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Target, First Bancorp: Rating Changes

Stocks in this article: CRRFBNCTGT

The stock: John Bean Technologies has more than doubled in 2009, trouncing major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of 15, indicating a discount to peers and the market, and offers a 1.7% dividend yield. The company's weak financial position is a cause for concern.

The model upgraded King Pharmaceuticals (KG) to "hold."

The numbers: Second-quarter revenue rose 12% to $445 million, but net income decreased 7% to $38 million and earnings per share dropped 12% to 15 cents, hurt by a higher share count. The operating margin dropped from 26% to 24% and the net margin dipped from 10% to 9%. Around $485 million of cash and a quick ratio of 1.4 demonstrate ample liquidity. And a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.3 indicates fiscal prudence.

The stock: King Pharmaceuticals is down 4% in 2009, underperforming major U.S. indices. The company doesn't pay dividends.

The model upgraded retailer Target (TGT) to "buy."

The numbers: Second-quarter net income dropped 6% to $594 million and earnings per share fell 4% to 79 cents as revenue declined 3% to $15 billion. The operating margin remained steady below 8% and the net margin dipped below 4%. Target has a less-than-ideal liquidity position, reflected by a quick ratio of 0.8. An $18 billion debt load and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.2 indicate excessive leverage. But we give Target a financial strength score of 8.9 out of 10 due to its resilient revenue.

The stock: Target has advanced 31% in 2009, outpacing major U.S. indices. The stock trades at a fair price-to-earnings ratio of 16 and offers a 1.5% dividend yield.

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