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Analysts are weighing in today on data security specialist Imperva Inc. (NYSE:IMPV), plus IT companies International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) and NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.
- After forecasting a steeper first-quarter earnings loss, IMPV received a handful of bearish brokerage notes, including a downgrade to "perform" from "outperform" at Oppenheimer. Also, Deutsche Bank lowered its rating to "hold" from "buy," and cut its price target to $40 from $60. Subsequently, IMPV shares have plunged 38.3% out of today's gate to trade at $30.69, after first hitting a new annual-low of $30.27. Looking into Imperva Inc.'s short-term options pits, put open interest (relative to call open interest) is almost at an annual high. This is evidenced by the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.11, which ranks just 1 percentage point from a 12-month peak.
- Deutsche Bank began coverage on IBM with a "hold" rating and a price target of $200, which is just a stone's throw away from the shares' current price at $199.18. Elsewhere, 11 of the 15 covering analysts have already dished out "hold" suggestions on International Business Machines Corp., the shares of which are up just 5.6% year-to-date. Furthermore, the average 12-month price target of $192.50 denotes a slight discount to the shares' aforementioned perch. IBM is slated to report earnings on Wednesday, April 16, and this morning announced plans to acquire privately held software firm Silverpop.
- Deutsche Bank also initiated a "hold" rating on NTAP, along with a price target of $36. As such, the brokerage firm anticipates additional losses for the shares, which are currently down 8% year-to-date to trade at $37.81. Given its recent technical woes, short interest on NTAP climbed 80.9% during the last two reporting periods, and now accounts for 11.1 million shares. Still, only 3.4% of NetApp Inc.'s float is sold short, so more short-selling activity may be on the way.