Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Downgrades: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Texas Instruments, and Peabody Energy

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on AAPL, TXN, and BTU

by 12/17/2012 9:16 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Analysts are weighing in today on tech behemoth Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL - 509.79), semiconductor stock Texas Instruments Incorporated (NASDAQ:TXN - 30.80), and coal miner Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE:BTU - 27.68). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.

  • AAPL was hit with another wave of bearish analyst attention this morning. Specifically, Citigroup downgraded the equity to "neutral" from "buy" and hacked its price target by $100 to $575, while Canaccord Genuity and BMO also issued downward price-target adjustments. Despite a recent pullback, the stock has gained nearly 34% on a year-over-year basis, which could explain the bevy of bullish holdouts. AAPL's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.68 indicates near-term calls easily outstrip puts. This ratio arrives in the 16th annual percentile, meaning traders have rarely been more call-heavy toward the stock during the past year.

  • Down more than 1% in pre-market action, TXN was cut to "underperform" from "neutral" at Stern Agee, with the negative note chipping away at the security's year-to-date advance of about 6%. Meanwhile, the stock's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio sits at 1.20, signaling puts bought to open have outstripped calls during the past few months. This ratio ranks higher than 71% of other such readings taken within the past year, denoting a stronger-than-usual preference for puts over calls.

  • BTU saw its price target reduced to $33 from $34 at FBR today, after the company warned of weaker-than-anticipated fiscal first-quarter sales on Friday. The equity has shed more than 16% in 2012 alone, yet most of the covering analysts maintain high hopes for BTU. The stock boasts 11 "strong buys" and one "buy" endorsement, compared to four "holds" and two "sell" suggestions. What's more, Thomson Reuters shows an average 12-month price target of $33.86 for the security, representing a 22% premium to Friday's closing price of $27.68.

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