Analyst Actions: Applied Materials, Avon, Wachovia, Johnson & Johnson

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Credit Suisse First Boston's

John Pitzer cut

Applied Materials'

(AMAT) - Get Report

2001 earnings projections to $2.85 a share from $3.25 a share. He said in a research note that his firm is worried about growth in Applied Materials' April quarter.

"We have perhaps a more bearish view than most on the length of the current inventory correction. We are lowering our 2001 capital growth estimate from 10% to 15% to 0% to 5%"

Pitzer said he believed the company would meet its upcoming fourth-quarter earnings forecasts in the range of 73 cents a share to 75 cents. Pitzer's estimate for the quarter is 77 cents share, which he said "may be above the high end." The

First Call/Thomson Financial

26-analyst estimate is 76 cents a share for the quarter.

SG Cowen

said it expects Applied Materials to meet fourth-quarter EPS estimates of 76 cents a share.

Upgrades

Avon Products

(AVP) - Get Report

: 12-month price target UP to $60 from $48 at CSFB.

PNC Financial Services

(PNC) - Get Report

: 12-month price target UP to $85 from $75 at

UBS Warburg

.

TCF Financial

(TCB)

: price target UP to $52 from $47 at

Lehman Brothers

.

USFreightways

(USFC)

: UP to strong buy from buy at CSFB.

Downgrades

Firstar

(FSR)

: 12-month price target DOWN to $26 from $35 at UBS Warburg.

SunTrust Banks

(STI) - Get Report

: 12-month price target DOWN to $65 from $70 at UBS Warburg.

Wachovia

(WB) - Get Report

: 12-month price target DOWN to $60 from $50 at UBS Warburg.

Initiations

Ixia

(XXIA)

: NEW intermediate accumulate and NEW long-term buy at

Merrill Lynch

.

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

: NEW add rating at

ABN Amro

and 12-month price target of $107 a share.