The Dow Stock Downgraded on Valuation Concerns; Bed Bath & Beyond Tanks

L Brands and 3M stocks both received downgrades

Managing Editor
Sep 20, 2017 at 10:11 AM
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Analysts are weighing in on retailers L Brands Inc (NYSE:LB) and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY), as well as Dow stock 3M Co (NYSE:MMM). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on shares of LB, BBBY, and MMM.

Cowen Downgrades L Brands on Competition Worries

L Brands stock is down 5.1% to trade at $37.22, after Cowen and Company downgraded the retailer to "market perform" from "outperform," while also issuing a price-target cut to $39 from $40. The analyst cited "fundamental new competition in the sport bra market" as a reason for the lowered rating. Barclays also chimed in on LB, initiating coverage with an "equal weight" rating and $41 price target.

Today's negative price action is more of the same, considering LB shares have shed 48% year-over-year and fell to a nearly six-year low of $35 on Aug. 17 following a dismal earnings report. Any attempts at a rally since then have been contained by the shares' 50-day moving average.

However, there are still some remaining bullish holdouts among the analyst bunch. At last night's close, eight of the 23 brokerages covering LB stock rated it a "buy" or "strong buy." This indicates that there is room for further downgrades, should the retail stock continue to struggle.

Weak Earnings Result In A Slew Of PT Cuts for BBBY Stock

Bed Bath & Beyond released its second-quarter earnings after the close yesterday, reporting a decrease in same-store sales and lowered guidance for the year, as well as earnings that missed the consensus estimate. As a result, no fewer than six brokerages issued price-target cuts, including one to $21 from $27 at KeyBanc. BBBY stock is currently down 15.2% to trade at $22.92 -- earlier hitting a a new eight-year low of $22.41 -- bringing its year-to-date deficit to 43.6%. 

Short sellers have likely had a hand in this downside, too. Short interest on BBBY is up 66% since early April to 18.09 million shares. Although the stock is short-sale restricted today, a continued surge in short selling could create more headwinds for BBBY shares.

3M Stock Downgraded After Record High

3M shares are down 1.4%  to trade at $210.66, after J.P. Morgan Securities downgraded the Dow stock to "underweight" from "neutral," citing valuation concerns that create "a negative skew on the risk reward." And while the brokerage firm raised its price target to $201 from $185, this still represents a discount to current levels.

Heading into today's trading, MMM shares were up nearly 20% year-to-date, and topped out at a record high of $214.65 yesterday along with the Dow. As such, the stock's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) closed last night at 70 -- in "overbought" territory, suggesting a short-term breather may have been in the cards.

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