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Analysts have reduced their opinions of Finnish telecom name Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK), upscale athletic-apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica inc (NASDAQ:LULU), and oil giant Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.
- Nokia Corporation (ADR) remains elevated, after a 31.3% gap higher last Tuesday following reports of its high-profile deal with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). On a year-over-year basis, meanwhile, the telecom name has gained more than 103% to trade at $5.37. Despite these developments, the analyst community remains skeptical. This morning, Danske Bank lowered its rating on NOK to "sell" from "buy," and reduced its price target to 3.90 euros from 4 euros. From a broader perspective, just two of the 20 analysts following NOK rate it a "buy" or better, leaving 18 tepid "hold" designations. Also, the consensus 12-month price target of $4.95 sits below the stock's current price.
- Down 9% in 2013 to trade at $69.49, Lululemon Athletica inc. was swatted with a downgrade today, as Janney dropped its fair-value estimation on the shares to $79 from $87, while maintaining a "buy" rating on the stock. Elsewhere, bearish investors have been adding to their positions over the last couple of months. Currently, almost 16% of the equity's float has been sold short. At LULU's average daily trading volume, it would take roughly 12 days to cover these bearish bets. Should the stock reverse course, short sellers could begin to move toward the exits. LULU is due to report second-quarter earnings on Thursday morning, with analysts expecting per-share profits of 35 cents (four cents below last year's results).
- Wells Fargo lowered its opinion of Halliburton Company to "market perform" from "outperform" this morning, even as the stock has gained roughly 43% in 2013 to rest at $49.54. Over the short term, options buyers have been notably skeptical toward the oil-drilling name, as well. For the last 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the put/call volume ratio stands at 1.30, indicating that long puts have been scooped up at a faster pace than long calls. Additionally, the ratio ranks in the 72nd annual percentile, pointing to above-average demand for puts.