Analyst Downgrades: Amex, SanDisk, and Arrowhead

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on American Express Company (AXP), SanDisk Corporation (SNDK), and Arrowhead Research Corp (ARWR)

Jan 22, 2015 at 9:28 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on blue chip American Express Company (NYSE:AXP), data solutions specialist SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK), and biopharmaceutical firm Arrowhead Research Corp (NASDAQ:ARWR). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on AXP, SNDK, and ARWR.

  • AXP got slapped with a slew of price-target cuts, after the company said it had higher expenses and bad-loan provisions in the fourth quarter and will slash 4,000 jobs from the payroll this year. Included in the bunch was Jefferies, which reduced its price target by $5 to $90, and Macquarie, which lowered its target price by $1 to $88. Both brokerage firms underscored their equivalent of a "hold" rating. On the charts, the stock has had a slow start to the year, down 5.8% to $87.67. Against this backdrop, put players have been active. In fact, American Express Company's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.30 ranks in the 74th percentile of its annual range, meaning short-term speculators are more put-heavy than usual.

  • SNDK is down nearly 7% in electronic trading, after the chipmaker's dreary current-quarter and full-year revenue forecast was met with a round of bearish brokerage attention. Raymond James, for example, slashed its price target by $30 to $90 and downgraded the stock to "outperform" from "strong buy." Wedbush, meanwhile, reduced its outlook to "neutral" from "outperform," and lowered its price target to $67 from $91. The equity has struggled in 2015, down 17.9%. Should the shares maintain their current trajectory, another round of downgrades and/or price-target cuts could be on the horizon. Eighteen of the 22 analysts covering SanDisk Corporation maintain a "buy" or better rating, with not a single "sell" to be found. Plus, the average 12-month price target of $103.71 stands at a 29% premium to last night's close at $80.44.

  • ARWR is bracing for a 10% plunge out of the gate, after Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock to "hold" from "buy," and cut its price target by $13 to $7 -- roughly in line with last night's close at $6.76. Today's projected price movement is just more of the same for a stock that's shed 43.6% year-over-year. Not surprisingly, sentiment in the options pits is skewed toward the bearish side. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Arrowhead Research Corp's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.49 ranks in the 91st annual percentile. Additionally, the security's SOIR of 0.69 ranks just 7 percentage points from a 52-week peak.

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