Underperforming Oil Stock Downgraded Despite Crude Strength

COG has had a difficult year on the charts

Managing Editor
May 10, 2018 at 9:57 AM
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Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE:COG) is trading lower this morning, after receiving a downgrade to "underperform" from "buy" and a price-target cut to $27 from $33 at BofA-Merrill Lynch. This bear note comes just days after crude pushed to fresh highs above the $70-per-barrel mark, mostly due to President Donald Trump's decision to pull the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal.

The shares so far today are down 1.4% at $22.78. COG has already fallen 23% from its November two-year high of $29.57, and the oil concern continues to struggle to break above the 50-day moving average, which has acted as a stiff ceiling in recent months. Technical traders may also note how the stock topped out just below an intersection of the 50-day and 200-day moving averages -- known as a "death cross" -- back in mid-March.

COG stock price

As such, more negative analyst attention could be in store for COG, with the stock's average 12-month price-target coming in at $29.63 --- an almost 30% premium to current levels. Further, of the 19 brokerage firms following the stock, 13 sport "strong buy" recommendations, leaving the door wide open for more downgrades.

Elsewhere, data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows the security with a 10-day call/put volume ratio of 25.22, ranking in the 76th annual percentile. This suggests calls have been purchased over puts at a much faster-than-usual clip during the past two weeks.

Echoing this, the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.10 ranks in the low 1st percentile of its annual range. This suggests that speculative players have rarely been more heavily skewed toward calls over puts, looking at options that expire in the next three months.


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