CHANGE IN RATINGS
coverage initiated at Prudential: Prudential is initiating coverage on ABB with an Overweight rating as rising margins should create value. Target price is $16.
( CRDN) upgraded at Wachovia: CRDN was upgraded from Market Perform to Outperform at Wachovia. Stock is the cheapest of the group, though earnings should continue to grow in through the end of the decade, because of the Army's growing budget.
( CXR) downgraded at Goldman: Goldman is downgrading CXR to Sell from Neutral. Believes premium in stock owing to potential buy-in is overstated. Maintained $12.50 target price.
( DRS) upgraded at Wachovia: DRS was upgraded to Outperform at Wachovia. Stock is down 22% since May, though concerns about the S3 acquisition seem overblown. Estimates also raised because of large, growing backlog of Army contracts.
downgraded at Merrill: Rating on F was cut from Neutral to Sell at Merrill Lynch. Restructuring plan will not allow the company to reach profitability in North America for 2008, and does not address several problem areas.
downgraded at Bernstein: FITB was downgraded from Market Perform to Underperform at Bernstein. Loss provisioning should lead to further margin pressure over the coming quarters. Stock also continues to trade for a premium to its peers.
upgraded at Friedman, Billings: FMD was upgraded to Market Perform, Friedman, Billings Ramsey said. $55 price target. Estimates also raised as the upcoming $1.4 billion securitization will be much larger than expected.
upgraded at Wachovia: PH was upgraded to Outperform at Wachovia. Company has double-digit annual earnings growth potential, and should eventually exceed 2007 consensus estimates.
downgraded at Friedman, Billings: PNX was downgraded from Market Perform to Underperform, Friedman, Billings Ramsey said. $12 price target. Stock should gradually give back recent gains, as its ROE is consistently lower than the industry average.
downgraded at JP Morgan: SHW was downgraded from Outperform to Neutral at JP Morgan. Stock is up 17.5% since July, though the potential RI lead paint litigation continues to hang over the company.
STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES
target price raised at Goldman: Goldman is raising its target price on ADBE to $42 from $33 based on valuation and the launch of new products. Maintained Buy rating.
estimates raised at Piper: Piper is raising its 2006 estimates on ADBE by 4 cents to $1.24 a share after the company reported a solid August quarter and modestly raised guidance. Maintained Outperform rating.
outlook raised at Goldman: Goldman is raising its 2007 EPS estimates on BEN to $6.22 from $6.18 to reflect stronger organic growth and market appreciation. Raised target price to $119 from $115.
( BSC) outlook raised at UBS: UBS is raising its 2006 EPS estimates on BSC to $13.63 from $13.27 following better than expected 3Q results. Raised target price to $152 from $147.
outlook lowered at UBS: UBS is lowering its 2007 EPS estimates on KR to $1.49 from $1.55. Believes current expectations are too high. Lowered target price to $22 from $24.
target price raised at Goldman: Goldman is raising its target price on MSFT to $33 from $30. Believes company should benefit from a rich flow of upcoming new products and share repurchases. Maintained Buy rating.
( TEK) estimates raised at Credit Suisse: Credit Suisse is raising its 2006 EPS estimates on TEK to $1.32 from $1.28 but maintained Neutral rating. Company reported better than expected 1Q results but warned on guidance.