CHANGE IN RATINGS
upgraded at Bernstein from Market Perform to Outperform. Company should benefit from a re-acceleration of sales and earnings growth next year.
downgraded at Needham to Hold from Buy. Cites indications of lessening demand for 3.0 CPE gear for 2010 and full valuation in the stock price.
rated new Hold at Collins Stewart. $9 price target. Management is executing well, but faces slower future sales growth.
( FTO) downgraded at Credit Suisse to Neutral from outperform based on downside risks to earnings. Decreased target price to $14 from $16.
Illinois Tool Works
numbers boosted at Barclays through 2010. Base revenues continue to stabilize, and should be leveraged through cost-cutting. Underweight rating and new $32 price target.
Illinois Tool Works
upgraded at William Blair due to base revenues showing signs of stabilization. Increase to 2009 forecast principally reflects the inclusion of Decorative Surfaces in continuing operations. Management had previously planned to sell this business and had classified it as a discontinued operation. The increase in 2010 forecast also includes the expected benefits of elevated restructuring actives in 2009, which should be realized in the form of significantly higher operating margins in 2010 and beyond, on modest organic sales growth. ITW's operating margin are projected to expand from 8.7% in 2009 to 13.0% in 2010, and more thereafter.
upgraded at JP Morgan. Rating raised to Overweight from Neutral. Maintains $52 price target and 2009 EPS estimates of -$4.28.
upgraded at Goldman to Conviction Buy. Sustaining market share throughout the tough economic conditions, an increase in advertising trends, and clarity on the Focus deal led to the increase in ratings. Increased price target to $38 from $31.
downgraded at Barclays from Overweight to Equal-weight. $28 price target. Taking a less bullish stance on the sector, given the late-cycle structure. Secure dividend should limit downside.
upgraded at Collins Stewart. Rating raised to Hold from Sell. 2009 EPS estimates raised to $0.78 from $0.48.
downgraded at Barclays to equal weight from overweight and price target reduced to $14 from $15. Downgrade due to belief that protracted unemployment and downward pressure on contracts will mute TWTC's growth outlook for some time.
downgraded at Goldman to Buy from Conviction Buy. The recent rally in mortgages, near-term implications for US housing, and lack of a significant seasonal rebound in lumber led to a decline in ratings. Target price set at $45.
STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES
target raised at Thomas Weisel to $140 from $120. Inclinations of low single digit revenue growth, modest margin expansion, potential acquisitions, and share repurchases supports high single digit EPS growth. Maintained Overweight rating.
numbers raised at Jefferies to $26 from $22. With Windows 7 being launched on October 22, consumers are expected to upgrade from XP to Win7 in 2010 along with corporations in late 2010. Maintained Buy rating.
target raised at Oppenheimer to $39 from $35. Following the sale of Chrysler to Fiat, they believe fundamentals have bottomed, organic revenue will grow in Q3, and higher FY EPS based on low tax rates and lower interest expenses. Maintained Outperform rating.
target raised at Merrill/BofA to $5. Strategic review of the long distance assets is a sign that management is looking to optimize shareholder value. Buy rating.
target lowered at Barclays to $34 a share. Taking a less positive stance on the telecom industry, but the company remains a top pick. Overweight rating.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.