Analyst Update: Harley-Davidson Inc, Tronox Ltd, and Alphabet Inc

Analysts adjusted their ratings and price targets on Harley-Davidson Inc (HOG), Tronox Ltd (TROX), and Alphabet Inc (GOOGL)

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Apr 6, 2016 at 1:41 PM

Analysts are weighing in on motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG), specialty chemical stock Tronox Ltd (NYSE:TROX), and Google parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on HOG, TROX, and GOOGL.

  • HOG is 7.2% lower at $46.26 after ITG Investment Research cut its first-quarter unit sales outlook by 3% on evidence that retail sales trends weakened last month, as well as a loss in market share. Harley-Davidson Inc is now testing support at its 100-day moving average, a trendline that hasn't been breached on a closing basis in over a month. Meanwhile, option traders have been busy picking up long HOG calls, and if the shares extend their slide, a capitulation among these bulls could accelerate the downward momentum. Elsewhere, analysts have been wary -- 12 out of 18 currently rate the stock a "hold" or "strong sell." Short interest also remains elevated, accounting for 12.7% of HOG's available float, or over two weeks' worth of trading, at the equity's average daily volume.
  • UBS downgraded TROX to a "sell" rating, sending the shares down 4.3% to $6.50. Explaining the bearish note, the brokerage firm cited weak titanium dioxide prices, which have "no meaningful recovery in sight." The chemical stock has been on a steady downtrend since mid-2014, but broke out above resistance at its 50-day moving average in late February, rallying sharply since then -- today's losses notwithstanding. Short sellers may be cheering today's price action. While these bearish bets fell nearly 14% during the last two reporting periods, they still account for over 17% of TROX's available float. At Tronox Ltd's typical pace of trading, it would take seven days to cover these positions.
  • GOOGL is up 0.6% at $762.97 after UBS raised its price target on the stock to $880 from $875 -- a 15% premium to the shares' current value, and well into record-high territory. Still, this target falls well shy of the average 12-month price target on Alphabet Inc, which currently sits at $926.38. Likewise, 94% of analysts maintain "buy" or better ratings on the stock. But option traders have been betting against GOOGL more than usual of late. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the security's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.74 is higher than nearly three-fourths of the past year's readings. And option buyers could be getting a great deal at the moment -- GOOGL's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 19% is perched at an annual low, meaning short-term options are pricing in very low volatility expectations.
For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: Apple Inc., Sarepta Therapeutics Inc, and Gilead Sciences, Inc. and Analyst Downgrades: Wells Fargo & Co, Cree, Inc., and First Solar, Inc.

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