Analyst Downgrades: Nice Ltd, Zillow Group, Inc., and athenahealth, Inc

Analysts downwardly revised their ratings and price targets on software provider Nice Ltd (ADR) (NICE), real estate marketplace Zillow Group, Inc. (ZG), and healthcare stock athenahealth, Inc (ATHN)

by Celeste Taylor

Published on Jan 13, 2017 at 10:51 AM

Analysts are weighing in on software provider Nice Ltd (ADR) (NASDAQ:NICE), real estate marketplace Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZG), and healthcare stock athenahealth, Inc (NASDAQ:ATHN). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on NICE, ZG, and ATHN.

  • NICE is down 0.6% at $69.13, following a downgrade to "in-line" from "outperform" by Imperial Capital, although the brokerage firm also boosted its price target to $76 from $74. J.P. Morgan Securities also raised its price target on the software stock to $75 from $74. NICE has taken several strong bounces off its 50-week moving average in the past year, translating into a 52-week gain of 21.5%. In the options pits, near-term option players are more put-skewed than usual toward the stock, with Nice Ltd's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.17 sitting just 5 percentage points below an annual peak.

  • ZG is trading higher, up 1.2% at $37.79, in spite of a downgrade to "equal-weight" from "overweight" at Morgan Stanley. The brokerage firm said that while it remains "bullish in the long-term opportunity, the share price is approaching our target price ... which causes us to move to the sidelines." ZG is up almost 67% year-over-year, and has recently established a foothold in the $37-$38 region -- site of its previous highs -- after an early December bull gap. Short sellers may be sweating, too. With 5.7% of ZG's float sold short, it would take more than 17 days of trading to cover these bearish bets, at Zillow Group, Inc.'s average volume.

  • ATHN is trading 2.2% lower at $120.37, after a price-target cut to $95 from $110 at Jefferies, which also reiterated its "underperform" rating on the shares. ATHN is down more than 20% year-over-year, and is staring up at its 50-week moving average. A recent rally brought the shares right up to this stern layer of resistance, but today's decline has the stock back below it -- having failed to close north of here on a weekly basis since last March. In the option pits, short-term traders have rarely been as put-skewed toward athenahealth, Inc as they are now. In fact, the stock's SOIR of 1.68 ranks in the 97th annual percentile.
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