Analyst Update: Schlumberger Limited, Halliburton Company, and Apache Corporation

Analysts adjusted their ratings and price targets on Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB), Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL), and Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA)

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Apr 8, 2016 at 3:17 PM

Analysts are weighing in on oil-and-gas stocks Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB)Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL), and Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA), as oil prices catch fire. Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on SLB, HAL, and APA.

  • SLB is 2.6% higher at $73.87, after Nomura initiated coverage on the stock with a "buy" rating and SocGen raised its price target to $90 from $77 -- territory not charted since mid-2015. Schlumberger Limited has been on the mend since touching a three-year low of $59.60 in January, and has brought its year-to-date gain to 6%. Short interest on the security has been slowly falling, but still represents 6.5 times SLB's average daily volume. And at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), long puts have significantly outpaced long calls over the past 50 sessions, indicating plenty of pessimism that could still unravel as the stock moves higher with oil.
  • HAL also received a fresh "buy" rating from Nomura and a price-target hike to $42 from $36 at SocGen, while Jefferies raised its target on the stock to $43. Halliburton Company has been trading higher all day, on news that its deal with Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI) may be blocked, and was last seen up 3.8% at $37.63 -- on pace to topple its 200-day moving average for the first time since October 2014. The stock has added 7% this week, likely to the delight of option bulls. The equity's 10-day call/put volume ratio at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX ranks higher than 95% of the past year's readings, at 3.14. 
  • Wells Fargo upgraded APA to "outperform" from "market perform," boosting the shares 3.3% to $50.82. Apache Corporation is up 14% in 2016, but could stand to benefit from more bullish attention from the brokerage bunch. Of the 16 analysts following APA, 12 currently call it a "hold" or "sell." The equity recently bucked its trend as a post-Easter buy, but the shares have outperformed the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by nearly 32 percentage points over the last three months. What's more, APA has spent the five weeks firmly above a foothold at its 200-day moving average.
For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: Exxon Mobil Corporation, Freeport-McMoRan Inc, and Yamana Gold Inc. and Analyst Downgrades: United States Steel Corporation, LinkedIn Corp, and Baker Hughes Incorporated.

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