Homebuilding Stocks Hit New Lows After Bear Note

TOL and PHM stocks both hit new lows out of the gate

Oct 18, 2018 at 9:53 AM
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The housing sector keeps disappointing, most recently evidenced by weak housing starts data yesterday. Meanwhile, shares of U.S. homebuilders continue to struggle, and this morning Toll Brothers Inc (NYSE:TOL) and PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM) are both in the red once again. Below is a quick look at how shares of TOL and PHM are trading.

TOL Stock Downtrend Continues

BofA-Merrill Lynch this morning weighed in on TOL stock by downgrading its rating to "neutral" from "buy" and cutting its price target to $38 from $47 -- though the brokerage firm did say it could see the makings of a recovery in U.S. homebuilding. Toll Brothers stock was last seen down 1.1% at $30.84, already hitting a fresh 52-week low of $30.23 as its months-long downtrend, which began after its January peak near $53, continues.

Meanwhile, options traders have preferred calls over puts by a wide margin. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows more than 1,900 calls were bought to open during the past 10 days, compared to just 435 puts.

PHM Shares Get Another Bear Note

BofA also lowered its rating on PHM stock to "neutral" from "buy" and dropped its price target by $4 to $28. As such, the shares are hitting fresh lows of their own, bottoming at $22.25 out of the gate, and were last seen down 1.6% at $22.46. Year-to-date, the equity has shed over 33%.

Most other analysts already positioned themselves bearishly on PulteGroup. There are 14 brokerage firms in coverage, and nine of them have "hold" or "strong sell" ratings. However, the average 12-month price target of $30.25 now represents a significant premium, so price-target cuts going forward are a possibility.

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