CHANGE IN RATINGS
upgraded at Prudential:Prudential said it is upgrading AA to a Neutral Weight rating based on share price decline, as stock is now trading at just ten times estimates 2006 EPS numbers.
upgraded at Deutsche Bank: Deutsche bank said it is upgrading ATI to Buy from Hold based on valuation and recent decline in share price. Expect pricing on titanium and other alloys to remain healthy in key markets. Target price unchanged at $77.
upgraded at Friedman, Billings, Ramsey: FBR said it is upgrading CRM to Market Perform from Underperform. Believes near-term expectations have been lowered after 30%-plus decline in shares. Maintained $26 target price.
upgraded at Bear Stearns: Bear Stearns said it is upgrading shares of IVGN to Outperform from Peer Perform based on recent share weakness and improved sales focus. Noted steadily ramping operating cash flow. Raised price target to $74 from $70.
downgraded at Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley said it is lowering its rating on KEA to Equalweight from Overweight. Target cut to Equalweight.
upgraded at Bear Stearns: Bear said it is upgrading KO to Outperform due to positive FX outlook and strong trends in key international markets. Noted upside from conservative 2006 street estimates. Price target of $48.
upgraded at Citigroup: MCO was upgraded from Hold to Buy, Citigroup said. Stock is off 29% from its highs of the year, but the long-term growth thesis remains intact.
upgraded at Merrill: NEM was upgraded to Buy, Merrill Lynch said. $60 price target. Estimates also raised, based on a higher gold price forecast.
upgraded at Merrill: NSM was upgraded to Buy, Merrill Lynch said. $30 price target. New 65% gross margin target appears achievable, and the recent pullback has created an attractive buying opportunity.
estimates cut at UBS: UBS said it is lowering its 2007 EPS estimates on NSM by 14 cents to $1.44 to reflect the impact of options expense. Maintained $35 target price.
upgraded at Deutsche Bank: Deutsche Bank said it is upgrading TRB to Hold from Sell on breakup speculation. Raised target price to $30 from $26.
target cut at Piper: Piper said it is cutting its target price on TTWO to $16 after weak margins in quarter. Maintained Market Perform rating.
downgraded at Citigroup: Rating on TTWO was lowered from Hold to Sell, Citigroup said. $12 price target. Company missed April quarter estimates because of product delays, and the negative news flow will likely continue.
upgraded at UBS: UBS said it is upgrading WLK to Buy from Neutral based on valuation. Believes fundamentals don't justify share price erosion.
STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES
estimates lowered at UBS: UBS said it is lowering its 2007 EPS estimates on ABC by 3 cents to $2.28 after BEV ended its contract. Lowered target price to $45 from $46.
Investment Technology Group
estimates raised at Piper: Piper said it is raising its 2006 estimates on ITG by 4 cents to $1.91 a share to reflect improved macro volume outlook. Maintained Outperform rating.
estimates raised at Jefferies: Jefferies said it is raising its 2007 estimates on NSM to $1.59 from $1.20 after the company reported solid Q4 results due to improving fundamentals and production efficiencies. Reiterated Hold rating. Price target at $30.
estimates lowered at Jefferies: Jefferies said it is cutting its 2006 estimates on PDX to $2.44 from $2.73 after the company's presentation at Jefferies' Specialty & Post-Acute Services Conference. Reiterated Hold rating.
price target raised at Jefferies: Jefferies said it is raising its price target on shares of SHFL to $38 from $36. See buying opportunity after company reported Q2 earnings of $0.18 versus $0.22 consensus estimates. Reiterated Buy rating.
estimates raised at Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley said it is increasing its estimates on STX for the full year to $2.07 a share from $1.98 a share. Maintained Inline rating.
estimates upped at Jefferies: Jefferies said it is raising its 2006 estimates on TXN by $0.09 to $1.72 after the company raised Q2 mid-quarter guidance due to stronger Wireless momentum and a litigation payment from Conexant Systems.
estimates raised at UBS: UBS said it is raising its 2006 EPS estimates on TXN by 2 cents to $1.64. Sees no visible signs of forward demand slowdown. Maintained Buy rating.
estimates raised at Piper: Piper said it is raising its 2006 estimates on UARM by 15 cents to 64 cents a share to reflect expected strong footwear sales. Maintained Market Perform rating.
estimates lowered at UBS: UBS said it is lowering its 2007 EPS estimates on XLNX by 2 cents to $1.06 to account for lower gross margins. Maintained $30 target price.
STRATEGY CALLS / MARKET CALLS
initiates Pharma stocks:Morgan Stanley said it is initiating coverage on AGN with an Overweight rating. ARXT rated new Equalweight rating. MRX rated new Underweight.
upgrades Semiconductor sector:Prudential said it is upgrading the Semiconductor sector to Favorable from Unfavorable, as March quarter inventories were at the lowest level ever at PC OEMs, Communications Infrastructure OEMs, Handset OEMs, and Taiwan notebook makers. Favorite names are AMD, TXN, MCHP, BRCM, and MRVL.
bearish on newspaper stocks:Goldman said it is lowering its rating on NYT and DJ to Underperform from Inline. TRB rating raised to Inline from Underperform.
initiates on brokers:Goldman said it is initiating coverage on JEF, MS, AMTD, and TRAD with Outperform ratings. BSC, C, ET, JPM, LEH, MER, SCHW all started with Inline ratings. TWPG and AGE rated new Underperforms.