CHANGE IN RATINGS
downgraded at Merrill Lynch to Neutral. Margins are becoming less attractive in the auto business, and 2008 estimates have been reduced below the consensus.
( ARXT) upgraded at Merrill to Buy. $50 price target. Concern about 2008 earnings potential is overdone.
Black & Decker
( BDK) downgraded at Merrill Lynchto Neutral. Valuation call, as the stock has reached the $95 price target. Recent takeover chatter cannot be confirmed.
downgraded at Deutsche Bank from Buy to Hold. $71 price target. Valuation call, as the stock is already reflecting earnings momentum and the buyback efforts.
downgraded at CIBC from Outperform to Sector Perform. A couple of the company's business lines are struggling and likely about to get worse. Stock likely capped around $60 a share.
upgraded at Credit Suisse to an Outperform rating as negative perceptions are peaking, and solid cyclical fundamentals should eventually outweigh bearish expectations for North American pressure pumping business. Target price raised to $43.
upgraded at Thomas Weisel from Market-weight to Overweight. End-market growth is re-accelerating, and investor interest should increase around the company's upcoming conference.
Pharmaceutical Product Dev.
( PPDI) downgraded at Jefferies to Hold rating from Buy. Price target dips to $39 from $41 and FY 2008 EPS estimates lowered to $1.79 from $1.84.
upgraded at Jefferies to Buy rating from Hold. Price target jumps to $39 from $27 and FY 2008 EPS estimates lifts to $1.39 from $1.35.
downgraded at Oppenheimer from Buy to Neutral. Stock is trading near full value of $20, and the ramp of Loestrin 24 sales is slowing.
downgraded at Goldman to Sell from Neutral, based on declining steel prices and the resulting hit to service center margins. See largest potential downside due to highest valuation. Target price at $18.
upgraded at Thomas Weisel from Market-weight to Overweight. Company is benefiting from a weak dollar, and margins are also expanding because of 17% expected overall 2007 revenue growth.
STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES
numbers raised at UBS. Price target lifts to $40 from $34 and FY 2007 EPS estimates upped to $1.58 from $1.56. Reiterates Buy rating.
( MVSN) 2007 estimates lowered at Goldman to $0.71 from $0.76, following the company's negative preannouncement. Management attributed miss to a large software deal that did not close, and an ongoing dispute with a device maker related to technology rights. Target price lowered to $31 from $32 and maintained Neutral rating.
estimates cut at Credit Suisse by 7 cents to $1.76 a share due to macro pressures and unfavorable weather in key markets during Q12. Maintained Outperform rating.
STRATEGY CALLS / MARKET CALLS
Two cruise operators upgraded at JP Morgan: RCL and CCL were upgraded from Neutral to Overweight. Despite rising fuel costs and price competition in the Caribbean, both stocks look attractive, trading at a discount to the broader market.