Analyst Downgrades: Alcoa Inc, Juniper Networks, Inc., and Starbucks Corporation

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Alcoa Inc (AA), Juniper Networks, Inc. (JNPR), and Starbucks Corporation (SBUX)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Apr 12, 2016 at 9:22 AM
Updated on Apr 12, 2016 at 9:23 AM

Analysts are weighing in on aluminum stock Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA), tech firm Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR), and java giant Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on AA, JNPR, and SBUX.

  • AA is bracing for a 2.9% drop out of the gate, after the company kicked off earnings season on a mixed note -- with earnings topping estimates, but revenue dropping 15% year-over-year and coming up shy of expectations. Adding insult to injury, Stifel lowered its price target on the stock to $13 from $14. Still, there's no doubting Alcoa Inc's longer-term technical strength, as the shares have rallied nearly 59% since hitting a six-year low of $6.14 in late January to trade at $9.74. Traders have been betting against AA at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), too. The stock's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.92 sits just 6 percentage points from an annual high. If Alcoa manages to shrug off a likely earnings setback and continues its prevailing trend northward, a capitulation among the bears could add fuel to its fire.
  • JNPR reported lackluster preliminary first-quarter results last night, lowering previous guidance due to weak demand from enterprise customers. As a result, analysts are piling on the bearish bandwagon, with no fewer than six cutting their price targets on the stock. RBC set the lowest bar, slashing its outlook to $24 from $26. Ahead of the bell, Juniper Networks, Inc. is down 7% after closing yesterday at $24.89, suggesting the shares will break lower from their sideways pattern in the $25-$26 range. Options traders would likely welcome such a move, considering they've bought to open 2.79 JNPR puts for every call during the past 10 days at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX -- yielding a put/call volume ratio that sits in the bearishly skewed 85th annual percentile.
  • Deutsche Bank lowered its rating on SBUX to "hold" from "buy," and cut its price target to $64 from $70, citing decelerating sales and earnings trends. "We believe the combination of lofty near-term investors' expectations, operational changes and a premium valuation creates a less favorable risk-reward on the shares," the brokerage firm wrote. The bearish note is taking a toll on Starbucks Corporation ahead of the open, with the stock down 2.2%. However, since flirting with $52 in early February, the shares have picked up steam (in line with historical trends), and settled Monday at $60.90. Not surprisingly, the majority of analysts remain in SBUX's bullish corner, with 19 of 23 doling out a "buy" or better assessment -- and not a single "sell" opinion on the books.
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