CHANGE IN RATINGSAflac (AFL - Get Report) downgraded at Citigroup from Hold to Sell. $55 price target. Market may be too early anticipating a turnaround in Japanese sales.
Altera (ALTR) upgraded at Citigroup from Hold to Buy. $25 price target. Stock has pulled back sharply since the recent earnings call, and the company is still expected to deliver 8% earnings growth in 2008.
Acuity Brands (AYI) upgraded at CIBC from Sector Perform to Outperform. $45 price target, following the ZEP spin-off. Valuation call, as the company could continue to expand margins in the new year.
Chattem (CHTT) upgraded at Wachovia from Market Perform to Outperform. Pullback over the past two weeks has created an attractive buying opportunity. Company can post 20% earnings growth in 2008.Concur Tech (CNQR) downgraded at Merrill from Neutral to Sell. Expect more risk to 2008 estimates, if the US economy continues to slow. Echostar (DISH) downgraded at Citigroup from Buy to Hold. $52 price target. Sub-prime concerns could lead to a higher churn rate. Estimates also cut. Dover (DOV) downgraded at Merrill from Buy to Neutral. Tech business seems to have stabilized, but the company's other divisions could suffer from a slower US economy. Energy Conversion (ENER) downgraded at UBS to Neutral rating from Buy. Price target drops to $33 from $43 and FY 2008 eps estimates slashed to $(0.01) from $0.30.