Analyst Downgrades: Johnson & Johnson, Apple, Hecla

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Apple Inc. (AAPL), and Hecla Mining Company (HL)

Jan 15, 2015 at 9:26 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on Dow component Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), iPad parent Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and commodities issue Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on JNJ, AAPL, and HL.

  • Goldman Sachs downgraded JNJ to "sell" from "neutral," while Jefferies reduced its price target on the stock to $113 and reiterated its "hold" opinion. This negative attention is somewhat surprising, given the equity's 9.7% year-over-year advance to perch at $104 -- just above its supportive 200-day moving average, located at $103.46. Skepticism isn't new to Johnson & Johnson, though. Seven of the 15 analysts covering the shares have handed out "hold" ratings, while the consensus 12-month price target of $109.07 stands at a less than 5% premium to current trading levels. If JNJ bounces from the aforementioned trendline or has a breakthrough with its Ebola vaccine, it could result in a round of bullish brokerage notes -- and additional upside.

  • Mizuho reduced its assessment of AAPL to "neutral" from "buy" earlier. On the charts, the shares have struggled of late -- shedding 8.3% of their value since hitting a late-November record high of $119.75 -- and now rest at $109.80. Even a recent foray into the mobile camera world wasn't enough for Apple Inc. to break out of its bearish trend. Should this downward momentum continue, the stock could be pressured by additional negative analyst notes. Currently, 26 out of 32 covering brokerage firms sport "buy" or better ratings on AAPL.

  • HL was cut to "hold" from "buy" by BB&T, with the brokerage firm citing valuation concerns. On the charts, the shares are sitting 11.3% lower year-over-year to trade at $2.84 -- though they're pointed 5.3% higher ahead of the open on rising precious metal prices. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), traders have shown a strong preference for Hecla Mining Company calls over puts in recent months. The equity's 50-day call/put volume ratio of 25.98 ranks in the 95th percentile of its annual range.

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