Stocks quoted in this article:
Analysts are weighing in today on wireless services provider Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S), mining issue Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX), and passenger airline JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ:JBLU). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.
- Despite last week's well-received earnings report, S was downgraded to "neutral" from "buy" at Guggenheim this morning, although the brokerage firm raised its price target to $7 from $6.50. The security has soared a whopping 202% during the past year, yet most of the covering analysts maintain a lukewarm opinion of Sprint Nextel Corporation. Only six have deemed the stock worthy of a "strong buy" endorsement, compared to 12 "holds" and two "strong sell" suggestions. Plus, the equity's average 12-month price target of $6.96 represents a discount to its current price of $7.12. This leaves plenty of room for future upgrades and/or price-target hikes, which could propel the shares higher.
- ABX was in the bearish spotlight again today, as HSBC slashed its price target to $29 from $43. Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) has surrendered more than 54% over the last 12 months and is presently priced at $18.55, yet the stock's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio sits at 4.93. In other words, traders have bought to open nearly five calls for every put during the past two weeks. This ratio is docked in the 86th annual percentile, meaning speculators have snapped up calls over puts at a faster pace just 14% of the time during the past year.
- JBLU -- which has climbed 21% year-to-date to linger in the $6.92 neighborhood -- was cut to "neutral" from "buy" at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch ahead of the opening bell. The equity has also bested the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by close to 13 percentage points during the past 60 sessions, yet bearish speculation has been heating up on JetBlue Airways Corporation lately. Short interest climbed by 4.6% during the last two reporting periods, and now represents a lofty 22% of the security's available float. In fact, it would take roughly nine days to unwind these pessimistic bets, at JBLU's average daily trading volume.