The Linux penguin mascot wearing the red fedora and red trunks in the Raleigh corner is taking a beating today.

Like a boxer dazed by two blows to the chin, Hatter shares are stumbling around on Wall Street.

After two negative reports from analysts and on the heels of another one earlier this month, Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) tumbled 5.4 percent to $48.05 in early afternoon trading, giving up $2.75. The battering comes just two days before Red Hat discloses its latest earnings.

Shares did rally but ended up down 3.6 percent, or $1.81, on the day at $48.99.

Earlier shares traded as low as $47.91, not too far from Red Hat’s 52-week low of $46.34.

Trading by 1 p.m. had already doubled the normal daily average of some 2 million shares. By day’s end, more than 7 million shares were traded.

Last May, Red Hat shares traded at a 52-week high of $62.75. Last month, shares traded at nearly $57.

The Hatters are betting increasingly on “cloud computing” in its growth strategy, and some analysts are now expressing doubts.

On March 12, Citigroup cut Red Hat from “buy” to “neutral.”

Joining the negative ranks Monday were analyst firms Raymond James and Jefferies.

Raymond James’ Michael Turtis cut Red Hat to “market perform” from “outperform,” saying he expected Red Hat to offer revenue guidance that is likely to disappoint investors.

“Turits said he thinks the risk of a slow-down in Linux growth is increasing,” the Associated Press reported. “At the same time, just how much of a boost Red Hat will get from its non-Linux businesses remains to be seen.”

At Jefferies, Ross MacMillan lowered his target stock price to $65 from $67 but did maintain his “buy” rating. 

[RED HAT ARCHIVE: Check out more than a decade of Lenovo stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.]