Chesapeake upgraded to Buy from Underperform at Sterne Agee CRT Sterne Agee CRT upgraded Chesapeake (CHK) two notches to Buy from Underperform and increased its price target to $13 from $9. The firm said shares are now oversold and the "short" call is now crowded. Sterne Agee CRT said management is working to mitigate the near-term liquidity drain and is aggressively pursuing alternatives to keep pipeline counter-party Williams Companies (WMB) whole on its contract, which could reset shares higher. The firm said the focus should be on Chesapeake's absolute liquidity and raised estimates to reflect slightly improved NGL fundamentals. Sterne Agee CRT recommends trading oriented accounts cover shorts and go long as any catalyst may drive a short squeeze rally in shares.
Chesapeake options active as share trend lower Chesapeake July 11 and 12 puts are active on total put volume of 59K contracts (43K puts). July call option implied volatility is at 42, August is at 44; compared to its 52-week range of 23 to 68. Active put volume suggests traders taking positions for large price movement.
Chesapeake downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS UBS analyst William Featherston downgraded Chesapeake Energy (CHK) to Sell after his firm cut its long-term normalized natural gas price forecast to $4.00 from $4.50. Featherston thinks Chesapeake carries "far too much financial leverage" and he views the shares as expensive relative to peers. The analyst cut his price target for the stock to $11 from $16. Shares of the natural gas producer closed yesterday down 22c to $11.56. Featherston coupled the downgrade with an upgrade of Marathon Oil (MRO) to Buy.