Analyst Downgrades: Cisco Systems, Inc., Palo Alto Networks Inc, and PulteGroup, Inc.

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW), and PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM)

Apr 5, 2016 at 9:07 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on networking specialist Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO), cybersecurity stock Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE:PANW), and home builder PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on CSCO, PANW, and PHM.

  • CSCO is trading 2.3% lower ahead of the open, after BofA-Merrill Lynch downgraded its rating to "neutral." Still, 18 of the 26 analysts that track the stock recommend buying it. Cisco Systems, Inc. gapped higher after an earnings beat in early February, and at $28.14, holds a 3.6% year-to-date lead. Options traders have been bearish, though, according to CSCO's 50-day put/call volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). At 1.50, this reading represents an annual high
  • PANW has analysts coming at it from both directions this morning, as Goldman Sachs cut its price target to $188 from $191 -- but maintained its "buy" assessment -- while Raymond James hiked its price target to $188 from $180. The shares closed Monday at $161.59 after recently taking back their 100-day moving average, and have beaten out the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by 15 percentage points in the past 40 sessions -- though the shares are pointed 3.2% lower ahead of the bell. Short sellers love the stock. Specifically, short interest on Palo Alto Networks Inc surged by 53.1% during the last two reporting periods to an all-time high of 7.1 million shares -- or 4.3 times the stock's average daily volume. 
  • On Monday, PHM fell 6.6% amid a front-office shake-up. The stock is on track to lose another 1.8% this morning, after J.P. Morgan Securities lowered its outlook to "neutral" from "overweight." Most brokerages already have a skeptical stance on PulteGroup, Inc., which has dropped over 24% in the past 12 months to trade at $17.21, and hit a two-year low of $14.61 in January. It's not surprising, then, to see that nearly two PHM puts have been bought to open for each call during the past to weeks at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX. The resultant 10-day put/call volume ratio of 1.73 ranks in the high 83rd percentile of its annual range.
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