Analyst Downgrades: Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Symantec Corporation, and Western Digital Corp

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (USA) (POT), Symantec Corporation (SYMC), and Western Digital Corp (WDC)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Apr 14, 2016 at 9:47 AM

Analysts are weighing in on fertilizer firm Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (USA) (NYSE:POT), software stock Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC), and data storage dynamo Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on POT, SYMC, and WDC.

  • POT saw its rating cut to "underperform" from "market perform" at Cowen, which also dropped its price target to $14. This negativity is par for the course, as 13 of 18 analysts have handed out "hold" or worse recommendations on the stock. Who can really blame them? Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan has been a dismal long-term performer, losing roughly half of its value year-over-year to trade at $16.28, including today's 2.3% dip.
  • Evercore ISI initiated coverage on SYMC with a "sell" rating and $14 price target. Likewise, Barclays slashed its price target to $18 from $22. The collective skepticism has Symantec Corporation down 1.9% this morning at $17.82, but it's still advanced 21% since hitting an annual low of $14.74 in late January. Options traders aren't buying the hype, though. SYMC's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 6.28 ranks in the bearishly skewed 92nd percentile of its annual range.
  • WDC saw its price target lowered to $60 from $70 at Craig-Hallum, due to an ominous outlook from this sector peer. The bearish note has the stock 7.7% lower out of the gate at $41.34. This is more of the same for Western Digital Corp, which is down 31% on a year-to-date basis. Amid these struggles, short sellers have been piling on. During the last two reporting periods, short interest on WDC spiked close to 80%, and now 13.4% of its float is sold short -- which would take about one week to cover, at the stock's typical trading levels.
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