Analyst Downgrades: Fitbit Inc, Gilead Sciences, Inc., and TASER International, Inc.

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings and price targets on Fitbit Inc (FIT), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD), and TASER International, Inc. (TASR)

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Oct 3, 2016 at 9:42 AM

Analysts are weighing in on wearables giant Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT), drugmaker Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), and stun gun stock TASER International, Inc. (NASDAQ:TASR). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on FIT, GILD, and TASR.

  • Cowen cut its price target on FIT to $18 from $20. However, in early trading, the stock has edged 0.8% higher to $14.96. On a long-term basis, Fitbit Inc remains a laggard, shedding nearly half its value year-to-date. Not surprisingly, short sellers have made their presence known. Over 39% of FIT's float is sold short, which would take more than a week to buy back, at the stock's typical daily trading volume. At the same time, though, options traders have been targeting calls over puts.
  • GILD saw its price target cut to $95 from $105 at RBC, pressuring the shares 1.3% lower at $78.11. Losses are nothing new for the drug stock, which has surrendered 23% of its value in 2016. But that hasn't stopped options traders from betting bullishly on Gilead Sciences, Inc. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), speculators have bought to open 2.63 calls for every put during the last two weeks, and GILD's corresponding call/put volume ratio ranks in the high 72nd percentile of its annual range.
  • A downgrade to "neutral" from "buy" at Ladenburg Thalmann -- which also removed its price target -- has dropped TASR 10.9% to $25.50 this morning. The brokerage firm issue the bearish note in response to Vievu LLC's $6 million camera contract with the New York Police Department (NYPD), which "has the potential to impact pricing across the industry." Specifically, Vievu will charge the NYPD $20 per camera, per month -- roughly half what TASER International, Inc. charges. Despite today's setback, TASR stock is still sitting on a healthy 47% year-to-date lead. Options traders are apparently hoping those gains continue to dwindle, buying to open 1.33 puts for every call during the last 10 sessions. More significantly, the resultant put/call volume ratio outstrips 99% of all others from the past year.
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