3 Stocks Sinking on Downgrades

EXACT Sciences was overbought heading into today's trading

by Karee Venema

Published on Nov 13, 2017 at 9:50 AM

Analysts are weighing in on drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR) (NYSE:TEVA), molecular diagnostics concern EXACT Sciences Corporation (NASDAQ:EXAS), as well as scandalized credit services provider Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes on TEVA, EXAS, EFX stocks.

Analysts: No Clear Recovery for TEVA

Teva Pharmaceutical stock was downgraded to "underweight" from "neutral" at J.P. Morgan Securities, which also slashed its price target to $11 from $20, with the analyst saying there's not a clear path to a sustained recovery in the company's U.S. generics business. Further, the analyst said there's no reason to jump in on TEVA at current levels, especially as there are more "attractive" opportunities in the pharma sector. Elsewhere, Citigroup cut its price target on TEVA to $13 from $19.

In reaction, TEVA shares are down 2.3% to trade at $11.51. This negative price action is nothing new for the security, though, which was already off 67.5% year-to-date heading into today's trading, and hit a 17-year low of $10.85 earlier this month on the back of a dismal earnings report.

Short sellers have been on the right side of TEVA, too. Short interest surged 52.8% in the most recent reporting period, to 2.7 million shares -- the most in at least 15 years. Therefore, it's also likely that some of the stock's recent technical troubles have been a result of such intense selling pressure.

Overbought EXAS Stock Downgraded at Baird

EXACT Sciences stock was downgraded to "neutral" at Baird, overshadowing a price-target hike to $67 from $63 at Leerink. The shares have plunged 3.3% out of the gate to trade at $58.33, but remain more than 335% higher year-to-date -- and hit an all-time peak of $63.60 last Wednesday, Nov. 8. This epic surge brought the stock's 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI) to a lofty 74 at last Friday's close, indicating the equity was overbought and a short-term pullback was likely in the cards.

Stifel Downgrades Equifax After Dreary 4Q Guidance

Equifax last week issued lackluster current-quarter guidance, and warned that the company's notorious data breach could cost roughly $60 million to $75 million in the fourth quarter. This morning, analysts have been quick to chime in, with Stifel downgrading EFX stock to "hold" from "buy" and lowering its price target to $115 from $149. RBC, on the other hand, increased its price target to $114 from $113.

Out of the gate, EFX shares are down 1.9% to trade at $106.71 -- running into resistance last week near $110, a 38.2% Fibonacci retracement of their post-breach plunge. Longer term, the equity is down 9.5% year-to-date.

Should Equifax stock continue to struggle, more bearish brokerage notes are certainly a possibility. At Friday's close, roughly 69% of covering analysts maintained a "strong buy" rating on the shares, with not a single "sell" on the books. Plus, the average 12-month price target of $120.79 stands well above EFX's current perch.


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