Analyst Update: Agilent, F5 Networks, Icahn Enterprises

Analysts revised their ratings and price targets on Agilent Technologies Inc (NYSE:A), F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV), and Icahn Enterprises LP (NASDAQ:IEP)

May 17, 2016 at 1:55 PM
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Analysts are weighing in on diagnostics firm Agilent Technologies Inc (NYSE:A), software developer F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV), and investment firm Icahn Enterprises LP (NASDAQ:IEP). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on A, FFIV, and IEP.

  • last night posted better-than-expected fiscal second-quarter earnings and raised its full-year outlook, bringing in a fresh wave of bullish analyst attention. At least six brokerage firms raised their price targets, with Goldman Sachs, Leerink, and Jefferies all setting their marks at $51 -- territory not explored since 2000. This isn't out of the question for Agilent Technologies Inc, though, as the stock earlier hit a 15-year high of $45.34, and was last seen 2.8% higher at $44.14. All the while, bullish betting has been popular at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), with long calls nearly tripling puts during the past two weeks. 

  • FFIV is 1.9% lower at $105.27, following a downgrade to "sector weight" from "overweight" at Pacific Crest. This ho-hum rating is far from unusual, as 20 of 25 covering analysts call F5 Networks, Inc. a "hold." This likely has something to do with FFIV's 17.3% 12-month slide. Making matter worse, the stock seems to be struggling near its 200-day moving average

  • While Carl Icahn may be happy about to see his most recent investment trek higher, seeing Standard & Poor's downgrade IEP's credit rating to "junk" status can't be pleasing. Specifically, the ratings agency today reduced its grade on the holding company to BB+ from BBB-, citing declining investment values and higher leverage. That said, the shares were last seen 0.3% higher at $52.89, fighting back into the black after earlier losses. Year-over-year, though, Icahn Enterprises LP has fallen over 42%, prompting short-term speculators to take a put-skewed approach. Specifically, IEP's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 2.99 is an annual high. 

For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: Freeport-McMoRan Inc, Range Resources Corp., and Secureworks Corp and Analyst Downgrades: Abercrombie & Fitch Co., American Eagle Outfitters, and J C Penney Company Inc


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