Notable Downgrades: American Express (AXP), Gold Fields (GFI), Vascular Biogenics (VBLT), Transocean Ltd. (RIG), Freescale (FSL)

Analysts at Guggenheim downgraded shares of American Express Company (AXP) from ‘Buy’ to ‘Neutral’ in a research report issued to clients on Tuesday. The move comes on a big volume too with the issue currently trading 11 million shares, which dwarfs the average volume of 5.5 million.

On valuation measures, AXP is trading at a forward P/E multiple of 13.35x, and at a multiple of 14.09x this year’s estimated earnings.

The T-twelve-month revenue at AMEX is $32.25B. AXP ‘s ROE for the same period is 29.07%.

Shares of the $80.53B market cap company are down 11.18% year-over-year, and 15.83% year-to-date.

AXP, currently with a median Wall Street price target of $89.00 and a high target of $107.00, rose $0.20 to $78.28 in recent trading.

The chart below shows where the equity has traded over the past 52-weeks.

Gold Fields Ltd. (GFI) was downgraded from ‘Sector Perform’ to ‘Sector Underperform’.

Shares have traded today between $4.41 and $4.65 with the price of the stock fluctuating between $3.09 to 6.01 over the last 52 weeks.

Gold Fields Ltd. shares are currently changing hands at 260.88x this year’s forecasted earnings, compared to the industry’s -5.29x earnings multiple. Ticker has a t-12 price/sales ratio of 1.30. EPS for the same period registers at $0.02.

Shares of GFI have lost $0.40 to $4.43 in mid-day trading on Tuesday, giving it a market cap of roughly $3.43B. The stock traded as high as $6.01 in Feb 2, 2015.

JMP Securities reported on Tuesday that they have lowered their rating for Vascular Biogenics Ltd. (VBLT) following news that the company’s phase 2 studies of VB-201 in patients with psoriasis and Ulcerative Colitis did not meet primary endpoints. Biogenics said it does not plan to continue development of VB-201 in these indications. The firm has downgraded VBLT from ‘Market Outperform’ to ‘Market Perform’ .

Vascular Biogenics Ltd. recently traded at $5.07, a loss of $9.04, or 63.64%, over Friday’s closing price. The name has a current market capitalization of $100.88M.

Transocean Ltd. (RIG) had its rating lowered to ‘Sell’ by analysts at Deutsche Bank (DB) on Tuesday. The firm increased its 12-month base case estimate to $16 from $6.00. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate RIG a ‘Buy’, 13 analysts rate it a ‘Sell’, and 16 rate it a ‘Hold’.

RIG was down 6c at $18.99 in mid-day trade, moving within a 52-week range of $14.50 to $46.12. The name, valued at $6.88B, opened at $18.75.

On valuation measures, Transocean Ltd. shares are currently priced at 8.91x this year’s forecasted earnings. Ticker has a t-12 price/sales ratio of 0.73. EPS for the same period registers at ($2.61).

As for passive income investors, the firm pays stockholders $3.00 per share annually in dividends, yielding 15.70%.

Freescale Semiconductor, Ltd. (FSL) was downgraded by RBC Capital Markets from an ‘Outperform’ rating to a ‘Sector Perform’ rating in a research report issued to clients on Tuesday. They currently have a $33 price objective on the stock.

FSL closed at $37.53 on Friday and is currently trading down 2.98%.

In the past 52 weeks, shares of the provider of embedded processors have traded between a low of $15.29 and a high of $38.94 and are now trading at $36.35. Shares are up 79.40% year-over-year, and 48.75% year-to-date.

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