cut its estimates of
earnings per share after the company lowered its revenue predictions for 2000. Lehman reduced this year's estimates to 92 cents from 93 cents and next year's to $1.17 a share from $1.22.
Salomon Smith Barney
initiated coverage of 23 bank stocks this morning, saying the firm recommends a slightly overweight position but also advises selectivity, since it sees many banks as low-growth companies. Credit quality and sector rotation were among the concerns expressed. Among stocks commented on, seven were rated buys, four as outperforms and 12 as neutrals, including:
: OUTPERFORM; price target: $45.
: BUY; price target: $75.
: BUY; price target: $52.
: UP to intermediate-term accumulate from neutral at
: UP to intermediate-term accumulate from neutral at Merrill.
: 12-month price target UP to $215 from $175 at
St. Jude Medical
: UP to market outperformer from market performer at
: price target UP to $47 from $38 at
: 2001 EPS estimate DOWN to 85 cents from $1.43 at Goldman.
: DOWN to outperform from strong buy at
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
: DOWN to outperform from buy at Salomon Smith Barney; and it was cut from Goldman's U.S. recommended for purchase list.
: DOWN to market performer at Goldman and removed from the firm's recommended for purchase list. 2000 EPS estimate DOWN to $1.57 from $1.65 and 2001 EPS outlook to $1.70 from $1.85.
: DOWN to market performer from market outperformer at Goldman; 2000 EPS estimate DOWN to $2.44 from $2.60; 2001 EPS estimate DOWN to $2.75 a share from $2.90.
: third-quarter EPS estimate DOWN to 12 cents from 15 cents at Salomon; fourth-quarter EPS estimate 18 cents from 21 cents; 2001 EPS estimate to 83 cents from 90 cents.
: NEW neutral at Lehman Brothers.
Morgan Stanley started coverage of toy companies
with neutral ratings.
, which announced
merger plans yesterday, to neutral from outperform. The firm said "concerns about execution risk and slower growth rates might limit Firstar's near-term upside."