Change in Ratings
American International Group
upgraded at B of Ato Buy from Neutral. $35 price target. The risk/reward for AIG has become very attractive based upon the de-leveraging, risk reduction and simplification of the company.
upgraded at Merrill Lynchto Buy from Underperform. $64-$79 price target. Upgrade is based upon earning growth potential, improved outlook for the multiple sclerosis market and a diverse mid-late stage pipeline.
upgraded at Morgan Stanleyto Equal-weight. $29 price target. CTAS has turned in very respectable F4Q08 performance in light of the weak economy, fierce competition and high energy prices. The stock is down 20% on the year and the risk/reward within the stock is now more balanced leading to the Equal-weight rating.
downgraded at Goldman Sachsto Sell from Neutral due to valuation. Shares are trading at around 14.5 times forward earnings compared to 11 times forward earnings during prior housing/economic recessions. Also note that shares trade at premium to other paint peers. Shares are up 20% since July 14. Price target lowered to $46 from $54.
downgraded at Deutscheto Hold. $52 price target. SWK has been downgraded based upon the growing signs of weakness in the European and non-res market. This could lead to them missing 2Q08 EPS and lowering FY08 guidance.
upgraded at Deutcheto Buy. $56 price target. Management has an excellent track record and the company has a sizeable generic pipeline. With a strong new product cycle Teva again merits a premium valuation.
( WFMI) upgraded at BB&Tto Buy. $40 price target. Business is stable outside of the company's automotive customers.
Whole Foods Market
( WL) upgraded at Morgan Stanleyto Equal-weight. Investors should cover shorts, as the stock is trading at a historic low valuation. Operations should also begin to improve in 2009.
( WL) downgraded at Suntrustto Neutral. Core earnings miss last quarter was driven by higher provision expenses. Capital ratios also declined meaningfully.
Stock Comments / EPS Changes
Brown & Brown
numbers lowered at RBCto $22 from $23 and FY09 ebitda estimates drop to $414.5 from $444.7. Reiterates Sector Perform rating and Average Risk qualifier.
numbers lowered at RBCto $30 from $34 and FY09 EPS estimates drop to $2.20 from $2.35. Reiterates Sector Perform rating and Above Average Risk qualifier.
target cut at Morgan Stanleyto $62 a share. Market multiple is moving lower, though the stock remains a good place to hide in the current downcycle. Overweight rating.
numbers cut at Morgan Stanleyas the company is seeing weakness across several key European regions. Equal-weight rating.
price target raised at Goldmanto $130 from $125 based on increased expectations for global spending and greater potential for improving international margins and stabilizing domestic margins. Maintained Buy rating.
Wilmington Trust Corp
( WL) numbers lowered at RBCto $20 from $26 and FY09 EPS estimates drop to $2.20 from $2.52. Reiterates Underperform rating and Average Risk qualifier.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com Ratings.