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Analysts are weighing in today on tech issue Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS), discount retailer Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO), and oncology concern Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.
- CTXS has fallen 11.6% right out of the gate, after the tech issue announced weaker-than-expected earnings guidance for the third quarter. Meanwhile, Jefferies slashed its price target for the stock by $6 to $78, and J.P. Morgan Securities removed the company from its conviction buy list. Moreover, Mizuho, Cowen, Barclays, Susquehanna, FBN, Stifel Nicolaus, and CLSA jumped on the bearish bandwagon, also cutting their price targets on CTXS. On the technical front, the tech concern -- down 3% year-over-year -- is relatively flat for 2013 heading into today's session, yet the stock maintains 15 "buy" or better endorsements, compared to seven "holds" and just one "strong sell" suggestion. Plus the average 12-month price target of $78.55 towers over Citrix Systems, Inc.'s current price of $58.74, leaving the door wide open for more downgrades and/or price-target cuts, which could send the stock further south. CTXS is slated to report earnings after the close on Oct. 23.
- Although FDO's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings rose by 26%, the discount retailer yesterday reported weaker-than-expected comparable-store sales, and gave a cautious view for the new fiscal year. As such, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs lowered their price targets for the stock to $76 from $77, and to $67 from $70, respectively. Meanwhile, Canaccord Genuity, BMO, and Wedbush raised their respective price targets. On the charts, Family Dollar Stores, Inc. has tacked on 14% in the last six months to perch at $68.90, yet short interest -- accounting for 7.8% of the stock's available float -- represents more than a week's worth of pent-up buying demand. In other words, FDO could end up benefiting from a short-squeeze scenario.
- After the FDA placed a partial hold on ARIA's cancer drug trials, the stock plummeted 66% yesterday, spurring a boatload of bearish brokerage notes. This morning, Barclays lowered its rating on the stock to "underweight" from "overweight," and sliced its price target to $4 from $25. Furthermore, ARIA also received downgrades and price-target cuts from JMP Securities, Oppenheimer, William Blair, Stifel Nicolaus, Guggenheim, and Leerink Swann. Not surprisingly, the equity has shed an additional 2.2% this morning to trade at $5.70. Before yesterday's technical blowout, short-term options activity was call-skewed, as ARIA sports a Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.55. This ratio ranks lower than 69% of other such readings taken over the past year, indicating short-term traders are more call-heavy than usual toward Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. right now. An unwinding of these bullish bets could end up serving as options-related resistance in the near term.