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Analysts are weighing in today on department store chain J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), business referral site Angie's List Inc (NASDAQ:ANGI), and grocery chain Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.
- Nomura began coverage on JCP with a "reduce" rating, after the retailer announced Chief Financial Officer Ken Hannah will step down on March 24. Since the turn of the year, J.C. Penney Company, Inc. has plunged almost 35% to trade at $5.96, so it comes as no surprise short interest ramped up 37.2% over the last two reporting periods, and now accounts for a whopping 73% of the stock's float. This is equivalent to nearly one week's worth of pent-up buying demand, at the equity's average daily volume.
- ANGI's fourth-quarter earnings miss and current-quarter revenue guidance led a group of brokerage firms to downwardly adjust their positions on the stock. Included in the mix were Raymond James and Stifel, which lowered their ratings to "market perform" from "strong buy," and to "hold" from "buy," respectively. Ahead of last night's scheduled announcement, Angie's List Inc boasted 10 "buy" or better endorsements, four "holds," and not a single "sell" or worse suggestion. Plus, its average 12-month price target of $22.97 represents expected upside to the stock's current price of $13.64 -- right out of today's gate, the shares have already plunged 20.3%.
- WFM also received multiple bearish brokerage notes, after once again lowering its 2014 earnings forecast. This includes Barclays and Sterne Agee, which cut their price targets to $50 from $54, and to $60 from $61, respectively, overnight. Furthermore, following last night's quarterly event, Whole Foods Market, Inc. extended its year-to-date loss to 11.7% to trade at $51.25. Meanwhile, the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.58 is just 2 percentage points from a 12-month low, indicating short-term speculators have rarely been more call-heavy toward the stock as they are now.