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Analysts are weighing in today on financial firms Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), plus China-based Internet issue Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd (NYSE:QIHU). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.
- C -- which has shed almost 14% from its Jan. 9 five-year high of $55.28 to trade at $47.57 -- received a price-target cut to $50 at SocGen this morning. Meanwhile, the average 12-month price target among covering analysts stands at $58.35, denoting a 22.7% premium to the shares' current price. Ratings-wise, Citigroup Inc maintains 15 "buy" or better endorsements, compared to five "holds" and one "strong sell" suggestion.
- GS saw its price target dropped to $133 from $136 at SocGen this morning, following last week's report on more potential layoffs within the financial firm's fixed-income trading business. On the options front, speculators have upped the bearish ante on Goldman Sachs Group Inc -- which has lost 9.8% year-to-date to trade at $159.81 -- and have bought to open puts, relative to calls, at a faster-than-usual clip during the past two weeks. This is evidenced by GS' 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 0.89, which ranks higher than 82% of similar readings from the past year.
- Nomura slashed its price target on QIHU to $113 from $125, despite last week's stronger-than-expected showing in the earnings confessional. Perhaps the brokerage firm is wary of the stock's three-month decline of 16.2% to $91.83. Elsewhere, short interest on Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd climbed 37.9% during the last two reporting periods, bringing the total number of shares sold short to 5.5 million. This accounts for almost 7% of QIHU's available float.