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Analysts are weighing in today on health care services provider UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH), offshore drilling concern Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG), and software designer Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.
- Citigroup downgraded UNH to "neutral" from "buy" ahead of the company's first-quarter earnings report tomorrow morning. In the options pits, meanwhile, short-term speculators have been more call-heavy than usual toward UnitedHealth Group Inc. -- which is up just 5.6% in 2014 to trade at $79.51. This is evidenced by the fact that the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.61 ranks in the bottom quartile of its 12-month range.
- RIG -- which has shed about 16% since the start of the year to trade at $41.49 -- saw its price target dropped to $36 and $39 from $40 at Bernstein and UBS, respectively, this morning. Short interest on the stock climbed 29.3% during the past two reporting periods, and now accounts for 13.3% of RIG's available float. At the shares' average pace of trading, it would take more than eight sessions to cover these bearish bets.
- Baird downwardly adjusted its position on nearly a dozen tech stocks this morning, including ADSK, which received a $4 price-target cut to $56 from the brokerage firm. Autodesk, Inc. -- which is sitting about 7% below its year-to-date breakeven level to trade at $46.82 -- sports a SOIR of 0.36, which ranks just 4 percentage points from a 12-month low. In other words, call open interest (relative to put open interest) is nearing annual-high levels among options expiring within the next three months.