Analyst Downgrades: United States Steel Corporation, Infinera Corp., and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings and price targets on United States Steel Corporation (X), Infinera Corp. (INFN), and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (VRTX)

Apr 28, 2016 at 10:15 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on steel concern United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X), IT equipment provider Infinera Corp. (NASDAQ:INFN), and biotech stock Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on X, INFN, and VRTX.

  • X  -- which reported a steeper-than-expected first-quarter loss earlier this week -- once again received mixed messages from the brokerage bunch. Macquarie, for instance, cut its rating to "underperform" from "neutral," while raising its price target by $4 to $13. Meanwhile, Cowen and Company increased its price target on United States Steel Corporation to $18 from $8. In early trading, the equity is up 4.6% at $19.37 -- after bouncing off of its 30-day moving average yesterday -- bringing its year-to-date lead to an astounding 143%. Option traders still appear skeptical, however. X's 10-day put/call volume ratio on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) sits in the 96th percentile of its annual range, at 3.91.
  • INFN has sunk 22.5% to $12.07 -- just off a new annual low of $12.02 -- after the firm's disappointing first-quarter revenue led Citigroup and MKM to downgrade the stock to "neutral" from "buy." What's more, no fewer than seven brokerage firms also lowered their price targets on Infinera Corp. The shares could suffer further losses if more analysts lower their recommendations -- at present, 10 out of 12 deem INFN a "buy" or better, with not a single "sell" to be found. And in the options pits, long calls have been much more popular than puts of late. The equity's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX call/put volume ratio sits at 30.59 -- higher than 80% of all readings in the last year.
  • VRTX's worse-than-expected first-quarter earnings prompted Goldman Sachs to lower its rating to "neutral" and remove the stock from its "America's Conviction Buy" list. Including Goldman Sachs, 12 brokerage firms have already lowered their price targets on Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated. Against this backdrop, the stock is down 0.7% at $83.90 -- widening its 2016 loss to 33.3% -- with their 60-day moving average now bearing down as resistance. (Although, if history is any guide, the stock still has a fighting chance in the second quarter.) Meanwhile, near-term options traders have been unusually call-skewed of late, as the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.39 ranks lower than 96% of all readings taken in the past 12 months.
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