Analyst Downgrades: Abercrombie & Fitch Co., American Eagle Outfitters, and J C Penney Company Inc

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF), American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), and J C Penney Company Inc (JCP)

by Kirra Fedyszyn

Published on May 17, 2016 at 9:26 AM
Updated on May 19, 2016 at 9:10 AM

Analysts are weighing in on retail stocks Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF)American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO), and J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on ANF, AEO, and JCP.

  • Cowen and Company and Deutsche Bank cut their price targets on ANF, to $25 and $23, respectively -- right in line with the stock's Monday close of $24.26. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is due to report quarterly earnings in just over a week, and some recent bearish options traders are apparently expecting the stock to suffer the same fate as many of its sector peers. The shares have given up more than a quarter of their value since hitting an annual high of $32.83 in March, while recently losing a technical foothold, and short sellers have been targeting further losses. A full 25% of ANF's float is wrapped up in these bearish bets, which would take more than two weeks to cover, at the equity's average daily volume.
  • AEO also received price-targets cuts from Cowen and Company (to $16) and Deutsche Bank (to $16), just adding to the stock's bearish backdrop. The shares finished Monday at $14.15 -- off nearly 9% year-to-date -- and more than half of the analysts following American Eagle Outfitters rate the security a "hold" or "strong sell." Short interest has also been on the rise, representing over 23% of the stock's total float, or roughly nine sessions' worth of trading, at typical daily volumes. And near-term options traders are at a put-skewed extreme, according to AEO's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.34 -- in the top percentile of its 12-month range. The company is due to report first-quarter earnings before the market opens Wednesday.
  • BMO lowered its price target on JCP to $9 from $10, but the stock seems to be shaking off the bearish note, up 0.8% ahead of the bell after closing at $7.39 on Monday. J C Penney Company Inc has shed over 38% since hitting a two-year high of $11.99 in March, and last week's disappointing earnings did nothing to slow down the shares' slide. But with a 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 22 -- deep into oversold territory -- the equity could be due for a bounce.
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