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Friday's Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades

Who made what calls.
Author:

CHANGE IN RATINGS

Americredit

(ACF)

downgraded at Goldman Sachs to Sell from Neutral due to difficult and increasingly expensive access to funding. See potential for EPS shortfalls if company is forced to slow origination growth in light of weak environment. Price target lowered to $17 from $21.

AK Steel

(AKS) - Get AK Steel Holding Corporation Report

rated new Neutral at Credit Suisse. Cites management deserves recognition for sharp turnaround but pricing tied to automotive and stainless steel contracts translate into greater profit risks. Sets $42 target price.

Apollo Group

(APOL)

was upgraded to Buy at Suntrust Robinson Humphrey. Enrollment trends should improve over the coming quarters, driven by the Axia business. $72 price target.

Caraustar

(CSAR)

upgraded at UBS to Buy rating from Neutral. Price target dips to $4.80 from $6.50 and 2008 EPS estimates hold at $0.40.

Advanced Medical Optics

(EYE) - Get National Vision Holdings, Inc. Report

upgraded at Jefferies to Hold rating from Under Perform. Price target and 2008 EPS estimates hold at $29 and $1.35, respectively.

Foot Locker

(FL) - Get Foot Locker, Inc. Report

downgraded at JP Morgan to Neutral. Company shows no signs of a near-term turnaround from its weak second quarter results.

Foot Locker 2008 estimates increased at Goldman to $0.56 from $0.50 following the company's Q2 results. Management continues to close underperforming stores, reduce aged inventory, and increase allocations of marquee merchandise. Maintained Neutral rating and $17 target.

Mentor Graphics

(MENT)

was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at Merrill Lynch. $18 price target. Estimates also raised, as the EDA market continues to do well.

Nucor

(NUE) - Get Nucor Corporation Report

was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at Merrill Lynch. $65 price target. Estimates also raised, as the flat rolled steel market appears to be bottoming.

RF Micro Devices

(RFMD)

upgraded at Morgan Stanley from underweight to equalweight and removes its $5 price target.

Snap-on

TheStreet Recommends

(SNA) - Get Snap-on Incorporated Report

upgraded at Morgan Stanley from equalweight to overweight with a $58 price target.

Steel Dynamics

(STLD) - Get Steel Dynamics, Inc. Report

was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at Merrill Lynch. $53 price target. Estimates also raised, as the flat rolled steel market appears to have reached a bottom.

STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES

Avery Dennison

(AVY) - Get Avery Dennison Corporation Report

added to Focus List at JP Morgan. $72 price target. Paxar acquisition should help grow the RIS business.

Barnes & Noble

(BKS) - Get Barnes & Noble, Inc. Report

2008 estimates increased to $1.96 from $1.92 at Goldman. Superstore same-store-sales increased 1% (ex-Potter) while inventory remained controlled. Maintained Neutral rating and $40 target.

Cephalon

(CEPH)

numbers raised at Jefferies. Price target upped to $90 from $88 and 2008 EPS estimates lift to $4.50 from $4.42. Reiterates Buy rating.

GameStop

(GME) - Get GameStop Corp. Class A Report

2007 estimates raised at Piper by 3 cents to $1.50 a share to reflect strong Q2 results. Maintained Outperform rating.

Gap

(GPS) - Get Gap, Inc. (GPS) Report

2009 estimates raised at Piper by 8 cents to $1.07 a share to reflect buyback and expense control. Maintained Market Perform rating.

Huntington

(HBAN) - Get Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (HBAN) Report

numbers lowered at UBS. Price target slashed to $19 from $24 and 2008 EPS estimates drop to $1.80 from $1.85. Reiterates Hold rating.

Metro PCS

(PCS)

numbers lowered at UBS. Price target slashed to $30 from $37 and 2008 EPS estimates drop to $0.43 from $0.45. Reiterates Buy rating.

Phillips-Van Heusen

(PVH) - Get PVH Corp. Report

numbers raised at UBS. Price target upped to $71 from $69 and 2008 EPS estimates drop to $3.75 from $3.65. Reiterates Buy rating.