Semiconductors have had a difficult time as PC makers and chipmakers have warned about the next two quarters. Demand for silicon chips has been slowing, and with profits set to shrink,
analyst Brett Hodess reduced his intermediate-term view on a dozen companies, but maintained a long-term buy on the industry as a whole.
"We are reducing intermediate-term ratings on the front-end process semiconductor-equipment stocks where our estimate reductions imply that the downside risk is still not recognized," Hodess wrote.
These chips were taken down by Hodess:
- Advanced Energy (AEIS) : DOWN to neutral from accumulate.
Applied Materials (AMAT) : DOWN to neutral from accumulate.
Asyst Technology (ASYT) : DOWN to accumulate.
Cymer (CYMI) : DOWN to neutral from buy.
ElectroScientific (ESIO) : DOWN to accumulate from buy.
Entegris (ENTG) : DOWN to accumulate from buy.
KLAC/Tencor (KLAC) : DOWN to neutral from accumulate.
Lam Research (LRCX) : DOWN to neutral from accumulate.
Metron Technology (MTCH) : DOWN to accumulate from buy.
Novellus Systemsundefined: DOWN to neutral from buy.
PRI Automationundefined: DOWN to neutral.
ThermaWave (TWAV) : DOWN to accumulate from buy.
But Merrill wasn't the only firm to cut ratings on the semiconductor equipment industry.
Salomon Smith Barney
was also making moves today, with its analyst Glen Yeung, who cut his buy ratings on eight companies:
- Applied Materials: DOWN to neutral.
Axcelis Technologies (ACLS) : DOWN to outperform.
Credence Systems (CMOS) : DOWN to outperform.
ElectroScientific: DOWN to outperform.
Entegris: DOWN to outperform.
KLAC/Tencor: DOWN to neutral.
Lam Research: DOWN to outperform.
Novellus Systems: DOWN to outperform.
: DOWN to neutral from outperform at Salomon. DOWN at
Credit Suisse First Boston
, 4Q EPS to 70 cents from $1.06, 2001 EPS to $4.65 from $5.10.
: DOWN to buy from strong buy at
, price target to $60 from $74.
: DOWN to hold from accumulate at
: DOWN to buy from strong buy at CSFB, price target $65 from $80.
: NEW buy at Salomon; price target: $80.
: NEW buy at UBS Warburg; price target: $35.
: NEW accumulate at Merrill; price target: $54.
started a whole host of hosters today, focusing on a variety of names in the Internet connectivity sector:
- Akamai Technologies (AKAM) : NEW outperform, price target $55.
Digexundefined: NEW buy, price target $52.
Genuityundefined: NEW outperform, price target $8.
Interliantundefined: NEW outperform, price target $14.
InterNAP Network Services (INAP) : NEW outperform, price target $25.
Merrill Lynch analyst Steve Haggerty adjusted his intermediate-term ratings on a wide variety of auto-parts makers and suppliers, most of which have been under a great deal of pressure lately as automobile sales have slowed.
In a note to investors this morning, he wrote: "Based on the 1994/95 experience, the potential for a rally in the auto sector if the
cuts rates will be marginal and limited in duration. We also believe that this late in the auto cycle, any short-term upside will be muted."
That's not very good news. Here are the companies affected by his changes:
- American Axle (AXL) : DOWN to neutral from accumulate.
ArvinMeritorundefined: DOWN to neutral from accumulate.
BorgWarner (BWA) : DOWN to neutral from accumulate.
Cooper Tire (CTB) : DOWN to neutral from accumulate.
Delphiundefined: DOWN to accumulate from buy.
Visteon (VC) : DOWN to neutral from accumulate.