Analyst Downgrades: Big Lots, Inc., Juniper Networks, Inc., and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Big Lots, Inc. (BIG), Juniper Networks, Inc. (JNPR), and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (USA) (POT)

May 23, 2016 at 10:05 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on retail stock Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE:BIG), tech concern Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR), and fertilizer producer Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (USA) (NYSE:POT). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on BIG, JNPR, and POT.

  • Deutsche Bank downgraded its rating on BIG to "hold" from "buy," while also lowering its price target on the stock to $47 from $49. The shares are down 1.2% at $43.10, but still ahead 11.8% year-to-date, having found a level of support at their 100-day moving average. Options traders have been unusually bearish heading into Big Lots, Inc.'s first-quarter earnings report, due this Friday morning. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock holds a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 16.45 -- higher than 98% of all readings taken in the last 12 months.

  • JNPR is down 0.2% at $22.69, after William Blair assumed coverage with a "market perform" rating. Even prior to this, the brokerage bunch was already less than optimistic toward the shares, with over two-thirds of analysts following Juniper Networks, Inc. giving the stock a rating equivalent to "hold." And with the shares off 18% in 2016 and coming under pressure from their 20-day moving average, JNPR could be in more trouble, should recent option bulls abandon their positions. Traders on the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX have bought to open more than four JNPR calls for each put over the past 10 days, with the resulting call/put volume ratio of 4.13 ranking in the 78th percentile of its annual range.

  • A price-target cut to $14 from $16.75 at HSBC hasn't fazed POT, last seen trading 0.4% higher at $16.60 -- and trimming its year-over-year loss to 48.7%. The shares have been slumping in recent weeks after being rejected by their 160-day moving average, and short sellers have been piling on. In fact, these bearish bets increased by nearly 56% during the two most recent reporting periods, and now account for 4.4% of the stock's available float. Meanwhile, near-term option traders have been unusually put-heavy toward Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, as the equity's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.20 sits in the 92nd percentile of its annual range.
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