Analyst Downgrades: Groupon Inc, BHP Billiton Limited, and Yelp Inc

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Groupon Inc (GRPN), BHP Billiton Limited (ADR) (BHP), and Yelp Inc (YELP)

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on Mar 9, 2016 at 9:49 AM

Analysts are weighing in on coupon specialist Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN), mining stock BHP Billiton Limited (ADR) (NYSE:BHP), and online review site Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on GRPN, BHP, and YELP.

  • GRPN is 9.2% lower at $4.16, after UBS cut its rating on the stock to "sell." Groupon Inc has more than doubled in value since its February record low of $2.15, thanks to strong earnings and a high-profile investment. But despite the shares' recent strength, option traders have been betting against GRPN -- the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) arrives in the 98th annual percentile, not far from a bearish peak.
  • Jefferies downgraded BHP to "hold" from "buy," sending the shares down 0.5% to $26.17. BHP Billiton Limited has lately been recovering from its January 11-year low of $18.46, but backed down from a test of its 160-day moving average on Monday. Analysts have been less than impressed with the stock lately, as only one brokerage rates BHP better than a "hold." And near-term option traders seem to agree -- the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 2.33 is in the 96th percentile of its annual range, indicating an extreme preference for puts over calls, among options expiring in the next three months.
  • YELP is resuming its journey south, off 5.4% at $19.96, after UBS cut its rating on the stock to "sell." Yelp Inc has shed 30.7% already in 2016, and hit a three-year low of $14.53 less than one month ago. Unsurprisingly, 20 of the 27 analysts covering the stock call YELP a "hold" or "sell," but option traders seem to be betting on a turnaround for the shares. At the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX, the stock's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 8.35 indicates more than eight YELP calls have been bought to open for each put in the last two weeks -- a ratio that ranks higher than 96% of comparable readings in the last 12 months.
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