Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Downgrades: Bank of America Corp, Pfizer Inc., and VIVUS, Inc.

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on BAC, PFE, and VVUS

by 5/6/2014 9:43 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on financial powerhouse Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), plus biopharmaceutical concerns Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.

  • BAC -- which is down 16.8% from its March 21 multi-year high of $18.03 to trade at $15.00 -- received a price-target cut to $17 from $18 at Guggenheim this morning. Meanwhile, in Bank of America Corp's options pits, activity among short-term traders has been more call-biased than usual, per the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.62, which ranks lower than 83% of comparable readings from the past year. An extension of BAC's technical woes may lead these bullish bettors to hit the exits in the near term, which could create even more technical headwinds.

  • PFE -- which refuses to let up its pursuit of rival AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) -- saw its price target decreased to $34 from $36 at BMO today, following yesterday morning's first-quarter revenue miss. On the charts, Pfizer Inc. is down nearly 7% on a one-month basis to trade at $29.90; however, its options traders have been particularly bullish over the past two weeks. The stock's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 3.98 ranks in the 81st annual percentile, indicating calls have been bought to open over puts at a faster-than-usual pace recently.

  • Credit Suisse cut its price target on VVUS to $6 from $7, despite the company reporting a narrower-than-expected earnings loss for the first quarter last night. On the charts, however, VIVUS, Inc. seemingly deserves this morning's bearish brokerage note, as the stock has plunged almost 42% year-to-date to trade at $5.28. As such, short interest climbed 11.4% over the last two reporting periods, and now makes up 40.2% of the equity's available float. It would take close to two weeks to cover these bearish bets, at the shares' average pace of trading.

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