Monday, March 15, 2010

Riverbed Technology (RVBD) and Atheros Communicatins (ATHR) Both Downgraded

Normally I care little about what analysts say, but since it affects stock prices ... we have 2 downgrades to start the week.  First, Riverbed Technology (RVBD) which we just restarted late last week was taken to neutral on valuation.  I can't argue with valuation on almost any stock at this point as they have all run up in sector after sector; but downgrades on valuation mean less than any sort of change to business.  The stock is right back to where we bought it, after we enjoyed a decent bounce Friday afternoon.  Still waiting for a move to mid $25s to buy more, hopefully.
  • Piper Jaffray downgrades Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD) from Overweight to Neutral. Price target $28.   Piper analyst says, "We are downgrading our rating on RVBD shares to Neutral based purely on valuation.
  • We anticipate the company will continue to execute well and upside to March quarter and 2010 estimates is highly likely, but we believe this is already priced into the stock. We believe several investors are valuing RVBD shares based on a scenario of $1.00 in EPS for 2010 and this compares to consensus estimates of roughly $0.85. Given the upside scenario already priced into RVBD shares, we think it will be hard for the stock to outperform on a relative basis and believe a Neutral rating is warranted."

Similarly, Atheros Communications (ATHR) was downgraded by Barclays for identical reasons.
  • Atheros Communications (ATHR) downgraded at Barclays to Equal Weight from Overweight on valuation. 2010 and 2011 EPS estimates set at $2.20 and $2.40, respectively. Maintain $40 price target.
This downgrade caused a gap down, so the game plan here is to buy near that 50 day moving average in low $35s if possible and if the stock breaks through that support we need to cut back exposure and take it from there.

Long both names mentioned in fund; no personal position

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