Analyst Upgrades: Barrick Gold Corporation, Freeport-McMoRan Inc, and DuPont

Analysts upwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (ABX), Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX), and DuPont (DD)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Oct 3, 2016 at 9:17 AM

Analysts are weighing in on mining stocks Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX) and Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX), as well as industrial conglomerate DuPont (NYSE:DD). Here's a quick roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on ABX, FCX, and DD.

  • ABX saw its rating raised to "buy" from "hold" at Deutsche Bank. Such enthusiasm from the brokerage crowd is relatively rare, considering 12 of 15 analysts rate the shares a "hold" or a "strong sell" -- leaving plenty of room for additional upgrades. By no means is today's show of positivity unwarranted. In fact, Barrick Gold Corporation has surged 140% year-to-date to trade at $17.72, and is pointed another 0.5% higher ahead of the open. Meanwhile, it remains a great time to purchase premium on short-term options, considering ABX's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 41% ranks in the low 5th percentile of its annual range.

  • FCX also was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at Deutsche Bank, sending the shares 2.2% higher pre-market, relative to Friday's settlement at $10.86. This comes despite a labor dispute that's broken out at the mining firm's Papua, Indonesia, copper mine. On the charts, Freeport-McMoRan Inc has been chopping mostly between $10-$13 since mid-April, but remains over 60% higher on a year-to-date basis. If today's boost materializes and helps FCX break out of its sideways pattern, additional upgrades are a definite possibility. After all, 10 of 13 analysts consider the long-term outperformer either a "hold" or a "strong sell." Then again, the stock has historically struggled during the fourth quarter, so late-year gains are far from guaranteed.

  • Citigroup raised its opinion of DD to "buy" from "neutral," and bumped its price target up to $76 from $72. However, the European Union (EU) is resuming its probe into the $130 billion merger between DuPont and Dow Chemical Co (NYSE:DOW). Amid the mixed news, DD shares have managed a 1.4% gain ahead of the open. Longer term, though, the stock is more or less flat in 2016, at $66.97. On the sentiment front, short sellers recently rushed the equity. By the numbers, short interest spiked nearly 46% during the last two reporting periods to 14.5 million shares, which would take more than a week to cover, at DD's typical trading rate.
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