6.25 from $4.50 at Goldman Sachs. Separately, Moody's last night downgraded Transocean LTD's credit rating to B2 from BA2, while offering up a "stable" outlook. Technically speaking, the stock has had a brutal year, down 30% in 2016. Some of the selling pressure comes courtesy of short sellers. A lofty 38.6% of RIG's float is sold short, representing more than two weeks' worth of trading activity, at the stock's average daily volumes.

  • RBC upped its price target on SLB to $95 from $88, a 31% premium to its current perch at $72.37 -- up 0.9% in early trading. Shareholders are probably hoping the bullish brokerage note can get the stock over the proverbial hump, as it's been struggling to overcome resistance at its 120-moving average for the past couple weeks. On the other hand, most option traders probably want to see the trendline reject Schlumberger Limited, which has rallied sharply since hitting a three-year low of $59.60 in late January. Speculators at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have bought to open 2.69 SLB puts for each call during the last 10 days. The corresponding put/call volume ratio registers in the bearishly skewed 88th percentile of its annual range.
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