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Analysts are weighing in today on financial firm Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC), biotech company Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB), and food and beverage concern Dean Foods Co (NYSE:DF). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.
- WFC -- which sports a 52-week gain of about 30% -- was downgraded to "underweight" from "neutral" at Atlantic Equities this morning. Nevertheless, sentiment among the brokerage bunch remains bullishly skewed. Wells Fargo & Co currently boasts 12 "strong buys" and three "buy" endorsements, compared to nine "holds" and one "strong sell" suggestion. Still, the security's average 12-month price target of $41.26 is just a stone's throw away from yesterday's closing price of $40.66. In other words, a round of upgrades and/or price-target hikes could be on the horizon for WFC.
- Despite a year-to-date climb of more than 52% to trade at $223.03, BIIB was cut to "neutral" from "buy" at Citigroup in pre-market action. (However, Brean Capital raised its price target for the stock to $268 from $219.) Elsewhere, Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) for Biogen Idec Inc. checks in at 0.57, indicating calls almost double puts among options slated to expire in the next three months. This ratio hovers just 1 percentage point above an annual nadir, conveying near-term traders have rarely been more bullishly aligned toward the stock during the last 12 months.
- DF was lowered to "market perform" from "outperform" at Bernstein today, which could chip away at the equity's 2013 advance of about 32%. Meanwhile, Dean Foods -- presently priced at $10.14 -- has been popular with the bears. The stock's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio sits at 3.11, indicating puts bought to open have more than tripled calls during the past two weeks. This ratio arrives in the 90th annual percentile, signaling speculators have been snapping up puts over calls at a much faster-than-usual clip.