Analyst Upgrades: Pioneer Natural Resources, Oasis Petroleum Inc., and Outerwall Inc

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE:OAS), and Outerwall Inc (NASDAQ:OUTR)

by Josh Selway

Published on Mar 15, 2016 at 9:10 AM

Analysts are weighing in on oil-and-gas stocks Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) and Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE:OAS), as well as Redbox parent Outerwall Inc (NASDAQ:OUTR). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on PXD, OAS, and OUTR.

  • PXD has come on strong recently, gaining over 12% in March alone to trade at $135.39. The shares may have trouble maintaining this momentum today, as a steep sell-off in crude futures overshadows a price-target hike at Barclays to $129 from $115. Most analysts are already bullish on Pioneer Natural Resources, with 20 of 23 giving it at least a "buy" rating, and not a single "sell" to be found. This rosy outlook apparently isn't shared by speculators. For instance, more than two new puts have been purchased for every call during the past two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). 

  • Oil prices are weighing on OAS, too, with the shares set to drop 1.6% at the open, even though J.P. Morgan Securities raised its opinion on the stock to "overweight" from "neutral," while increasing its price target to $9 from $6. The shares were last seen at $7.20, up more than 111% from their Jan. 20 record low of $3.40. Such technical success has been just fine with speculators, who have seemingly positioned themselves bullishly. This is according to Oasis Petroleum Inc.'s Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio of 0.38, which ranks in just the 7th percentile of its annual range. 
  • OUTR has surged over 13% in pre-market trade, after the company announced it is exploring strategic alternatives. On top of this, Outerwall Inc doubled its quarterly dividend to 60 cents per share. Craig Hallum has since raised its priced target to $48. It's not surprising to see the company shake things up, considering the shares have continued to struggle since their bear gap in early December. Today's potential gains would have OUTR at a year-to-date high after settling at $34.39 on Monday, which could send more short sellers to the exits. Specifically, short interest fell on the stock by almost 17% during the last two reporting periods, but it would still take short sellers almost three weeks to cover their positions, at average daily volumes.
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