Timna Tanners, an analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, has downgraded shares of Noranda Aluminum Holding to 'neutral' from 'buy' following publication of the company's Q1 results. Tanners also has lowered her price target to $5 from $8, saying there are no catalysts for a turnaround at Franklin-based Noranda, which she says sports a "stretched balance sheet" and "may need to take greater steps to preserve cash."
The already-struggling shares of Noranda Aluminum Holding were being crushed Monday after a Citi analyst cut his rating and price target on the stock and investors took down most things related to commodities on fears that global growth is again slowing. Citi analyst Brian Yu lowered his opinion of Noranda to 'neutral' from 'buy' and now has a price target of $4.50, down from $7. At about 2:20 p.m., Noranda shares (Ticker: NOR) were off more than 8 percent to about $3.60.
On a related note, Delek US Holdings (Ticker: DK) were down 7 percent as investors also sold off oil refiners, many of which have run up big time so far this year.
Louisiana-Pacific shares also were giving up a significant ground Monday after a National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index showed that home builders' optimism fell this month to its lowest level since October. In addition to complaints about material costs and getting the loans they need to build, builders are now showing some concern about consumer demand, the report said. That stung LP (Ticker: LPX) to the tune of almost 9 percent on volume that will more than triple the stock's daily average.
Noranda Aluminum has completed a pair of debt transactions that will enable it to pay off $275 million of debt that would have matured in 2015. The company's new debt is split into $175 million of notes and the addition of $110 million to its existing term loan.
Noranda Aluminum has priced the offering of unsecured notes it announced last month, although executives are having to be content with selling just $175 million instead of the $225 million they had aimed for. To make up for that, the company has increased the size of a new term loan it wants to $110 million from $60 million. On top of that, the rate that the new 2019 debt will carry is 11 percent, more than double that of the floating-rate notes it is replacing. Shares of Noranda (Ticker: NOR) dove below $5 last week and are now changing hands at record lows.
Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Joe France has lifted his price target for shares of hospital chain Vanguard Health Systems to $18 from $17. He has reiterated his 'buy' rating on the company, whose shares (Ticker: VHS) have climbed 40 percent over the past three months and are now changing hands around $14.70.
David Gagliano at Barclays Capital didn't do Noranda Aluminum shareholders any favors Thursday when he lowered his price target for the Franklin-based company to $7 from $8 following its Q4 report. Noranda (Ticker: NOR) shares gave up more than 11 percent Thursday but are recovering a bit this morning. In early trading, they were changing hands around $5.10.