Analyst Downgrades: Caterpillar Inc., Keurig Green Mountain Inc, and Pier 1 Imports Inc

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings on Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), Keurig Green Mountain Inc (GMCR), and Pier 1 Imports Inc (PIR)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Sep 25, 2015 at 9:43 AM

Analysts are weighing in today on blue chip Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), coffee pod king Keurig Green Mountain Inc (NASDAQ:GMCR), and retailer Pier 1 Imports Inc (NYSE:PIR). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on CAT, GMCR, and PIR.

  • CAT is facing another round of bearish brokerage attention following the company's downbeat guidance and job cut plans. Among the negative notes, Barclays started coverage with an "equal weight" rating and $75 price target, while William Blair downgraded its opinion to "market perform" from "outperform" and slashed its target price by $30 to $60. At last five other analysts also lowered their price targets on Caterpillar Inc., which yesterday hit a five-year low of $64.65, and was last seen down 1.1% at $65.05. Meanwhile, traders at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have been buying to open CAT puts at twice the rate of calls. The corresponding put/call volume ratio of 2.01 ranks in the 90th percentile of its annual range.

  • GMCR saw its price target slashed to $56 from $66 at CLSA this morning, yet the stock is up 0.5% at the open to linger near $55.15. Longer term, the shares have spiraled lower since touching a record high of $158.87 last November. From the looks of it, though, the options crowd expects a comeback. Keurig Green Mountain Inc's 50-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio of 1.60 registers a mere 7 percentage points from a 52-week peak. Analysts, by contrast, have taken a more glass-half-empty approach. Of the 16 brokerages tracking GMCR, 13 have handed out a "hold" rating and one a "sell" recommendation, versus just two "strong buy" endorsements.

  • PIR is getting battered this morning, down 18.7%, after the retailer reported lackluster quarterly results and lowered its guidance. No fewer than six analysts cut their price targets on the stock -- including Wedbush, which trimmed its target to $8 from $9.50. Today's expected bear gap sent Pier 1 Imports Inc tumbling to a five-year low of $6.84 earlier, with the equity last seen hovering around $7.05. Short sellers have been gambling on such a move, too. During the last two reporting periods, short interest on PIR spiked 18.7%, and now makes up almost 19% of the stock's float -- or 7.1 times the average daily trading volume.

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