Analysts' Actions: A Daily Roundup of Street Research

Who made what calls.
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CHANGE IN RATINGS

WR Berkley

upgraded at Merrill: BER was upgraded from Neutral to Buy, Merrill Lynch said. $41 price target. Consensus estimates are likely too low, given the strong underwriting margins. Buybacks would also add to earnings.

Visicu

rated new Equal-weight at Morgan Stanley: Coverage of EICU was started with an Equal-weight rating, Morgan Stanley said. Company to benefit from multiple secular tailwinds, though the stock is already up 45% from its IPO price.

FTI Consulting

upgraded at Suntrust Robinson: FCN was upgraded from Neutral to Buy, Suntrust Robinson Humphrey said. $35 price target. Pace of new hires offers increased visibility for sales growth. Estimates also raised.

Group 1 Auto

upgraded at Wachovia: GPI was upgraded to Outperform, Wachovia said. TM's strong product line should boost sales. Estimates raised, as the company is also boosting margins through cost cutting.

Global Payments

upgraded at Citigroup: GPN was upgraded from Hold to Buy, Citigroup said. Valuation call, based on a $54 price target. Investors have over-compensated for ISO risk.

Jetlblue

upgraded at Raymond James: JBLU was upgraded from Market Perform to Outperform, Raymond James said. Company can return to profitability over the next few quarters, which should turn investor sentiment.

Movie Gallery

downgraded at JP Morgan: MOVI was downgraded from Overweight to Neutral, JP Morgan said. Stock was up 47% to close last week, as the market has now realized the company will likely avoid bankruptcy.

Nasdaq

rated new Outperform at Bear: NDAQ was initiated with an Outperform rating, Bear Stearns said. Company can double earnings in 2006, as the company is best positioned to benefit from higher trading volumes. $52 price target.

Boston Beer

coverage initiated at Prudential: Prudential said it is initiating coverage on SAM with an Overweight rating and $30 target price.

Sallie Mae

upgraded at Friedman, Billings: SLM was upgraded from Market Perform to Outperform, Friedman, Billings Ramsey said. Company can generate 15% annual earnings growth, and gain market share in the near term. $65 price target.

Triquint

upgraded at Piper: Piper said it is upgrading TQNT to an Outperform rating on improving visibility and valuation.

STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES

Aflac

estimates upped at Morgan Stanley: AFL estimates raised through 2008, Morgan Stanley said. Company gave an upbeat presentation at its investor meeting, and should be able to deliver 15% annual earnings growth through 2010. Overweight rating and $54 price target.

Blockbuster

cut from Focus List at JP Morgan: BBI was removed from the Focus List, according to JP Morgan. Stock has reached $5 price target. Company is also spending more in online marketing. Overweight rating.

Barr Pharmaceuticals

estimates cut at UBS: UBS said it is lowering its 2007 EPS estimates on BRL to $3.24 from $3.36 after negative news regarding patent. Lowered target price to $67 from $77.

Dril-Quip

estimates raised at Jefferies: Jefferies said it is raising its 2006 estimates on DRQ by $1.20 to $3.65 a share due to surge in demand in subsea market and market share gains. Target price raised to $80.

Energy Conversion Devices

estimates cut at Jefferies: Jefferies said it is cutting its 2006 estimates on ENER to a loss of 71 cents a share to reflect higher spending due to production ramp. Maintained Buy rating.

Starbucks

estimates raised at Goldman: Goldman said it is raising its 2007 EPS estimates on SBUX by 2 cents to 90 cents. Expects continued margin expansion. Maintained Outperform rating.

Saks

outlook lowered at UBS: UBS said it is lowering its 2007 EPS estimates on SKS to $0.18 from $0.57. Believes company will continue to struggle. Lowered target price to $12 from $16 to account for $4 dividend.

Steel Dynamics

estimates raised at UBS: UBS said it is raising its 2006 EPS estimates on STLD to $6.00 from $5.79 following company meeting. Cites growth plans are progressing. Maintained Buy rating.