Analyst Downgrades: Gilead Sciences, Inc., Las Vegas Sands Corp., and Whole Foods Market, Inc.

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD), Las Vegas Sands Corp. (:LVS), and Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFM)

Kirra Fedyszyn
Jul 26, 2016 at 10:09 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on biotech issue Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), casino stock Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS), and organic grocer Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on GILD, LVS, and WFM.

  • GILD received a downgrade to "hold" from "buy" at Needham, along with at least eight price-target cuts, after the company reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings per share, but a disappointing outlook for 2016 sales. The stock has shed 26% year-over-year, last seen down 7.7% at $81.76. Still, Gilead Sciences, Inc. could be in for even more pain, should further bearish attention come its way. More than half of the 17 brokerage firms following the stock rate is a "buy" or better, without a "sell" on the books. Meanwhile, former short sellers may be wishing they had held on longer, as these bearish bets fell by more than 15% during the last two reporting periods, and now represent less than 2% of GILD's available float.

  • LVS is up 4.8% at $50.08, despite a second-quarter earnings miss and a price-target cut to $45 from $47 at J.P. Morgan Securities. Today's rally may be due to investor optimism ahead of the launch of a new Parisian resort, as well as upbeat comments from the company's founder Sheldon Adelson, who expressed confidence that the casino industry in Macau is recovering. But bearish options traders could be sweating today's climb, which puts LVS up 14% year-to-date. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.89 sits higher than 84% of the past year's readings.

  • WFM was downgraded to "sell" from "neutral" at Goldman Sachs, ahead of the company's fiscal third-quarter earnings report, due after the close on Wednesday. The stock, off 0.9% at $34.25 this morning, has been choppy on the charts over the past year, oscillating mostly between the $29 and $35 levels. While options traders have been bullish in the past, it looks like short-term traders may be taking a more downbeat approach. Whole Foods Markets, Inc. currently holds a Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.09, showing puts outnumbering calls among options set to expire in three months or less. What's more, this ratio sits in the 84th percentile of its annual range.
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