CHANGE IN RATINGS
Ann Taylor Stores
upgraded at Citigroup to Hold from Sell. Loft's fall transition assortment is more on target than prior collections and uses a more wearable color and print palette. Stock is trading 26% below recent highs. $31 price target.
upgraded from Hold to Buy at AG Edwards. Stock is trading at just 10 times expected 2008 earnings and 1.6 times tangible book value. $58 price target. Stock could ultimately be bought out in the $70's.
( DDUP) coverage initiated at Goldman Sachs with a Neutral rating, based on valuation following strong run since IPO. Expect considerable margin expansion and 65% revenue growth over 2 years. Price target at $28.
upgraded at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods from Market Perform to Outperform. Stock is down 23% from its opening price, and valuation looks attractive, even if MS insiders will continue to sell. $30 price target.
( ERTS) upgraded at Bear Stearns to Outperform. Annual industry growth tracking at the high end of estimates. Potential for operational improvements. $60 price target.
upgraded at Jefferies from Under Perform. Price target jumps to $37 from $28 on growth of prospective asset base in Cooton Valley/ James Lime.
upgraded at Merrill Lynch from Sell to Neutral. Stock is down 20% since last October, and is entering a period that is historically very strong for the stock.
( MER) upgraded at UBS to Buy rating from Neutral. Price target dips to $86 from $98 and FY 2008 EPS estimates drop to $8.25 from $9.00.
upgraded at JP Morgan to Overweight. Recent Flatrock discovery appears to be the company's largest to date, and the stock is trading at a 33% discount to expected NAV.
downgraded at Oppenheimer from Buy to Neutral. Partnership delays will affect Technosphere, and the company lacks potential catalysts by the end of the year.
upgraded at Cowen from Neutral to Outperform. Existing products are selling well, and good news should come out of the pipeline in the second half of the year.
upgraded at Credit Suisse to Outperform from Neutral based on stable earnings growth and favorable expectations for defensive names. Price target at $30.
upgraded at Bear Stearns to Peer Perform from Under Perform. Near term downside for the stock is limited. Down 33% in the past 6 months vs. S&P 500 which is down 1%. Weak quarter could provide opportunity to cover shorts.
upgraded at Deutsche Bank to Buy from Hold. The company is benefiting from incremental rate base investment opportunities. PCG diversifies away from natural gas exposure while maintaining high-quality earnings growth. $51 price target.
initiated at Jefferies with Hold rating. Price target starts at $25 and FY 2008 EPS estimates set at $0.77.
comScore coverage initiated at Credit Suisse with an Outperform rating. See 20% annual revenue growth and expanding EBITDA margins/operating leverage. Price target at $28.
Simon Property Group
upgraded at Credit Suisse to Outperform from Neutral. See stable earnings and increased share buybacks. Price target at $100.
upgraded at Bear Stearnsfrom Underperform to Peer Perform. Valuation call, as collected EBITDA was higher than reported and the company will likely sell more assets.
upgraded at Bear Stearns to Peer Perform. Shares traded off 16% on Friday following management's announcement of the delay of GTA IV. Shares trade at 15 times discounted peak earnings estimate.
( WYE) downgraded at Cowen from Outperform to Neutral. Lower Pristiq numbers and the risk of generic Zosyn will cut annual earnings growth to the low single-digits.
STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES
numbers raised at Jefferies. Price target lifts to $32 from $23 and 2008 EPS estimates rise to $1.45 from $1.37. Reiterates Hold rating.
price target raised at Goldman to $41 from $37. Quarterly results showed strong PC license revenue, better than expected Vista sales, and higher licensing fees due to increased DVD functionality. Maintained Neutral rating.
2007 estimates increased at Goldman to $3.29 from $3.10 to reflect higher management guidance for Q3 brokerage and increased volatility in credit markets. Price target up to $89 from $85 and maintained Neutral rating.
New York & Co
Q2 estimates cut at Piper by 2 cents to 9 cents a share to reflect a lower same-store-sales forecast. Maintained Outperform rating.
price target rised to $47 from $43, while 2008 EPS estimates dip to $4.49 from $4.78. Reiterates Buy rating
( SMDI) 2008 estimates raised at Piper by 5 cents to 79 cents a share to reflect improving growth opportunities including WiMAX. Maintained Outperform rating.
estimates cut at Morgan Stanley through 2009. Now expect just 2% volume growth in the UK for the second quarter. Cost-cutting efforts should continue to drive earnings. Equal-weight rating and $94 price target.