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Analysts are weighing in today on tech giant Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), online retailer Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and media mogul Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (USA) (NYSE:LGF). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.
- AAPL dropped 2.3% in yesterday's session to its current price of $494.64, amid the unveiling of its latest iPhone versions. As such, BofA-Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, and UBS all lowered their ratings for the stock to "neutral" from either "buy" or "outperform." (Meanwhile, AAPL saw its price target raised at Nomura, Lazard, and Raymond James.) Before yesterday's decline, AAPL -- which sits 25.1% lower on a year-over-year basis -- had been working to reverse its course on the charts, but has yet to make much headway north of the round-number $500 mark. Nevertheless, calls have been the options of choice among AAPL's short-term traders of late. The stock sports a Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.60, with calls nearly doubling puts among options expiring in three months or less. This ratio ranks lower than 73% of all other such readings taken over the past year, indicating short-term traders are more call-heavy than usual toward AAPL right now. Should yesterday's downturn continue to take its toll, this accumulation of call open interest -- particularly in the front-month series -- could end up translating into options-related resistance for Apple Inc. in the near term, as these bullish bets start to unwind.
- AMZN has climbed 4% in the last five days to trade at $300.36, as it prepares to launch its Kindle MatchBook next month. From a broader perspective, the stock has gained nearly 20% since the beginning of 2013. Still, Wedbush initiated a "neutral" rating and a price target of $330 for AMZN in pre-market action. Meanwhile, traders at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have been optimistic toward AMZN as of late, buying to open 132 calls for every 100 puts during the past two weeks. The resulting 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.32 ranks in the 97th percentile of its annual range, meaning Amazon.com, Inc. calls have been picked up over puts with more rapidity just 3% of the time during the last year.
- Cowen downgraded its rating for LGF to "market perform" from "outperform," following yesterday's news that Kevin Beggs had been promoted to chairman of the company. On the charts, LGF has been a technical standout, gaining a whopping 128.4% year-to-date, and outperforming the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 31.5 percentage points during the past three months. Elsewhere, the brokerage bunch holds a positive stance on LGF, which boasts nine "strong buy" endorsements, and not a single "hold" or worse suggestion. On the other hand, the stock's 12-month consensus price target of $37.90 is just a stone's throw away from its current price of $37.46, leaving the door wide open for a potential round of price-target hikes, which could offer additional upside for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (USA) shares.