Signet Jewelers Ltd. (SIG) downgraded at Wells Fargo
Shares of Signet Jewelers Ltd. (SIG), the parent of Zale and Kay jewelry store chains, plunged 14% in afternoon trading Thursday, to pace declines among its retail peers, after Wells Fargo analyst Ike Boruchow turned bearish, citing expectations of continued declining consumer interest in the brands and concerns over the highly levered balance sheet. The stock extends the 31.6% selloff suffered in 2019, which marked the fifth straight yearly decline, the longest such streak in its publicly traded history. The stock 2019 performance compares with the 12.3% gain in the SPDR S&P Retail ETF XRT, -0.76% and the S&P 500's SPX, +0.84% 28.9% rally last year. Boruchow downgraded Signet to underweight from equal weight, and slashed his stock price target to $12, which is 25% below current levels, from $16. Boruchow said a survey of 750 shoppers showed that purchase intent has worsened over the last 12 months, to 68% of respondents planning to shop at Signet stores less from 47% planning to shop less over the previous 12-month period.