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Change in Ratings

Affiliated Computer Services

( ACS) upgraded at Jefferies to buy rating from hold. Price target upped to $63 from $50 and fiscal year 2008 EPS estimates lift to $3.17 from $3.12.


(AGN) - Get Allergan plc Report

downgraded at Jefferies to hold rating from buy. Price target dips to $62 from $78 and fiscal year 2008 EPS estimates hold at $2.55.

Apria Healthcare

( AHG) upgraded at Jefferies to hold rating from under perform. Price target holds at $20 and fiscal year 2009 EPS estimates dip to $1.90 from $2.05.


(AIZ) - Get Assurant, Inc. Report

downgraded at Goldman Sachs to neutral from buy based on tougher comps and increased vulnerability to catastrophe risk, ahead of hurricane season. Note stock's strong performance since October, driven by increases in specialty property policies. Price target lowered to $75 from $77.


(DRYS) - Get DryShips Inc. Report

coverage initiated at Credit Suisse with an outperform rating and $110 price target. Expect 90% earnings growth in 2008, followed by 10% growth in 2009. See spot charter rates pushing higher due to strong commodity demand and limited fleet growth.


(EQ) - Get Equillium, Inc. Report

upgraded at Deutsche from hold to buy with a $64 price target. Company has a stable outlook, and presents investors with attractive free cash flow and dividend yields.

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Investment Tech. Group


downgraded at KBW to market perform. Company had a strong first quarter, but will struggle to keep outperforming throughout the year.

Sun Microsystems

( JAVA) downgraded at Bear from outperform to peer perform. Estimates also cut, as the company missed conservative targets last quarter.

Jones Apparel


upgraded at Merrill from neutral to buy with a $20 price target. Estimates also raised to reflect the WMT launch this summer and some retail recovery.


(JWN) - Get Nordstrom, Inc. Report

upgraded at Credit Suisse to outperform from neutral based on structural improvements. See increased focus on return on capital and favorable position relative to other retailers that are likely to close stores. Price target raised to $40 from $35.

ManTech International

(MANT) - Get ManTech International Corporation Class A Report

downgraded at Cowen to neutral from outperform. Maintains 2008 EPS estimates of $2.45.


(MORN) - Get Morningstar, Inc. Report

upgraded at KBW to outperform. Company is positioned to deliver high-teens earnings growth, even in a difficult environment. $72 price target.


downgraded at Citigroup from buy to hold with a $137 price target. Valuation call, as the stock is up nearly 50% since mid-January.


(PTEN) - Get Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. Report

upgraded at CSFB to neutral from underperform. 2008 EPS estimates raised to $2.15 from $2.05. Price target raised to $30 from $21.

Patterson-UTI Energy upgraded at Credit Suisse to neutral from underperform based on improved outlook for U.S. drilling activity and dayrates. First-quarter management commentary was positive, including plans to deploy most of remaining NOV IDEAL rigs into field by year-end. Price target at $30.

Pioneer Natural

(PXD) - Get Pioneer Natural Resources Company Report

upgraded at Deutsche from hold to buy with an $81 price target. MLP offering should help unlock value, and a new shale play should add to the company's recent positive operational news.


( TBL) upgraded at Citigroup from sell to hold with a $17 price target. See limited downside, even though restructuring and rebranding issues remain.

Stock Comments/EPS Changes


(BCO) - Get Brink's Company Report

numbers raised at UBS. Price target lifts to $75 from $66 and fiscal year 2008 EPS estimates jump to $3.60 from $3.40. Reiterates neutral rating.


(CLX) - Get Clorox Company Report

estimates raised, target cut at Morgan Stanley. Company guided to an improving sales mix and better pricing environment. Overweight rating and new $70 price target.

First Solar

(FSLR) - Get First Solar, Inc. Report

price target raised at Goldman to $330 from $275, based on solid first-quarter earnings and raised guidance. Note industry-leading cost/watt manufacturing and upcoming entry into U.S. utility market. Maintained buy rating.

This article was written by a staff member of Ratings.