Fund Manager Shorts Amazon Stock; Analysts Hammer Seagate Technology

Doug Kass is worried about government restrictions for Amazon growth

by Emma Gilkey |

Published on Jul 13, 2017 at 11:17 AM
Updated on Jul 20, 2017 at 8:56 AM

Analysts are weighing in on data storage company Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX), international online retailer Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and energy stock Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on shares of STX, AMZN, and MRO.

STX Stock Downgraded to 'Underweight'

Seagate's shares are down nearly 5.1% at $37.80, after Barclays downgraded the stock to "underweight" and cut its price target to $40 from $49. In addition, Morgan Stanley cut its price target to $37 from $40, and lowered its gross margin estimates for Seagate Technology in the fourth quarter and 2018. Since touching an annual high of $50.96 in late April, STX stock has dropped 26%, and is now back in negative year-to-date territory.

More than half of analysts following Seagate stock are already skeptical, carrying tepid "hold" or worse ratings. Likewise, short interest grew 19.2% in the past two reporting periods, and now represents nearly nine sessions' worth of pent-up buying demand, at STX's average price of trading.

Hedge Fund Manager Shorting AMZN Stock

Amazon stock is trading at $1,003.85, a 0.2% loss compared to yesterday's close. Hedge fund manager Doug Kass said he shorted AMZN stock at $1,007.50 yesterday afternoon, noting concerns about "the disruptive impact of Amazon's growth could lead to government restrictions affecting that growth." This comes just after Amazon unveiled solid Prime Day sales figures, and the announcement that it will acquire Whole Foods, which spooked the grocery sector in mid-June.

AMZN stock has been a beast, rallying more than 33% in 2017, and touching an all-time high of $1,017, in mid-June. An exodus of options bears could add fuel to the stock's fire, too. The equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.20 is higher than 86% of all others from the past year.

MRO Continues Rapid Decline

Marathon Oil shares are down 0.7% to trade at $11.35, after Jefferies cut its price target to $13. MRO stock sits on a year-to-date loss of 34%, and touched an annual low of $11.20 on June 28.

Despite shrinking oil prices and MRO's lackluster performance on the charts, nine of 23 analysts still offer up "strong buy" opinions. A round of downgrades could exacerbate selling pressure on Marathon Oil stock.

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