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Analysts are weighing in today on IT concerns F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV) and Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR), plus toy maker Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.
- Northland Securities began coverage on FFIV with a "market perform" rating and a price target of $113 this morning. Year-to-date, F5 Networks, Inc. has tacked on 17.7% to trade at $106.97, and in the options pits, the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.46 ranks just 2 percentage points from a 12-month low. In other words, short-term option players have rarely been more call-heavy toward FFIV than they are right now. However, considering short interest represents a week's worth of pent-up buying demand, at the stock's average daily trading volume, it's possible that some of the out-of-the-money calls may have been purchased as hedges by the shorts.
- Northland also initiated a "market perform" rating and a price target of $26 for JNPR, following this week's news of the company's cost-cutting plans. While JNPR shares are up 18.7% so far this year to trade at $26.80, short interest shot up a brow-raising 107.1% during the latest reporting period, and now accounts for 9.3% of the stock's float. As such, Juniper Networks, Inc. may end up benefiting from short-covering activity, should the shares continue to head north.
- HAS -- which is up only 1.4% on a year-to-date basis to trade at $55.77 -- received a downgrade to "hold" from "buy" at Needham this morning. In the options pits, Hasbro, Inc. has received bearish attention, as well. The equity's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 6.81 ranks 3 percentage points from a 12-month peak, demonstrating HAS puts have been bought to open over calls at a near-annual-high rate during the past two weeks.