Baird raised its price target on LINN Energy (LINE) to reflect the increased merger potential over the last two days. The firm cited the company's acquisition of Permian Basin assets yesterday which increased the value proposition offered to Berry Petroleum (BRY) shareholders. Shares of LINN remain Outperform rated.
As the facts and outlook change, estimates and price targets have to change. The analysts are at the mercy of what the companies share (and their own analysis, which in the case of the Utica is hard to come by) as well as the whims of commodity prices. While analysts naturally have a bias to be positive so that their I-bank can garner business from the issuers, their analysis CAN provide a benefit to institutional and retail investors. I have no idea if Ethan is better than average or worse than average - but if RLP wants to put price targets on these E&Ps and let us track their accuracy over the span of years and business cycles, we welcome it. It's not an easy task to make your call and put it out there for the world to see. And just because he's been WAY off on EVEP doesn't mean his thinking is delusional today on LINE or any other issue.