Analyst Downgrades: NVIDIA, Microchip, Sprouts Farmers Market

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MCHP), and Sprouts Farmers Market Inc (NASDAQ:SFM)

May 8, 2015 at 9:30 AM
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Analysts are weighing in today on chipmakers NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:MCHP), as well as organic grocer Sprouts Farmers Market Inc (NASDAQ:SFM). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on NVDA, MCHP, and SFM. 

  • NVDA woke up to no fewer than six price-target revisions, after the firm released worse-than-expected current-quarter guidance (subscription required). Drilling down, the sole hike came from JMP Securities, which raised its price target by $1 to $28 while keeping its "market outperform" rating, while the biggest cuts came from Roth (to $22) and Morgan Stanley (to $18). Additionally, Roth downgraded its opinion on NVIDIA Corporation to "neutral." At last check, the shares of NVDA were 4.4% lower in pre-market trading, but could find a foothold in the $21 region -- a former area of resistance that contained NVDA's late-March pullback. Yesterday, the shares closed at $22.49. Looking to the options pits, traders have favored puts over calls lately, as NVDA's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 2.66 is higher than 99% of all similar readings from the past year. This skepticism is echoed among the brokerage bunch, as 61% of covering analysts rate the stock a "hold" or worse..
  • The shares of MCHP are 5.8% higher in electronic trading, after the company announced it is purchasing competitor Micrel, Incorporated (NASDAQ:MCRL) for approximately $839 million. Furthermore, Microchip Technology Inc. released fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that surpassed analysts' estimates. Nevertheless, Morgan Stanley lowered its price target to $50 from $53 while keeping its "equal weight" rating (though J.P. Morgan Securities hiked its price target to $52 from $50). On the charts, MCHP has taken a step back recently, with the shares down 9.6% from their March 2 all-time high of $52.44 to close yesterday at $47.41. However, today's pop will likely push the shares above their 40-day moving average, which has served as resistance since late March. Puts have been prominent in the options pits, as MCHP's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.59 stands in the 80th percentile of its annual range. 
  • SFM released weaker-than-expected first-quarter earnings and revealed lower 2015 guidance, sending the shares 8.9% lower ahead of the bell. In response, no fewer than six brokerage firms lowered their price targets on the equity, with the most dramatic cuts coming from Oppenheimer (to $32) and Deutsche Bank (to $27). Technically speaking, Sprouts Farmers Market Inc has been underwhelming, with the shares down 11.1% year-to-date to close Thursday at $30.21. Despite this downtrend, options traders have kept the faith, as SFM's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 3.56 is higher than 96% of all similar readings from the last 12 months. Echoing this indicator is the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio of 0.32, which stands in the 30th percentile of its annual range. Simply stated, short-term traders have rarely been this call-skewed over the past year.  

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