Troubles Mount For Equifax Stock; Hertz Hit With Downgrade

Morgan Stanley expects HTZ stock to pullback after its recent rally

Managing Editor
Sep 14, 2017 at 10:11 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on car rental specialist Hertz Global Holdings, Inc (NYSE:HTZ), credit bureau Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX), and healthcare stock Opko Health Inc. (NASDAQ:OPK). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on shares of HTZ, EFX, and OPK.

Hertz Stock Pulls Back After Morgan Stanley Note

Hertz Global Holdings is reeling, down 9.5% to trade at $21.66, after Morgan Stanley downgraded the rental car stock to "underweight" from "equal weight," explaining "investor expectations may be too high" following a recent surge. The brokerage firm also raised its price target to $14 from $12, though this remains well below current trading levels.

It's been an inspiring rally for HTZ stock, which has tacked on a whopping 154% since its June 21 eight-year low low of $8.52. Part of this upside is likely due to a recent round of short covering, with short interest down 14.9% in the most recent reporting period.

Embattled EFX Stock at Risk for Downgrades

The bad news keeps coming for Equifax. EFX shares are currently down 8.7% to trade at $90.42, fresh off a new two-year low of $90.12, after Barclays and J.P. Morgan Securities cut their price targets to $115 and $135, respectively. Probes into the massive data breach are growing, and Equifax CEO Richard Smith's apology in USA Today on Tuesday did little to satisfy U.S. senators, who helped spark an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Smith will testify in front of a House of Representatives panel on Tuesday, Oct. 3.

EFX stock has shed nearly 35% since the news of the data breach broke last Friday, but analyst sentiment remains overwhelmingly positive for now. Of the 14 brokerages covering EFX, 11 rate the stock a "buy" or better. This means that there is plenty of room for downgrades to pour in, which could send Equifax stock even lower.

Analyst Downgrade Sinks Opko Health Stock

Opko Health shares are down 5.1% to trade at $6.14, after J.P. Morgan Securities downgraded the pharma stock to "neutral" from "overweight," while also reducing its price target to $7 from $12. OPK stock has shed 34% year-to-date and fell to a four-year low of $5.85 on Aug. 17. The shares remain heavily shorted, too. The 77.82 million shares sold short represents a lofty 23.2% of OPK's total available float.

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