Analyst Downgrades: Twitter Inc, Lloyds Banking Group PLC, and NetApp Inc.

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Twitter Inc (TWTR), Lloyds Banking Group PLC (ADR) (LYG), and NetApp Inc. (NTAP)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Sep 26, 2016 at 9:26 AM

Analysts are weighing in on microblogging issue Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), financial stock Lloyds Banking Group PLC (ADR) (NYSE:LYG), and tech concern NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on TWTR, LYG, and NTAP.

  • Just a day after jumping on buyout speculation, TWTR is pointed 3.3% lower pre-market, after Oppenheimer cut its rating to "underperform" from "perform." This is more of the same for a stock that's received 22 "hold" or worse recommendations, compared to only four "strong buy" opinions. As alluded to, Twitter Inc soared on Friday to $22.62 -- taking out recent resistance to notch its highest close of 2016 -- and is now just 2.2% lower on a year-to-date basis.
  • Goldman Sachs lowered its rating on London-based LYG to "sell" from "neutral," and slashed its price target to 50p, citing mounting competition from HSBC in the mortgage lending business. Adding to the concerns, U.K. mortgage approvals hit a 19-month low in August, and more generally, overseas bank stocks are sinking. As such, Lloyds Banking Group PLC is down 3.1% in electronic trading, after closing last week at $2.95 -- at a nearly 32% year-to-date deficit. Hopes of a rebound are high in the options pits, though. The stock's 50-day call/put volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) is a top-heavy 19.09, in the 92nd percentile of its annual range.
  • NTAP was hit with a downgrade to "sell" from "hold" at Deutsche Bank, knocking the shares 2.2% lower ahead of the open. That said, the stock closed Friday at $35.66, on a more than 34% year-to-date lead, and hit a fresh annual high of $36.10 last week, as well. Surprisingly, short-term options traders have been very put-skewed toward NetApp Inc. The stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) checks in at 1.27, outstripping 92% of all other readings from the past year.
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