Analyst Downgrades: Apollo Education Group, Inc., Sysco Corporation, and Micron Technology, Inc.

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on Apollo Education Group Inc (NASDAQ:APOL), SYSCO Corporation (NYSE:SYY), and Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Jun 30, 2015 at 9:28 AM
Updated on Jun 30, 2015 at 9:33 AM

Analysts are weighing in today on for-profit college operator Apollo Education Group Inc (NASDAQ:APOL), food firm SYSCO Corporation (NYSE:SYY), and semiconductor manufacturer Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on APOL, SYY, and MU.

  • APOL is bracing for an 9.9% drop out of the gate, after the company's disappointing turn in the earnings confessional and downwardly revised full-year outlook prompted Deutsche Bank and BMO Capital to each reduce their price targets to $20. The stock's had it rough enough, as is, losing more than half of its value in 2015 to settle yesterday at $15.54. Not surprisingly, short-term options traders are put-skewed toward Apollo Education Group Inc. The equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.26 sits just 3 percentage points from the top of its annual range.

  • SYY received a pair of bearish brokerage notes, with Barclays lowering its price target to $30 from $32, and Deutsche Bank downgrading the stock to a "hold." (On the flip side, Jefferies boosted its price target to $39 from $35.) These analysts are throwing salt on SYSCO Corporation's wounds, as the company's planned merger with US Foods was blocked by a district court judge yesterday. While the shares lost nearly 3% on the news Monday, they're little changed ahead of the bell -- and sitting on a 5.4% year-to-date deficit at $37.24. Taking a step back, brokerage firms are already in the bears' camp when it comes to SYY, with seven of nine doling out "hold" or worse ratings.

  • Finally, Jefferies removed MU from its "U.S. Franchise Picks" list. The stock has collapsed since hitting a 12-year high of $36.59 in early December, losing nearly half its value to sit at $18.73, and touching an annual low of $18.60 yesterday. Micron Technology, Inc. is vulnerable to additional bearish brokerage attention, too. Twenty-one analysts currently consider the underperforming shares worthy of a "buy" or better rating, versus just four "holds" and a pair of "strong sells." Plus, the stock's consensus 12-month price target of $30.18 stands at a 61% premium to Monday's close. In other words, MU could run into headwinds on a future round of downgrades and/or price-target cuts.

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