Capital One Can’t Hold Gains After Upgrade

Shares of Capital One (COF) opened up more than $1.00 this morning, were up more than $2.00 at one point, and now are unchanged after an upgrade to “buy” from Goldman Sachs today. Oftentimes an upgrade will keep a stock up throughout the day, even when the overall market tanks. Not today, though.

One reason might have to do with this Goldman analyst’s track record on COF stock. The analyst, Michael Hodes, last had a “buy” on Capital One more than 2 years ago. The stock began 2002 in the 50’s and fell to $30 per share by October of that year. Hodes pulled his “buy” rating at $30 and has held to that neutral opinion ever since.

Now trading at $75, Hodes upgraded the shares to “outperform” this morning. Goldman clients must be ecstatic. If analyst ratings were supposed to tell investors how the stock has done in the past, then Hodes’ new rating would make sense, as the stock has indeed outperformed, rising 150% in the last 30 months. Too bad that’s not what he’s supposed to do.