CHANGE IN RATINGS
Bank of America
downgraded at Argus Research from Buy to Hold. Economy and credit markets are deteriorating faster than expected.
upgraded at UBS from Sell to Neutral. $10.50 price target. Utilization is bottoming and order trends appear more stable. Cost-cutting will also help margins, though the company lacks significant near-term catalysts.
upgraded at RBC from Underperform to Sector Perform. $3 price target. Stock is down 18% since Feb. 5, and is now trading in-line with its peers.
( LNCR) downgraded at UBS from Neutral to Sell. $23 price target. Company now seeing a higher Medicare headwind in 2009.
downgraded at Goldman Sachs to Neutral from Buy based on weakening demand for graphics processing units over the next 12 to 18 months. Believe that PC supply chain will recover but note that organic demand for GPUs could remain weak for several quarters. Price target at $8.50.
( PROJ) upgraded at Credit Suisse to Outperform from Neutral. Believes conservative estimates support higher price. Maintained $7 target price.
( RAH) upgraded at UBS from Neutral to Buy. $72 price target. Private label trends are improving, and the Post deal should add to earnings.
downgraded at J.P. Morgan to Underweight from Neutral due to pension expense. Believe organic growth outlook remains unchanged. Price target at $48.
Research in Motion
( RIMM) downgraded at Credit Suisse to Underperform from Neutral. Sees decelerating growth and lower margins. Reduced target price to $37 from $45.
( SEPR) upgraded at Goldman Sachs to Neutral from Sell based on increased expectations for positive near-term earnings results. Announced spending cuts were far greater than anticipated and note that Lunesta sales decline will be slow, especially in first half of 2009.Price target at $16.
downgraded to Hold from Buy as BB&T does not see meaningful potential upside, even at these depressed valuations. F2009 EPS cut to -$1.12 from -$0.88 to reflect less bullish assumptions for packing margins and live hog prices.
upgraded at UBS from Neutral to Buy. $20 price target. Stock looks cheap, based on a sum-of-the-parts valuation.
downgraded at J.P. Morgan to Underweight from Neutral due to increased near-term earnings risk. Note that competing paint companies (PPG and SHW) recently reported volume contraction. Price target cut to $14 from $16.
upgraded at UBS from Neutral to Buy. Wafer factory shutdown will likely be shorter than expected. Taiwanese customers could also receive a government bailout. $20 price target.
Upgraded to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies; price target increased to $22 from $15. Jefferies believes that its depressed valuation of 12.6x coupled with 15.9% short interest limits significant downside to stock price.
downgraded at Credit Suisse to Neutral from Outperform based on lack of guidance and valuation. Lowered target price to $32 from $47.
STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES
removed from Conviction Sell list at Goldman. Stock is already pricing in weaker January quarter earnings, but estimates are still being cut. Sell rating and $8.50 price target.
2009 estimates cut, but 2010 numbers raised at UBS. Expect expense controls to matter when prices eventually stabilize. Stock also has a healthy 4% dividend yield, supported by cash. Buy rating and $17 price target.
( MFE) estimates raised at UBS through 2010. Company posted strong bookings growth, heading into the new year. Neutral rating and $35 price target.
numbers cut at Morgan Stanley through 2010. Company seeing margin deterioration and negative operating leverage. Underweight rating and new $24 price target.
numbers cut at UBS to $9. Estimates also lowered, to reflect a dramatic fall-off in US rig counts. Neutral rating.
price target slashed at Goldman to $7.50 from $16. Downturn in global construction is more brutal than expected, and currency effects will continue to cut into earnings results. Maintained Neutral rating.
numbers cut at UBS to $17. Estimates also lowered, reflect weaker advertising and film revenue. Neutral rating.
numbers lowered at UBS through 2010. Company is refinancing debt, though assisted living fundamentals continue to deteriorate. Neutral rating and new $25 price target.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.