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Upgrades, Downgrades, & Restructuring, Oh My!: Why Investors Are Buzzing About These 5 Stocks

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After three days of advances and new record highs, U.S stocks appear likely to take a breather today. After the short selloff triggered by the British referendum vote to ditch the European Union, stocks have rallied by roughly 7.5% and investors appear to be quite enthusiastic ahead of the earnings season. In this article we’ll take a look at five stocks that have traders in a tizzy today, for various reasons. We’ll also examine hedge fund sentiment towards these stocks, among the select group of hedge funds that we track in our database.

Hedge fund sentiment is an important metric for assessing long-term profitability. At Insider Monkey, we track over 765 hedge funds, whose quarterly 13F filings we analyze to determine their collective sentiment towards several thousand stocks. However, our research has shown that the best strategy is to follow hedge funds into their small-cap picks. This approach can allow monthly returns of nearly 95 basis points above the market, as we determined through extensive backtests covering the period between 1999 and 2012 (read more details here).

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Strong Air Traffic Growth for Jetblue

JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) is trending higher this morning, after the company presented preliminary traffic results for the month of June. The company said traffic increased by 11.6% compared to June 2015, while capacity jumped by 10.5% year-over-year. JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) also said that its preliminary revenue per available seat mile fell by approximately 4.5% year-over-year. Shares have opened 3.9% higher and are currently trading at $18.60 apiece. Hedge fund interest in JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU) decreased significantly during the first quarter, with the number of long positions in the stock held by funds in our system having dropped to 29 from 38 quarter-over-quarter.

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Tough Times Ahead for Metlife

Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) has been downgraded by analysts at Deutsche Bank, to ‘Hold’ from the previous ‘Buy’ rating. The firm said it sees “no short-term catalysts” and fears the low yield on Treasuries will have a negative impact. Analysts have also noted that Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET)’s plan to divest some of its U.S retail portfolio is “clear long-term positive,” but they believe this will not happen before the end of the year, so investors should not be expecting buybacks before 2017. Deutsche Bank has also reduced its price target to $44 per share, from the previous target of $47 per share. The stock opened lower and quickly started marching south, with it currently down by 1.5% from yesterday’s closing price.

Metlife Inc (NYSE:MET) received a boost in popularity among the funds in Insider Monkey’s database during the first quarter, with 50 of them having reported a stake in the company as of the end of March, up from 41 registered as of December 31.

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Head to the next page to read about two companies that face big changes in the near future as well as the latest on the jewelry and luxury goods industry.

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