Ascena Retail Group, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Casey's General Stores Downgraded

Ascena Retail Group, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, and Casey's General Stores received bearish analyst attention ahead of today's open

Josh Selway
Mar 7, 2017 at 9:19 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on Ann Taylor parent Ascena Retail Group Inc (NASDAQ:ASNA), biotech stock Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX), and convenience store operator Casey's General Stores Inc (NASDAQ:CASY). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on VRX, ASNA, and CASY shares.

Ascena Retail Group Earnings Could Lead to New Lows

Following the company's fiscal second-quarter earnings results last night, ASNA was hit with a downgrade to "sell" from "neutral" at Citigroup, which also cut its price target to $3 from $5.50. KeyBanc weighed in, as well, with a price-target cut to $10 from $11. Given the shares' long-term trajectory, Citigroup's move seems to make more sense, as Ascena Retail Group Inc is in a strong multi-year downtrend. Just yesterday, the stock hit a roughly eight-year low of $4.27, before closing at $4.50, and ASNA is pointed 1.9% lower in electronic trading. Short sellers have continued to climb aboard lately, with short interest jumping 25.3% in the last two reporting periods. 

Deutsche Bank Trims Outlook on Valeant Stock

VRX is no stranger to new lows, trading near seven-year lows after taking a hard hit yesterday on debt refinancing concerns, and closing at $12.41. Deutsche Bank, in response, cut its price target to $19 from $20, representing territory not seen since November. At the moment, Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc has an even higher consensus 12-month price target of $20.08, so the shares could fall victim to additional price-target reductions -- even though just two of 14 brokerage firms still recommend buying VRX. 

Casey's General Stores Downgraded After Earnings

CASY is down 5.2% pre-market following the company's fiscal third-quarter earnings miss, with RBC weighing in with a downgrade to "sector perform" from "outperform." The brokerage firm also cut its price target to $123 from $136. On the charts, Casey's General Stores Inc hit a record high of $136.22 back in July, but has struggled ever since -- recently pressured by the 50-day moving average, to close Monday at $114.20. Options traders at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) have been betting on a pullback, with CASY's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 3.84 ranking in the 73rd annual percentile. 

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