Earnings Season Highlights

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A collection of noteworthy post-earnings reactions
Published on May 18, 2015 at 9:24 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:51 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades

Analysts are weighing in on business review name Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP), casino concern Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), and oil-and-gas issue Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on YELP, LVS, and CVX.

  • Piper Jaffray downgraded YELP to "neutral" from "overweight," and hacked its price target on the shares to $46 from $70 -- sending the stock almost 2% lower in electronic trading. Technically speaking, the security has been in a long-term downtrend, shedding 46% since hitting an annual high of $86.88 in early September. Ushering YELP lower has been its 80- and 120-day moving averages -- the latter of which quickly rejected the stock's M&A inspired rally earlier this month. Should the shares continue to struggle, another round of bearish brokerage notes could be on the horizon. More than half of analysts covering Yelp Inc maintain a "buy" or better rating, while the average 12-month price target of $54.73 stands at a 16.7% premium to Friday's close at $46.89. Meanwhile, YELP is slated to host its annual shareholders meeting this Wednesday.
  • Goldman Sachs weighed in on a number of casino names today, and for LVS, this meant a downgrade to "neutral" from "buy" and a price-target cut to $52 from $60. The stock has been losing ground on the charts for some time now -- most recently due to disappointing earnings from one of its sector peers -- down more than 30% year-over-year to trade at $50.97. In the options pits, speculators have shown a preference for puts over calls among options set to expire in three months or less. Specifically, Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.60 ranks in the 92nd percentile of its annual range.
  • The energy sector is also in Goldman Sachs' crosshairs today, with the brokerage firm slashing its rating on CVX to "sell" from "neutral." In addition, the analysts reduced their price target to $99 from $111. As such, the shares are trading lower ahead of the bell, and are on track to test their 80-day moving average -- a trendline that has served as support since mid-April. Since topping out at a record peak of $135.10 last July, CVX has surrendered 20%, and closed last week at $108.03. Option traders, in the meantime, have been gambling on more downside in recent weeks. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Chevron Corporation's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.15 rests higher than 64% of all similar readings taken in the past year.
Published on May 19, 2015 at 9:44 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:51 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades

Analysts are weighing in on specialty retailer Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN), flooring firm Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc (NYSE:LL), and natural gas issue Oneok Partners LP (NYSE:OKS). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on URBN, LL, and OKS.

  • Unlike its last turn in the earnings confessional, URBN is down 15.4% out of the gate to $34.45, after the firm's dismal first-quarter earnings report was met with swift backlash from the brokerage bunch. J.P. Morgan Securities, for example, downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "overweight," and cut its price target to $34 from $50. Elsewhere, Oppenheimer reduced URBN to "perform" from "outperform," and lowered its target price to $35 from $44. Today's price move just echoes the equity's recent technical struggles, with URBN off 27% from its March 20 all-time high of $47.25. Option traders have kept the faith, though, and at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Urban Outfitters, Inc.'s 50-day call/put volume ratio of 3.09 ranks in the 72nd annual percentile.
  • It's been a volatile few months for LL, with the shares down almost 50% from their Feb. 26 close at $50.63. This may be what prompted Cantor Fitzgerald to cut its rating to "hold" from "buy," and slash its price target by $16 to $26 -- sending the shares 2% lower today to $25.56, and on pace for their lowest settlement since April 2012. There's still plenty of room on LL's bearish bandwagon, though. For starters, the equity's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 1.17 rests higher than 89% of all similar readings taken in the past year. Plus, Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc's consensus 12-month price target of $33.17 stands at a 30% premium to current trading levels. A shift in sentiment among option traders and/or additional price-target cuts could translate into extended losses down the road. Meanwhile, LL could see some additional volatility in tomorrow's session, with the firm slated to host its annual shareholders meeting.
  • Similar to Goldman Sachs yesterday, Deutsche Bank weighed in on a number of energy names this morning, and for OKS, this resulted in a "sell" initiation and a $38 price target -- a discount to the stock's current perch at $40.49. On the charts, the stock has been making a path lower in recent months -- off 32% from its Sept. 2 annual high of $59.67 -- thanks to pressure from its 120-day moving average. What's more, this trendline emerged as a stern layer of resistance during OKS' most recent rally attempts. In the options pits, short-term speculators are more call-heavy than usual, per Oneok Partners LP's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.39, which ranks in the 28th percentile of its annual range.

 

Published on May 15, 2015 at 9:27 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:50 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades
Analysts are weighing in today on semiconductor firm Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), coffee behemoth Keurig Green Mountain Inc (NASDAQ:GMCR), and Candy Crush parent King Digital Entertainment PLC (NYSE:KING). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on MU, GMCR, and KING. 

  • Nomura cut its price target on MU to $25 from $28 and reiterated its "neutral" rating, sending the shares 1% lower ahead of the bell. The price-target cut comes as little surprise, considering the shares of Micron Technology, Inc. are down 23.8% year-to-date to close Thursday at $26.69. Furthermore, the stock is trading well below its 80-day moving average, which has served as a ceiling for most of 2015. However, options traders have shown a preference for calls over puts lately; over the last 50 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), 2.63 MU calls have been bought to open for every put. The brokerage bunch is optimistic on the security as well, with roughly 81% of covering analysts rating it a "buy" or "strong buy." Should MU extend its slump, more bearish analyst attention could exacerbate selling pressure on the stock.
  • GMCR said its new cold brewing coffee machine, "Keurig Kold," will not be released in all of its retail stores until 2016 -- later than investors expected -- sending the shares 6.8% lower in pre-market trading. In response, UBS slashed its price target on Keurig Green Mountain Inc to $114 from $120, but underscored its "buy" rating. Technically speaking, GMCR has been trending downwards, with the shares shedding 22.2% year-to-date to close yesterday at $103.07. Furthermore, the company lowered its full-year forecast just last week, sending the stock to an annual low of $95.02.  Accordingly, puts have been prominent in the options pits, as GMCR's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.92 is higher than 79% of all comparable readings from the past year. 
  • Despite reporting a first-quarter earnings beat, the shares of KING were last seen 7.8% lower in electronic trading, after the company's projected current-quarter gross bookings fell short of estimates. Reacting were no fewer than three brokerage firms, which all lowered their price-targets on the equity. Specifically, Stifel cut its target to $19, Deutsche Bank decreased its target to $16, and Wedbush slashed its target to $21. On the charts, KING has been underwhelming, with the shares down more than 20% from their March 2014 IPO. Not surprisingly, options traders have shown a preference for puts lately, as King Digital Entertainment plc's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.43 stands in the 91st annual percentile. Meanwhile, short interest declined by 20.3% over the last two reporting periods, but still accounts for a lofty 22.1% of the stock's available float. It would take these bettors approximately 14 sessions to cover their positions, at average trading volumes. 
Published on May 14, 2015 at 9:29 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:50 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades
Analysts are weighing in today on blue chip Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), chipmaker EZchip Semiconductor Ltd (NASDAQ:EZCH), and security technology firm Identiv Inc (NASDAQ:INVE). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on CSCO, EZCH, and INVE.

  • The shares of CSCO are 1% lower in electronic trading, despite the company's fiscal third-quarter earnings beat. Furthermore, the blue chip addressed yesterday's rumors about a potential acquisition of FireEye Inc (NASDAQ:FEYE), with CEO John Chambers saying, "We won't comment on rumors about acquisitions or not. But I wouldn't bet on the one that you heard today." While a handful of analysts lifted their price targets on CSCO, Sterne Agee downgraded the stock to "neutral." Heading into today's session, Cisco Systems, Inc. has been trending upwards, with the shares up roughly 5.5% year-to-date to finish Wednesday at $29.35 -- just south of the stock's seven-year high of $30.31, tagged March 2. However, puts have been more prominent than usual in the options pits, as CSCO's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 0.49 ranks in the 62nd annual percentile. 
  • EZCH plummeted to a five-year low of $14.30 yesterday, due to CSCO's plan to phase out one of its chips, and the shares are poised to extend their journey lower today. Reacting were Chardan and Jefferies, which lowered their price targets to $15 and $16.50, respectively. Technically speaking, EZchip Semiconductor Ltd is now down 22.5% year-to-date to close yesterday at $14.84. However, despite the stock's long-term downtrend, traders have favored calls over puts in the options pits, as EZCH's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 7.10 is higher than 93% of all comparable readings from the past year. 
  • Cowen and Company cut its price target on INVE to $18 from $24 while keeping its "outperform" rating, after the firm posted a wider-than-expected first-quarter loss. At last check, the shares of Identiv Inc were 3.9% lower ahead of the bell, which will steepen their 35.9% year-to-date deficit. Despite this downtrend, short-term traders have been more call-skewed than usual. Drilling down, INVE's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.14 stands in the 97th percentile of its annual range. Said another way, near-term speculators have only been more call-heavy on INVE 3% of the time over the last 12 months. 
Published on May 8, 2015 at 9:30 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:49 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades
Analysts are weighing in today on chipmakers NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MCHP), as well as organic grocer Sprouts Farmers Market Inc (NASDAQ:SFM). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on NVDA, MCHP, and SFM. 

  • NVDA woke up to no fewer than six price-target revisions, after the firm released worse-than-expected current-quarter guidance (subscription required). Drilling down, the sole hike came from JMP Securities, which raised its price target by $1 to $28 while keeping its "market outperform" rating, while the biggest cuts came from Roth (to $22) and Morgan Stanley (to $18). Additionally, Roth downgraded its opinion on NVIDIA Corporation to "neutral." At last check, the shares of NVDA were 4.4% lower in pre-market trading, but could find a foothold in the $21 region -- a former area of resistance that contained NVDA's late-March pullback. Yesterday, the shares closed at $22.49. Looking to the options pits, traders have favored puts over calls lately, as NVDA's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 2.66 is higher than 99% of all similar readings from the past year. This skepticism is echoed among the brokerage bunch, as 61% of covering analysts rate the stock a "hold" or worse..
  • The shares of MCHP are 5.8% higher in electronic trading, after the company announced it is purchasing competitor Micrel, Incorporated (NASDAQ:MCRL) for approximately $839 million. Furthermore, Microchip Technology Inc. released fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that surpassed analysts' estimates. Nevertheless, Morgan Stanley lowered its price target to $50 from $53 while keeping its "equal weight" rating (though J.P. Morgan Securities hiked its price target to $52 from $50). On the charts, MCHP has taken a step back recently, with the shares down 9.6% from their March 2 all-time high of $52.44 to close yesterday at $47.41. However, today's pop will likely push the shares above their 40-day moving average, which has served as resistance since late March. Puts have been prominent in the options pits, as MCHP's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.59 stands in the 80th percentile of its annual range. 
  • SFM released weaker-than-expected first-quarter earnings and revealed lower 2015 guidance, sending the shares 8.9% lower ahead of the bell. In response, no fewer than six brokerage firms lowered their price targets on the equity, with the most dramatic cuts coming from Oppenheimer (to $32) and Deutsche Bank (to $27). Technically speaking, Sprouts Farmers Market Inc has been underwhelming, with the shares down 11.1% year-to-date to close Thursday at $30.21. Despite this downtrend, options traders have kept the faith, as SFM's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 3.56 is higher than 96% of all similar readings from the last 12 months. Echoing this indicator is the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio of 0.32, which stands in the 30th percentile of its annual range. Simply stated, short-term traders have rarely been this call-skewed over the past year.  
Published on May 12, 2015 at 9:59 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:49 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades
Analysts are weighing in today on retailer Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS), biotech firm NewLink Genetics Corp (NASDAQ:NLNK), and cloud concern Rackspace Hosting, Inc. (NYSE:RAX). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on GPS, NLNK, and RAX. 

  • The shares of GPS are down 3.1% lower at $38.62, after the firm posted worse-than-expected April sales and offered lackluster preliminary earnings. In response, no fewer than seven brokerage firms weighed in on the equity, such as Sterne Agee CRT, which lowered its price target to $38, and FBR, which downgraded the stock to "market perform" from "outperform" and decreased its target to $40. On the other hand, Bernstein was the lone brokerage firm to issue a positive note on Gap Inc, as it raised its price target to $95 while keeping its "market perform" opinion. Technically speaking, the stock is down 12% from its March 31 year-to-date high of $43.90, pressured lower beneath its 10- and 20-day moving averages. Accordingly, puts have been prominent in the options pits, as GPS' 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 10.30 stands in the 95th annual percentile. 
  • Cantor cut its price target on NLNK to $44 from $48 while reiterating its "buy" rating, following news that the drugmaker is continuing late-stage clinic trials for its pancreatic cancer drug. Traders were hoping for the biotech to file for marketing approval. Heading into today's session, NewLink Genetics Corp had been an outperformer. Today, however, NLNK is down 21% at $41.31, trimming its year-to-date lead to 3.7%. Looking to the options pits, traders have been buying puts at a faster-than-usual clip, as NLNK's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.55 is higher than 98% of all equivalent readings from the last year. Elsewhere, short interest declined by 7% during the past two reporting periods, but still accounts for nearly 25% of NLNK's available float. While it would take these bettors over seven sessions to cover their positions, at average trading volumes, NLNK has landed on the short-sale restricted (SSR) list. 
  • RAX posted disappointing first-quarter earnings and lowered its current-quarter guidance, sending the shares down 15.1% to $45.11. Reacting were no fewer than five brokerage firms, which all downgraded their ratings and/or price-targets on the equity. For instance, Morgan Stanley cut its rating to "equal-weight," RBC decreased its target by $1 to $43, and CLSA downgraded RAX to "outperform" from "buy" while slashing its price target to $52 from $55. On the charts, Rackspace Hosting, Inc. just hit an all-time high of $56.20 on April 27, but is now 3.7% lower year-to-date -- and on the SSR list. Sentiment in the options pits has been bearish, as the stock's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.86 stands in the 91st percentile of its annual range. 
Published on May 5, 2015 at 9:50 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:49 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades

Analysts are weighing in today on e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), Internet provider AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL), and cybersecurity firm Qualys Inc (NASDAQ:QLYS). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on BABA, AOL, and QLYS. 

  • Evercore ISI decreased its price target on BABA by $10 to $105 (but reaffirmed its "buy" opinion), sending the shares about 1.8% lower to $79.19 -- and earlier to an all-time low of $78.83. On the charts, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has been unimpressive so far in 2015, with the shares down 24%. Despite this lackluster price action, options traders have kept the faith --  over the past 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), 2.18 BABA calls have been bought to open for every put. Short sellers have been hitting the bricks ahead of Thursday's earnings release, though, as short interest declined by 11.8% over the last reporting period. It now accounts for 5.5% of BABA's float. 

  • The shares of AOL are roughly 3.7% lower at $39.30, after Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to "sell," and cut its price target by $6 to $38, saying it is concerned about AOL's relative ad underperformance over the long term. Technically speaking, the shares of AOL, Inc. are now poised to end below their 10-day and 20-day moving averages for the first time since mid-April, but could find support in the $39 region. Traders in the options pits have been favoring puts over calls ahead of the company's earnings release Friday morning, as AOL's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.45 is higher than 73% of all similar readings from the past year. Elsewhere, the brokerage bunch is divided on the equity, with 45% of covering analysts rating it a "strong buy," and the remaining 55% doling out "hold" or "sell" ratings. 
  • QLYS issued disappointing current-quarter and full-year guidance, prompting the shares to drop a staggering 25.5% to $41.15. In response, J.P. Morgan Securities and RBC cut their price targets on the security to $43 and $38, respectively, with both firms reiterating the equivalent of "neutral" ratings. On the other hand, Baird raised its rating to "outperform" from "neutral." Prior to today's bear gap, Qualys Inc was a technical juggernaut, with the shares up over 188% year-over-year. What's more, the shares hit an all-time high of $55.47 just yesterday. Accordingly, calls have been prominent in the options pits, as 5.15 QLYS calls have been bought to open for every put over the last 10 days at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX. 
Published on May 6, 2015 at 9:30 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:48 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades
Analysts are weighing in today on financial firm Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), online coupon distributor Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN), and e-commerce specialist Zulily Inc (NASDAQ:ZU). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on BAC, GRPN, and ZU. 

  • BMO cut its rating on BAC to "market perform" from "outperform," although the shares are 0.3% higher in electronic trading. Technically speaking, the shares of Bank of America Corp have been in recovery mode, up 7.1% from their late-March lows to settle yesterday at $16.35 -- a second straight finish atop their 200-day moving average. Options traders have favored calls over puts, as BAC's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 4.76 is higher than 88% of all similar readings from the past year. Meanwhile, the brokerage bunch is mostly optimistic on the stock, as 56% of covering analysts rate it a "strong buy," versus only 6% who give it a "strong sell." 
  • The shares of GRPN are 1.3% lower ahead of the bell, after the firm offered a lackluster full-year revenue forecast. In response, Evercore ISI lowered its price target on the equity to $7.50 from $8 while keeping its "hold" rating, and Ascendiant Capital cut its target to $9 from $10, but underscored its "buy" opinion. On the charts, Groupon Inc has been trending downwards, with the shares down 17.2% year-to-date to close Tuesday at $6.84. What's more, the shares are currently trading beneath their 20-day moving average, which has served as resistance since early March. However, options traders have kept the faith, as GRPN's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 4.80 stands in the 65th percentile of its annual range. Elsewhere, short interest declined by 12.4% during the last two reporting periods, but still accounts for 12.8% of GRPN's available float. It would take these bettors over eight sessions to cover their positions, at average trading volumes.  
  • ZU also issued an unimpressive full-year forecast, sending the shares tumbling 17.5% -- and toward new lows -- ahead of the bell. In addition, the firm announced that Brian Swartz will take over as CFO on June 1. Reacting were no fewer than five brokerage firms, which all lowered their price targets and/or ratings on Zulily Inc. For example, Stifel downgraded its rating to "hold" from "buy," the largest price-target cut came from Canaccord Genuity (to $10), and RBC and Baird lowered their targets to $12. Looking back, ZU has been sliding, with the shares down nearly 50% year-to-date to close yesterday at $11.82. Sentiment in the options pits has been bullish, though, as ZU's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 2.74 is higher than 78% of all similar readings from the past year. Meanwhile, seven out of 11 covering analysts rate the stock a "hold," with the remaining four doling out "strong buy" opinions. 
Published on Apr 30, 2015 at 9:31 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:48 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades
Analysts are weighing in today on online review platform Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP), Chinese Internet provider Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU), and biopharmaceutical firm Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AGIO). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on YELP, BIDU, and AGIOS.

  • The shares of YELP are 16.5% lower in pre-market trading -- and poised to explore annual lows -- after the company's first-quarter earnings and current-quarter guidance failed to meet the Street's expectations. In response, no fewer than 14 brokerage firms lowered their price-targets and/or ratings on Yelp Inc, with the largest cuts coming from Evercore ISI (to $41) and Baird (to $46). YELP had already been a technical underperformer heading into today's session, with the shares down 6.3% year-to-date to settle Wednesday at $51.28. However, short-term traders have been more call-heavy than usual, as YELP's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.67 is lower than 74% of all similar readings from the past year. A mass exodus of option bulls could exacerbate selling pressure on the stock.
  • It's a similar story for the shares of BIDU, down 3.3% ahead of the bell, after the firm posted mediocre first-quarter revenue growth. Reacting were Piper Jaffray and Pacific Crest, which lowered their price targets to $230 and $255, respectively -- though both brokerage firms reaffirmed their "overweight" ratings. On the charts,Baidu Inc (ADR) has taken a step back recently, with the shares down 13.1% from their Nov. 13 all-time high of $251.99 to close yesterday at $219. What's more, the shares have struggled beneath their 200-day moving average, which has acted as a level of resistance since February. Accordingly, puts have been prominent in the options pits, as BIDU's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 0.66 ranks in the 99th percentile of its annual range. Elsewhere, 12 out of 13 covering analysts rate the stock a "strong buy."
  • Canaccord Genuity lowered its price target on AGIO to $103 from $163 while downgrading its rating to "hold" from "buy," citing concerns over the drugmaker's glioma drug AG-120. Specifically, the brokerage firm said, "Agios will present data for AG-120 in solid tumors by 2H15, which we believe may only show modest benefit in these patients ... Therefore, we decrease our probability of success for AG-120 in glioma to 30% from 80%." At last check, the shares of Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc -- which closed at $99.32 last night -- were down 2.9% in electronic trading. Year-to-date, the shares are down 11.4%. Despite this downtrend, traders have preferred calls over puts ahead of AGIO's trip to the earnings confessional on May 7. Over the past 10-days at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, 3.71 AGIO calls have been bought to open for every put.
Published on May 7, 2015 at 9:31 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:48 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades
Analysts are weighing in today on coffee king Keurig Green Mountain Inc (NASDAQ:GMCR), law enforcement equipment maker TASER International, Inc. (NASDAQ:TASR), and organic grocery chain Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on GMCR, TASR, and WFM. 

  • GMCR  cut its full-year forecast, sending the shares 12% lower ahead of the bell. Reacting were no fewer than four brokerage firms, which all cut their price targets on the stock. Specifically, the largest cut came from SunTrust Robinson, which lowered its target to $95 from $120 -- a discount to GMCR's current perch -- while keeping its "neutral" rating. Heading into today's session, Keurig Green Mountain Inc has been an underperformer, with the shares down 18.4% year-to-date to finish yesterday at $108.08. However,traders have shown a preference for calls over puts in the options pits, as GMCR's 50-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 1.62 ranks in the 81st percentile of its annual range. Elsewhere, short interest increased 11.4% during the last two reporting periods, and now accounts for nearly 6% of GMCR's available float. It would take these bettors about four sessions to cover their positions, at average trading volumes. 
  • The shares of TASR are 2.4% lower in electronic trading, after Oppenheimer cut its rating on the stock to "perform" from "outperform." (On the flip side, Craig-Hallum raised its price target to $38 while reaffirming its "buy" opinion.) On the charts, TASER International, Inc. has been enjoying a solid uptrend lately, with the shares up 60.9% from their March 10 year-to-date low of $21.39 to close yesterday at $34.41. What's more, the stock touched a record high of $35 on Tuesday, thanks to a stellar earnings release and news that the firm has acquired MediaSolv Corporation an attempt to expand its cloud storage service for police body-camera videos. In light of its technical tenacity, TASR's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) sits at 77 -- in overbought territory. Meanwhile, puts have been more prominent than usual in the options pits, as TASR's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.31 is higher than 81% of all similar readings from the past year. Meanwhile, 25% of the stock's available float is sold short, which would take over 11 sessions to cover, at average trading volumes. 
  • WFM woke up to no fewer than nine price target cuts -- and is 13% lower in pre-market trading -- after the company posted first-quarter earnings that failed to meet expectations, and announced plans for a discount chain. Drilling down, the largest cuts came from Barclays (to $45) and J.P. Morgan Securities (to $47). Looking back, Whole Foods Market, Inc. has been sliding beneath its 10-day moving average, with the shares down 17.1% from their Feb. 19 year-to-date high of $57.57 to close Wednesday at $47.72. However, options traders have kept the faith -- over the past 10 days at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, 3.09 WFM calls have been bought to open for every put, which is a higher ratio than 74% of all similar readings from the past year. 
Published on May 4, 2015 at 9:59 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:48 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades

Analysts are weighing in today on renewable energy focus SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY), retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF), and cable services provider Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on SCTY, ANF, and CHTR.

  • SCTY has given back 2.3% this morning to trade at $60.18, after Baird lowered its opinion on the stock to "neutral," while slashing its price target to $65 from $76. Even with today's deficit, the security is 12.5% above its year-to-date breakeven level -- perhaps part of the reason call buying has been so popular of late. For instance, SolarCity Corp's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio comes in at 3.94 -- higher than 89% of similar readings from the past 12 months.Meanwhile, the firm is slated to take its turn in the earnings confessional after tomorrow's close.

  • Elsewhere, ANF is 2.3% lower today at $21.99, due to RBC initiating coverage on the shares with an "underperform" rating and $17 price target -- 22.7% below current levels and territory not seen since March 2009. Even before today, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. had given back over 21% in 2015, and short sellers have been rolling the dice on additional losses. By the numbers, nearly 35% of ANF's float is sold short, accounting for almost two weeks' worth of trading, at average daily volumes. There's a chance more struggles are ahead for the equity, too, given that six brokerage firms still deem it a "strong buy."

  • Amid increasing speculation the company could merge with Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC), CHTR is up 1.5% today at $190.21, even after seeing some bearish analyst attention. Specifically, the stock's price target was reduced at Baird (to $190) and Canaccord Genuity (to $205), though the latter kept its "buy" endorsement. Elsewhere, Raymond James raised its price target to $210 -- territory yet to be charted. All of this comes after the company reported disappointing first-quarter numbers on Friday. On the sentiment front, Charter Communications, Inc.'s Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 2.06 ranks in the 96th annual percentile, meaning short-term speculators have rarely been as put-skewed as they are now.
Published on May 1, 2015 at 9:29 AM
Updated on Jul 2, 2020 at 1:47 PM
  • Analyst Downgrades
Analysts are weighing in on solar energy concern SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR), professional networking website LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD), and medical device maker Insulet Corporation (NASDAQ:PODD). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on SPWR, LNKD, and PODD.

  • SPWR reported its first quarterly earnings loss since 2013 -- though the firm beat expectations on an adjusted per-share basis -- sending the shares down 4.2% ahead of the bell. In response, Cowen and Company cut its price target on the stock to $43 from $46. Heading into today's session, SunPower Corporation had been trending upwards, with the shares up nearly 25% year-to-date to finish Thursday at $32.19. However, traders have favored puts over calls in the options pits, as SPWR's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 1.51 reads in the 91st percentile of its annual range. Elsewhere, short interest decreased by 25% over the past two reporting periods, but still accounts for 10.5% of SPWR's available float. 
  • The shares of LNKD have plummeted 20.2% in pre-market trading, after the firm dramatically cut its revenue forecast for the current quarter. Reacting were no fewer than 21 brokerage firms, which all lowered their price targets and/or ratings on LinkedIn Corp. Specifically, the most dramatic cuts came from Brean Capital (to $172), FBR (to $180), and Wedbush (to $200). Technically speaking, LNKD settled yesterday at $252.13, and is poised to fill its early February bull gap out of the gate. What's more, today's drop will likely send LNKD south of its 80-day moving average, which has served as a key level of support in 2015. In the options pits, short-term traders have been more put-skewed than usual, as LNKD's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.04 is higher than 67% of all similar readings from the past year. 
  • PODDā€‹ reported a steeper-than-expected first-quarter losssending the shares 13% lower -- and primed for annual-low territory -- in electronic trading. The news prompted no fewer than six brokerage firms to lower their price targets on the equity, such as J.P. Morgan Securities (to $26) and Wedbush (to $36). Looking back, today's fall is more of the same for Insulet Corporation, as the shares are down more than 35% year-to-date to close Thursday at $29.85 -- in large part due to a post-earnings bear gap in January. Despite this downtrend, options traders have been overwhelmingly bullish on the stock -- over the past 50 days at the ISE,CBOE, and PHLX, 81.16 PODD calls were bought to open for every put, which is a higher ratio than 94% of all other readings from the past year.

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