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Goldman Sachs

upgraded its rating on power-plant operator


(PPL) - Get PPL Corporation Report

to its recommended list and issued positive comments on three other utilities companies that are moving from a regulated business to a more independent business.

PPL was given a price target of $55. Goldman cited rapid growth in the nonregulated utilities business as an expectation of continued strong performance in the stock, which closed at $38.81 yesterday. This morning, the stock was trading up $1.75, or 4.7%, to $40.56. Goldman said the "transitioning" growth group is expected to provide returns of 45% to 50% over the next 12 months.

"The best total return prospects under the transitioning-growth theme are in four stocks, including

Edison International

(EIX) - Get Edison International Report

, Pacific Electric & Gas

(PCG) - Get Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Report

, and

Constellation Energy Group

( CEG) and PPL," analyst Jonathan Raleigh said in the Goldman note.


Sun Microsystems

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TheStreet Recommends

(SUNW) - Get Sunworks Inc. Report

held a midquarter conference call, analysts remain generally positive on the stock.

Lehman Brothers


Credit Suisse First Boston


UBS Warburg

affirmed their existing ratings.

Banc of America Securities

cut the target price on the stock to $130 from $145, but said the move reflects weakness in technology stocks, rather than specific problems with the company.



( IDR): UP to buy from accumulate at

Merrill Lynch

; price target: $25.

Barnes & Noble

(BNS) - Get Bank Nova Scotia Halifax Pfd 3 Report

: UP to buy from outperform at

Salomon Smith Barney

, price target $30; UP to buy from accumulate at Merrill Lynch; price target: $35.

Bergen Brunswig

(BBC) - Get Virtus LifeSci Biotech Clinical Trials ETF Report

: UP to buy from outperform at Lehman Brothers.

Veritas Software

(VRTS) - Get Virtus Investment Partners Inc. Report

: price target UP to $160 from $150 at Lehman Brothers.



(GNTX) - Get Gentex Corporation Report

: DOWN to accumulate from strong buy at

Prudential Securities



(NAVI) - Get Navient Corporation Report

: DOWN to accumulate from strong buy at Prudential Securities.

Kulicke & Soffa

(KLIC) - Get Kulicke and Soffa Industries Inc. Report

: estimates DOWN to $1.62 from $1.68 in 2000; down to 11 cents from 25 cents in 2001 at Merrill Lynch.



: NEW outperform at Salomon Smith Barney; price target: $36.


( BSYS): NEW buy at CSFB; price target: $58.

Quaker Oats

( OAT): NEW market performer at Banc of America Securities.