CHANGE IN RATINGS
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
coverage initiated at Prudential: Prudential said it is initiating coverage on SAM with an Overweight rating and $30 target price.
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.
upgraded at Piper: Piper said it is upgrading TQNT to an Outperform rating on improving visibility and valuation.
STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.