Analysts have been sending out their research reports to their clients again this week. In the following, a review of the most important downgrades for the week of April 16-20.
Jefferies lowers its estimates for CBOE Holdings (CBOE) without specifying a price target. On the back of the downgrade from Jefferies shares have fallen 1% over the last week. Jefferies is worried that lower than anticipated trading volumes during the first quarter and relative higher fixed costs levels will have an adverse effect on the earnings to be presented next week.
Deutsche Bank lowered its advice for SanDisk (SNDK) from buy to hold with a price target of $35. The downgrade comes after shares have fallen almost 13% on the week as the company reported a bad earnings miss accompanied with a grim outlook.
Analyst are worried about the large extent to which the company missed on expectations and worry about SanDisk's competitiveness in the global chip market.
RBC Capital Markets lowered its advice for Riverbed Technology (RVBD) from outperform to underperform with a price target of $20. This comes after the company missed the expectations for first quarter earnings and issued a soft outlook for the second quarter triggering a 29% sell-off on Friday. RBC points out that the introduction of a new range of products lead to higher revenues but possibly confusion among its customers. Furthermore the addition of a range of new products led to a sales force productivity loss.
KeyBanc Capital Markets lowered its advice for Whirlpool (WHR) from buy to hold without specifying a price target. Shares in the manufacturer of home appliances have fallen some 10% over the week after the US International Trade Commission voted against duties on home appliance products out of China and South Korea. The vote is a disappointment for Whirlpool who alleged two Korean rivals of price dumping. Over the last year the shares have lost over 26% on the back of foreign competition.
Wunderlich lowered its advice for FirstSolar (FSLR) from hold to sell with a price target of $14, suggesting some 32% further downside potential for the battered solar module producer. Despite the downgrade shares ended the week flat, but trade 85% below the levels of last year. Shares spiked earlier this week after the company cut some 2,000 jobs, some 30% of its workforce, which significantly reduces the production footprint.
UBS has a sell rating for AFLAC (AFL) without specifying a particular target price. The life- and supplemental health care insurance company will report lower earnings through 2013 according to the Swiss-based bank. Over the course of the last week shares have fallen 3% on the downgrade and have fallen 22% over the last year. UBS indicates that AFLAC's capital deployment is going to be limited given the recent European weakness.
UBS lowered its target for BestBuy (BBY) to $23.50 and maintains its neutral rating. UBS sees no rush to pick up shares in the retail consumer electronics chain amidst uncertainty about store closings. Recently the company announced it would close 50 stores to improve the bottom line and last week its CEO resigned after allegations and increasing uncertainty about the prospects of the firm.
With a correction in general stock markets taking place analysts see some downside potential in some names. Analysts have published downgrades across industries. Unfortunately for investors in Riverbed Technology and SanDisk the warnings of investors came after the fact.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.