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

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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