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Analysts are weighing in today on drug maker Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB - 152.57), online game provider Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA - 2.82), and health insurance firm Coventry Health Care, Inc. (NYSE:CVH - 42.66). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.
- With BIIB on deck to report quarterly earnings later this month, the stock was downgraded to "perform" from "outperform" at Oppenheimer ahead of the opening bell. The equity currently boasts a year-over-year advance of more than 53%, but that hasn't stopped near-term put players from converging on BIIB. The security's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) sits at 1.63, confirming that puts comfortably outnumber calls among options with a shelf life of three months or fewer. This ratio is docked in the 85th annual percentile, denoting a healthier-than-usual appetite for puts over calls.
- ZNGA was hit with a slew of bearish brokerage notes this morning, after the company slashed its full-year guidance yesterday. Specifically, Baird cut the security to "neutral" from "outperform" and lowered its price target to $3 from $6, while Piper Jaffray, Evercore Partners, Wedbush, Jefferies, BMO, and Macquarie issued downward price-target adjustments. ZNGA has shed a whopping 70% year-to-date, yet calls still outpace puts in the options pits. In fact, the equity's 20-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio sits at 4.41, signaling that calls bought to open have more than quadrupled puts during the past month.
- As CVH gears up to reveal third-quarter earnings toward the end of the month, Susquehanna cut the equity to "neutral" from "positive" in pre-market action. Although the stock has advanced by north of 50% during the past year -- and bested the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by roughly 24 percentage points over the past 60 sessions -- short-term puts are still in high demand. The security's SOIR checks in at 3.66, conveying that puts more than triple calls among the front three-months' series of options. This ratio is just four percentage points shy of an annual peak, meaning near-term traders have rarely been more put-heavy toward CVH during the past year.
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