Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Sankey has upgraded his rating on shares of Delek US Holdings to 'buy' from 'hold' and hiked his price target to $40 from $30. Sankey, who also upgraded other refining plays, has grown more bullish on the company given the excess supply of light sweet crude. Investor sentiment toward refiners has swung in recent weeks, with Delek (Ticker: DK) popping 30 percent in the past month.
Over at Sidoti, analysts have begun covering shares of AmSurg with a 'neutral' rating and a price target of $48, about $2 above the company's Monday open. AmSurg (Ticker: AMSG) has risen 6 percent in the past month and is up more than 50 percent in 2013.
The board of directors of Delek US Holdings has approved a fourth special dividend of 2013, which will lift the company's total payouts for the year to $1.05. Chairman, President and CEO Uzi Yemin points out that the company has been able to juggle many corporate finance priorities, which raises the question: What might investors do once (or if) the special dividends dry up?
On Thursday, Delek shares (Ticker: DK) fell 1.5 percent to $28.74. They are still up almost 15 percent in 2013 and have nearly tripled over the past two years.
Avondale Partners analyst Mark Montagna has begun covering shares of local home goods retailer Kirkland's with an 'outperform' rating. He sees the stock (Ticker: KIRK) climbing to $23 from its current level of $18. If it gets there, it'll be the highest level for Kirkland's since the spring of 2010.
Goldman Sachs has upgraded Delek US Holdings to 'buy' from 'neutral' and thinks the stock (Ticker: DK) can just about get back to the $40 level it reached early this year as the refining sector's fundamentals begin to improve. "The core driver of our bullish MidCon call is that domestic light oil spreads will have to remain wide as incremental 'shale' oil production saturates the Gulf Coast. Given the geographic positioning of its refining system, Delek is well positioned to take advantage of our corresponding forecast for wider Brent-WTI crude oil spreads," the firm's analysts wrote.
Peter Benedict at Robert W. Baird says Tractor Supply is still a "top idea" ahead of the company's third-quarter earnings report Wednesday. Benedict says his recent research showed that demand for the Brentwood-based retailer's products remains strong and gross margins continue to improve. He reiterated his 'outperform' rating and $70 target for the stock (Ticker: TSCO), which closed Monday at almost $69.
It looks like a number of investors have decided that the steady decline in Delek US Holdings has gone on long enough even if the margins of the company and its peers will continue to struggle. Shares of the Brentwood-based oil refiner and marketer (Ticker: DK) are up more than 9 percent in Thursday afternoon trading. The big move up, which has come on above-average but not crazy big volume — may have been helped by some analysts reiterating their 'buy' ratings — albeit while lowering their price targets — but it's clear the bulls have some work to do: Delek's 50-day moving average (red in the chart below) is still $3 away.
Barclays Capital analyst Paul Cheng has taken a big bite out of his price target for Delek US Holdings shares, going to $38 from $48, but keeping his 'overweight' rating. Delek (Ticker: DK) has given up half of its value since March — after a huge early-year run — and closed Wednesday near $20.
Delek US Holdings investors will late next month get their eighth special dividend in less than three and a half years as the company continues to accumulate more cash than it can deploy. The latest payout of 10 cents per share, which is for shareholders of record Oct. 8, is the same as three months ago. Delek US shares (Ticker: DK) ended last week at $21.23 and are down about 16 percent so far this year.
Add another name to the list of people not at all upbeat about the prospects for shares of Delek US Holdings and its peers. Ben Brownlow at Raymond James has trimmed his price target for Brentwood-based Delek to $30 from $34. Delek (Ticker: DK), which peaked above $41 in the spring, has since slid all the way below $23. Similarly, Brownlow's peers at Deutsche see no improvement soon in the profitability of refiners, who have seen margins shrink as the gap between the prices of U.S. oil and the global Brent crude benchmark has narrowed.
[W]e hope for lower equity prices and 20%+ upside to our price targets before refining upgrades. We are not there yet. We are prepared to wait, as global oil markets have become weakened by super-high oil prices and demand may be too damaged to allow for a strong winter for refining.