Deere, Johnson Controls: Ratings Upgrades

Deere, Johnson Controls and Viacom were upgraded at TheStreet.
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BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Deere & Co. (DE) - Get Report, Johnson Controls (JCI) - Get Report and Viacom (VIA) - Get Report were upgraded by TheStreet's stock model.

3.

The model upgraded film-and-television company Viacom to "buy."

Quarter

: Fourth-quarter profit quadrupled to $694 million, or $1.14 a share, as revenue declined 3.4%. The operating margin stretched from 22% to 28%. Viacom has $298 million of cash and $6.8 billion of debt, equal to a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.8.

Stock

: Viacom has soared 86% during the past year, outpacing U.S. stock-market indices. It trades at a price-to-projected-earnings ratio of 12 and a price-to-book ratio of 2.6, 38% and 35% discounts to peer averages. It's also cheap based on sales.

Consensus

: Of analysts covering Viacom, three advise purchasing its shares and three recommend holding them.

Barclays

(BCS) - Get Report

expects the stock to advance 10% to $39.

Piper Jaffray

(PJC) - Get Report

believes the shares are fairly priced at $35.

2.

The model upgraded Johnson Controls, a maker of car parts and building-efficiency equipment, to "buy."

Quarter

: Johnson Controls swung to a fiscal second-quarter profit of $274 million, or 40 cents, from a loss of $193 million, or 33 cents, a year earlier. Revenue grew 32%. The operating margin turned positive. Johnson has $770 million of cash and $3.4 billion of debt.

Stock

: Johnson Controls has risen 78% during the past 12 months, more than U.S. stock-market benchmarks. It sells for a price-to-projected-earnings ratio of 14 and a price-to-sales ratio of 0.7, 62% and 51% discounts to industry averages. It's also cheap based on cash flow.

Consensus

: Of researchers following Johnson Controls, seven rate its stock "buy" and 14 rate it "hold."

Robert W. Baird

offers a price target of $42, leaving a potential 25% return.

Credit Suisse

(CS) - Get Report

foresees the shares climbing to $40.

1.

The model upgraded farm-machinery maker

Deere & Co.

(DE) - Get Report

to "buy."

Quarter

: Fiscal first-quarter profit increased 19% to $4.8 billion, or 57 cents, as revenue decreased 6.1%. The operating margin inched up from 11% to 12%. Deere has $5 billion of cash and $25 billion of debt, equal to a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.

Stock

: Deere has risen 53% during the past year, more than U.S. stock-market indices. It trades at a price-to-projected-earnings ratio of 15 and a price-to-cash-flow ratio of 8, 39% and 60% discounts to peer averages. It's expensive based on book value.

Consensus

: Of firms rating Deere, 14, or 58%, advocate purchasing its shares and 10 recommend holding them.

Sanford Bernstein

offers a price target of $75, implying 24% of upside. Credit Suisse is less optimistic, forecasting a price of $70.

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-- Reported by Jake Lynch in Boston.