Analyst Downgrades: MannKind Corporation, Micron Technology, Inc., and Chesapeake Energy Corporation

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on MannKind Corporation (MNKD), Micron Technology, Inc. (MU), and Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK)

by Josh Selway

Published on Mar 3, 2015 at 9:27 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

Analysts are weighing in today on biopharmaceutical company MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD), chip producer Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), and natural gas concern Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on MNKD, MU, and CHK.

  • MNKD is taking it on the chin in electronic trading, pointed 9.5% lower due to a downgrade at Goldman Sachs. The brokerage firm cuts its outlook on the shares to "sell" from "neutral," and slashed its price target in half to $3, citing a slower-than-anticipated launch of the company's Afrezza insulin device. The expected drop will put a major dent into what was previously a strong 2015 for MannKind Corporation, as it had added 27.2% year-to-date. Over one-third of MNKD's float is held by short sellers, though, so not everyone is disappointed. The shorted shares account for almost two weeks' worth of trading, at the equity's normal daily trading pace. What's more, short interest increased 12% just in the past two reporting periods. MNKD closed at $6.64 on Monday.

  • MU is off 2.5% in pre-market action, after being downgraded to "neutral" from "buy" at Nomura, which also reduced its price target on the equity to $30 from $40. Since hitting a decade-plus high of $36.59 on Dec. 8, the shares have given back over 17% to sit at $31.24, and option bears couldn't be happier. During the past two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), Micron Technology, Inc. has accumulated a put/call volume ratio of 0.66, which is only 6 percentage points from an annual bearish peak. In other words, puts have been bought to open over calls at a faster-than-normal rate. Analysts, though, are almost entirely bullish on the shares. Nineteen out of 22 covering brokerage firms say MU is a "buy" or better.

  • Since yesterday's close, CHK has seen its price target cut by Susquehanna and Barclays. The former lowered it price target by $4 to $18 and kept a "neutral" rating, with the latter dropping its price target by $3 to $10 -- multi-year low territory -- and maintaining an "underweight" opinion. The negative attention comes as Chesapeake Energy Corporation continues to fall after last week's earnings-induced bear gap. Just yesterday, the shares hit an annual low of $16.23, and are hovering around breakeven at $16.60 ahead of the bell. On the Street, six analysts give CHK a "buy" or better rating, with 11 handing out "holds," and two calling it a "sell" or worse.

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