Analyst Downgrades: Qualcomm, Cliffs Natural Resources

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on QUALCOMM, Inc. (QCOM), Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (CLF), and Silver Wheaton Corp. (USA) (SLW)

Jan 29, 2015 at 9:22 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on telecom giant QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), commodity concern Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF), and precious metals producer Silver Wheaton Corp. (USA) (NYSE:SLW). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on QCOM, CLF, and SLW.

  • QCOM reported an earnings beat last night, but a reduced full-year profit and sales forecast has the brokerage bunch turning bearish. Specifically, at least a dozen analysts reduced their price targets on the stock, while Macquarie downgraded it to "neutral" from "outperform." As a result, QUALCOMM, Inc. is sitting nearly 7% lower ahead of the bell. As it is, the shares have had a pretty rough go of it -- shedding 13.4% of their value since hitting a late-July 14-year high of $81.97 -- to close Wednesday at $70.99. Additional downgrades could be in the cards, too. Currently, 17 out of 23 covering analysts rate QCOM a "buy" or better. In other news, the company's health care subsidiary has entered into a strategic collaboration with Roche on a system to remotely monitor and manage patients with chronic illnesses.

  • CLF saw its price target cut by $1 to $8 at RBC, which also reiterated its "sector perform" assessment. This bearish note isn't surprising, considering the stock's 67% year-over-year deficit to trade at $6.62. Elsewhere, short sellers have taken a shine to Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. Over half of the equity's float is sold short, which would take more than week to cover, at CLF's average daily trading volume. Ahead of the bell, the stock is pointed slightly lower. Looking forward, the company will report fourth-quarter earnings Monday night.

  • Finally, Raymond James weighed in on a number of precious metals producers, including SLW, which it downgraded to "outperform" from "strong buy." This is somewhat surprising, considering the shares have rallied an impressive 12.6% year-to-date to rest at $22.90, and are sitting atop potential support at their 160-day moving average. Traders at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) are also skeptical. Silver Wheaton Corp.'s 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.61 ranks in the 83rd percentile of its annual range, hinting at a stronger-than-usual appetite for bearish bets over bullish. This morning, the stock is sitting 3.1% south of the flatline.

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