Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Downgrades: Microsoft, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Cablevision

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on MSFT, BBBY, and CVC

by 12/20/2012 9:23 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on tech behemoth Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT - 27.31), home furnishings retailer Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY - 60.28), and cable TV provider Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC - 14.94). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.

  • MSFT -- which has trekked just 6% higher during the last 12 months -- saw its price target reduced to $30 from $32 at FBR this morning. Nevertheless, the equity is not short on bullish attention from the analyst crowd. MSFT boasts 16 "strong buys" and four "buy" endorsements, compared to 10 "holds," and not a single "sell" suggestion. What's more, Thomson Reuters shows an average 12-month price target of $34.84 for the security, which represents expected upside of roughly 28% to Wednesday's closing price of $27.31.

  • BBBY was slammed with bearish attention this morning, after reporting lackluster third-quarter sales and projecting weaker-than-expected current-quarter and full-year earnings. Credit Suisse slashed its price target to $75 from $91, while Canaccord Genuity, Barclays, J.P. Morgan, Raymond James, and Oppenheimer also issued downward price-target adjustments. Meanwhile, the equity -- which has climbed about 4% so far this year -- has been popular with short-term call players. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio of 0.87 ranks in the 30th annual percentile, reflecting a stronger-than-usual preference for near-term calls over puts.

  • Finally, CVC received a price-target cut to $15.50 from $18.50 at Guggenheim ahead of the open, which could chip away at the security's year-to-date gain of 5%. Elsewhere, call-buying activity has been running rampant on CVC. Data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows a 50-day call/put volume ratio of 10.30 for the equity, confirming traders have bought to open more than 10 calls for every put during the past 10 weeks. This ratio ranks higher than 75% of comparable readings taken within the past year, meaning speculators have been picking up calls over puts at an accelerated clip.

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