Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Analyst Downgrades: Whole Foods Market, Coinstar, and Fifth Third Bancorp

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on WFM, CSTR, and FITB

by 2/19/2013 9:06 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on health food guru Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM - 88.12), automatic kiosk provider Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSTR - 53.53), and banking issue Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB - 16.05). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.

  • Down more than 3% in 2013, WFM received a price-target cut to $104 from $106 at Cantor Fitzgerald this morning. Nevertheless, data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows a 50-day call/put volume ratio of 1.12 for the equity, signaling calls bought to open have outstripped puts during the past 10 weeks. This ratio ranks higher than 76% of other such readings taken during the last 12 months, meaning speculators have been scooping up calls over puts at an accelerated clip.

  • Analysts at J.P. Morgan Securities downgraded CSTR to "underweight" from "neutral" today, which could chip away at the security's year-to-date gain of almost 3%. Meanwhile, bearish speculation on the stock continues to flourish, as short interest ramped up by more than 5% during the most recent reporting period. These pessimistic bets now account for a whopping 50% of CSTR's available float. In fact, it would take more than 12 sessions to cover these shorted shares, at the equity's average daily trading volume.

  • Although FITB sports a year-over-year gain of more than 16%, the stock was lowered to "market perform" from "outperform" at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods ahead of the open. This downbeat outlook is present in the short-term options pits, as well. FITB's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) checks in at 1.57, conveying puts outpace calls among the front three-months' series of options. This ratio ranks in the 100th percentile of its annual range, implying near-term options players are more bearishly biased toward the security now than at any other time during the past year.

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