Analyst Update: Seagate Technology PLC, 3D Systems Corporation, and Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc.

Analysts revised their ratings and price targets on Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX), 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD), and Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTEN)

by Karee Venema

Published on Apr 15, 2016 at 2:11 PM

Analysts are weighing in on data storage specialist Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX), 3-D printing firm 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD), and energy stock Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTEN). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on STX, DDD, and PTEN.

  • STX is off 4.9% at $25.76, after Argus downgraded the stock to "hold" from "buy." Today's decline has the shares down 22.4% week-to-date -- thanks to a dismal forecast -- and on track to log the worst weekly performance of any S&P 500 Index (SPX) stock. Longer term, STX has surrendered more than half of its value year-over-year. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), meanwhile, Seagate Technology PLC's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.31 ranks in the 71st annual percentile. In other words, puts have been bought to open over calls at a faster-than-usual clip.

  • Yesterday, DDD surged 10% on a strong outlook from BofA-Merrill Lynch. Today, the shares have plunged 7% to $17, after Citigroup -- which also chimed in on one of DDD's sector peers -- lowered its rating to "sell" (while boosting its price target to $15 from $10). Specifically, the brokerage firm said a possible takeover by HP Inc (NYSE:HPQ) seems "highly unlikely," and that optimism over the firm's new CEO is already priced in the shares. In fact, year-to-date, shares of 3D Systems Corporation have roughly doubled, yet short-term speculators have shown a distinct preference for puts over calls. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.96 sits just 2 percentage points from a 52-week peak.

  • J.P. Morgan Securities cut its rating on PTEN to "underweight" from "neutral," sending the shares down 4.1% to $17.50. Additionally, skepticism ahead of a big meeting of global oil producers is weighing on energy stocks -- overshadowing a report from Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE:BHI) that showed domestic rig counts dropped for a fourth straight week, and are currently at their lowest level since November 2009. Today's negative price action runs counter to PTEN's longer-term trajectory, though, with the stock up 60% from its Jan. 20 six-year low of $10.94. Should the stock resume its uptrend, short sellers could start to jump ship. Short interest accounts for 14.4% of Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc.'s available float, or more than a week's worth of pent-up buying demand, at the average pace of trading.
For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, JetBlue Airways Corporation, and Micron Technology, Inc. and Analyst Downgrades: American Airlines Group Inc, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc, and Stratasys, Ltd.

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