Analyst Downgrades: General Motors, LinkedIn, Micron

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on General Motors Company (GM), LinkedIn Corp (LNKD), and Micron Technology, Inc. (MU)

Mar 17, 2015 at 9:20 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on automaker General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), professional networking service LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD), and semiconductor concern Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on GM, LNKD, and MU.

  • Morgan Stanley resumed coverage on GM this morning with an "underweight" rating and a price target of $28 -- a 27.4% discount to yesterday's closing price of $38.58. The shares -- which recently got a boost after the company announced a new stock repurchasing program -- are pointed 0.7% lower ahead of the bell, ready to give back some of their 10.5% year-to-date lead. Most analysts covering General Motors Company have taken a bullish stance, with the security boasting eight "strong buy" ratings, one "buy" rating, and four "holds" -- with not a single "sell" in sight. Speculators, too, are on the bulls' side of the fence, according to data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). GM's 50-day call/put volume ratio across this trio of exchanges comes in at 2.84. This indicates nearly three calls have been bought to open for every put during the past 10 weeks -- a rate that sits in the 81st percentile of its annual range.

  • Last night, Brean Capital started LNKD with a "sell" rating and a price target of $208, a level significantly lower than yesterday's closing price of $260.17. This followed news that LNKD purchased Careerify, a company specializing in hiring software. On the sentiment front, pessimism has been picking up in the options pits -- even though LinkedIn Corporation has outdone the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by close to 15 percentage points over the past three months. During the past 10 days at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, the equity has amassed a put/call volume ratio of 1.03, higher than 79% of all similar readings from the past year. Ahead of the open today, LNKD is poised to drop 2%.

  • It hasn't been the best of times for MU, as it has dropped 22% since hitting a multi-year high of $36.59 in early December, finishing yesterday at $28.50. Overnight, RBC reduced its price target by $4 to $40, but kept its "outperform" opinion, sending the shares 2.8% lower in electronic trading. However, most analysts remain believers in Micron Technology, Inc., with 18 of 21 brokerage firms calling it a "buy" or better. Elsewhere, the security's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.66 is higher than 80% of all readings from the past 52 weeks. In other words, short-term speculators have been more put-skewed than normal toward MU.

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