Analyst Update: Guess?, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, and Scorpio Bulkers Inc

Analysts adjusted their ratings and price targets on Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Scorpio Bulkers Inc (NYSE:SALT)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Mar 17, 2016 at 2:12 PM

Analysts are weighing in on apparel retailer Guess?, Inc. (NYSE:GES), software blue chip Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and freight firm Scorpio Bulkers Inc (NYSE:SALT). Here's a quick roundup of today's brokerage notes on GES, MSFT, and SALT.

  • GES gapped lower this morning following an earnings miss, downbeat current-quarter guidance, and a bearish round of brokerage notes. Specificially, three analysts lowered their price targets on the stock, with the deepest cut coming from Topeka Capital -- to $19 from $20. At last check, Guess?, Inc. has surrendered 13.2% at $18.50, which represents its biggest intraday loss in more than three years. This is music to the ears of option bears, who have been active in recent weeks. Traders have bought to open 2.43 GES puts for each call during the last 10 sessions at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) -- a ratio that ranks above 86% of all others from the past year.
  • Oppenheimer initiated coverage on MSFT with an "outperform" rating and $62 price target -- never-before-charted territory for the shares. The bullish note has the stock 0.7% higher at $54.73, and on track for its seventh daily gain in the past eight sessions. Amid this steady uptrend, the brokerage crowd has grown increasingly bullish toward Microsoft Corporation. Of the 20 analysts tracking the stock, 15 have handed out a "buy" or better rating, versus four "holds" and just one "sell."
  • SALT is the worst-performing stock on the Big Board, down 18.6% at $3.00. Weighing on the shares is the company's announcement of a secondary offering of 21 million common shares, which prompted UBS to lower its opinion to "neutral" from "buy" and its price target to $3.50 from $4. Year-to-date, Scorpio Bulkers Inc is now down 70%. While the stock is short-sale restricted today, short sellers have been upping the bearish ante in recent weeks. Short interest grew almost 16% during the last two reporting periods to 22.8% of SALT's float, and would take over a week to cover, given the stock's average daily trading levels.
For other stocks in analysts' crosshairs, read Analyst Upgrades: FedEx Corporation, Activision Blizzard, Inc., and Medtronic PLC and Analyst Downgrades: Jabil Circuit, Inc., Williams-Sonoma, Inc., and Vivint Solar Inc.

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