CHANGE IN RATINGS
upgraded at Credit Suisse to Outperform from Neutral based on valuation and company's position to consolidate distressed assets. Maintained $72 target price.
upgraded at Goldman Sachs to Buy from Neutral based on valuation and limited downside risk to earnings. Concerns over U.S. soft drink fundamentals have weighed on sector since late 2007, leaving room for upside on positive change in sentiment. Price target at $13.
upgraded at Oppenheimer to Outperform. $61 price target. Stock remains attractively valued, even without the takeover potential.
upgraded at Merrill/BofA to Buy. $32 price target. Company has strong growth, and offers a better way to play California than PCG.
upgraded at Goldman Sachs to Buy from Neutral based on favorable aftermarket exposure. Expect growth in free cash flow and multiple expansion as earnings trough in 2010. Price target raised to $42 from $30.
rated new Outperform at Credit Suisse following positive meeting with management. Sets $45 target price.
upgraded at Wachovia from Market Perform to Outperform. Pipeline of abuse-deterrent opioids should help drive growth.
downgraded at Merrill/BofA to Underperform from Neutral as stock has exceeded price target of $11. LM has rallied 26% in the last week, and ML still sees significant challenges in terms of performance and net flows, and perhaps distribution. ML is forecasting large outflows of close to $38bn in the March quarter - better than the devastating December quarter when Legg lost $77bn, but still equivalent to an annualized loss rate of 22%.
upgraded at Merrill/BofA from Neutral to Buy. $9 price target. Stock looks oversold on liquidity concerns, and is already pricing in the poor macro environment.
downgraded at Wachovia from Outperform to Market Perform. iDEN customer losses are driving the churn rate higher.
downgraded at Goldman Sachs to Sell from Neutral based on unfavorable exposure to Boeing and Airbus commercial OEM. Expect breakeven free cash flow over the next two years.
downgraded at Morgan Stanley. Rating lowered to Underweight from Overweight. Eliminates price target. 2009 EPS estimates lowered to $1.45 from $2.50.
upgraded at Merrill/BofA to Buy from Neutral and price target reduced to $45 from $48, owing to reduced EPS targets, and using same 11x target multiple. BofA/ML believes valuation looks attractive, with the shares trading at 9.2x 2009 EPS estimate, its second lowest level in 16 years. Volumes have begun to find a floor into spring planting season, auto and some chemical plants come back on line, and retail sales were slightly better than expected.
upgraded at Deutsche Bank to Buy. Valuation call, based on a $30 price target.
rated new Buy at Citigroup. $77 price target. Company is looking at 3% production growth in 2009 and continues to generate a lot of free cash flow. Target cut to $7 from $10.
STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES
estimates, target cut at Oppenheimer. Shares of BA now seen reaching $42. Estimates also lowered, to reflect lower production rates. Perform rating.
numbers lowered at Morgan Stanley to $18. Estimates also cut, to reflect a greater potential downside risk. Underweight rating.
numbers cut at UBS to $9.50. Estimates also lowered, because of further weakness in late-cycle businesses. Short-term Sell rating removed. Neutral rating.
target raised at Credit Suisse to $10 from $9 based on modest improvement in used car market and potential that government's TALF program improves auto loan market. Maintained Neutral rating.
estimates, target reduced at Barclays. Estimates cut through 2010, because of weak end-market demand. Overweight rating and new $26 price target.
numbers cut at Barclays to $18. Estimates also reduced, to reflect lower margins. Equal-weight rating.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.