Stocks quoted in this article:
Analysts are weighing in today on aluminum producer Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA - 9.58), pharmaceutical firm Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT - 69.12), and home-accessories retailer Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY - 70.77). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.
- AA was downgraded to "hold" from "buy" at Jefferies today, which could exacerbate its year-over-year decline of more than 17%. Nevertheless, calls bought to open have more than doubled puts during the past month, according to the equity's 20-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 2.07. Meanwhile, the security's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 32% ranks higher than just 16% of all other readings taken during the past year, signaling that near-term options are relatively cheap right now.
- Despite a 52-week advance of nearly 33%, ABT was cut to "market perform" from "outperform" at Leerink Swann ahead of the open. On the options front, short-term calls nearly double puts right now, as reflected by the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.59. In fact, this ratio registers in only the 10th percentile of its annual range, indicating that near-term options players have rarely been more bullishly aligned toward the security during the last 12 months.
- As BBBY prepares to report quarterly earnings after tomorrow's close, the stock was lowered to "perform" from "outperform" at Oppenheimer this morning. Speculators seem to share the brokerage firm's lack of faith in the equity, as data from the ISE/CBOE/PHLX shows a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.35 for BBBY. In other words, traders have bought to open 135 puts for every 100 calls during the past few months. This ratio arrives in the 87th annual percentile, meaning options players have scooped up puts over calls at a faster pace just 13% of the time during the past year.