Notable Downgrades: Clearwater Paper Corp. (CLW), DryShips, Inc. (DRYS), Benefitfocus, Inc. (BNFT), Costco Wholesale (COST)

Clearwater Paper Corporation (CLW) lost $13.69 to $60.07 in mid-day trading today. Approximately 1.22M shares have already changed hands, compared to the stock’s average daily volume of 122.57K shares. The name was downgraded to ‘Sector Perform’ from ‘Outperform’ at RBC Capital Markets. Price target is set to $79. CLW shares are currently priced at 11.62x this year’s forecasted earnings, which makes them inexpensive compared to the industry’s 12.87x earnings multiple. Ticker has a forward P/E of 10.72 and t-12 price-to-sales ratio of 0.73. EPS for the same period is $5.17.

In the past 52 weeks, shares of the Spokane, Washington-based firm have traded between a low of $58.46 and a high of $75.69 and are now at $60.07. Shares are up 28.88%, year-over-year and 7.60% year-to-date.

DryShips, Inc. (DRYS) was downgraded by Nordea from a ‘Buy’ rating to a ‘Sell’ rating in a research note issued on Thursday. DRYS shares recently gained 1c to $1.04. In the past 52 weeks, shares of Athens, Greece-based company, which provides ocean transportation services for drybulk and petroleum cargoes, and offshore drilling services, have traded between a low of $0.76 and a high of $4.37. Shares are down 66.88% year-over-year, and 2.83% year-to-date.

Shares of Benefitfocus, Inc. (BNFT) were downgraded to ‘Sector Perform’ rating from ‘Outperform’ at RBC Capital on Thursday, citing increased competition as reason for the downgrade. Price target was lowered to $26 from $42 implying 38% downside. In the past 52 weeks, BNFT shares have traded between a low of $20.82 and a high of $72.69 with the 50-day MA and 200-day MA located at $28.53 and $29.66 levels, respectively. Additionally, shares of Benefitfocus trade at a P/E ratio of -0.76 and have a Relative Strength Index (RSI) and MACD indicator of 32.05 and -1.17, respectively.

BNFT currently prints a one year loss of 62.47%, and a year-to-date loss of around 25%.

Analysts at Deutsche Bank (DB) are out with a report this morning downgrading shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) with a ‘Hold’ from ‘Buy’ rating. Price target was cut to $142 from $147. On valuation-measures, shares of Costco have a trailing-12 and forward P/E of 31.05 and 26.30, respectively. P/E to growth ratio is 2.92, while t-12 profit margin is 1.86%. EPS registers at 4.81. The company has a market cap of $65.78B and a median Wall Street price target of $149.00 with a high target of $165.00.

On trading-measure, COST has a beta of 0.83 and a short float of 0.87%. In the past 52 weeks, Costco shares have traded between a low of $110.36 and a high of $156.85 with its 50-day MA and 200-day MA located at $142.70 and $131.84 levels, respectively.

COST currently prints a one year return of about 42.21%, and a year-to-date return of around 10%.

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