CHANGE IN RATINGS
downgraded at J.P. Morgan: J.P. Morgan said it is downgrading ALGN to Underweight from Neutral. Sees no near-term solution in legal battle with OrthoClear and a downward trend in pricing for InvisAlign.
upgraded at J.P. Morgan: BAX was upgraded from Neutral to Overweight, JP Morgan said. Street forecasts could prove conservative, depending on the timing of the return of the Colleague pump.
rated new Overweight at J.P. Morgan: J.P. Morgan said it is initiating coverage on CBS with an Overweight rating. Sees moderate organic growth, consistent returns of capital and attractive valuation.
downgraded at J.P. Morgan: CP was downgraded from Neutral to Underweight, J.P. Morgan said. Coal and Potash volumes are slowing down in Canada, and pricing power will be more limited.
downgraded at Goldman: Goldman said it is lowering its rating on EAT to Underperform from Inline based on a recent survey.
upgraded at AG Edwards: AG Edwards said it is upgrading ESV to Buy citing favorable Jackup outlook and high risk/reward profile after recent stock price weakness. Sets $52 target price.
upgraded at Prudential: Prudential said it is upgrading FHR to a Neutral rating based on asset valuation. Target price raised to $47.
upgraded at Oppenheimer: GNSS was upgraded from Neutral to Buy, Oppenheimer said. $24 price target. Stock is down more than 20% since October downgrade, and recent channel checks show that monitor supply problems could lift by February.
upgraded at Wachovia: Wachovia said it is upgrading ITMN to Outperform. Sees huge growth opportunity in the Hepatitis C market. Maintained valuation range of $21 to $24 a share.
downgraded at Merrill: Merrill said it is lowering its rating on JBLU to Neutral on valuation.
Johnson & Johnson
upgraded at J.P. Morgan: JNJ was upgraded from Neutral to Overweight, J.P. Morgan said. Street expectations appear conservative, and the stock should act well around the Jan. 24 analyst meeting.
Hospitals downgraded at Merrill: LPNT was downgraded to Neutral, Merrill Lynch said. 2006 could be a transition year, with 60% of expected revenue stemming form recent purchases.
downgraded at Jefferies: Jefferies said it is downgrading MGI to a Hold rating due to flat yield curve's drag on bottom-line growth.
downgraded at Prudential: Prudential said it is downgrading N to an Underweight rating due to a larger buildup of nickel supplies.
downgraded at Friedman, Billings: RDN was downgraded from Outperform to Market Perform, Friedman, Billings Ramsey said. Valuation call, as the stock is already trading at 1.4 times book. $60 price target.
Sealed Air Corp
downgraded at CSFB: CSFB said it is downgrading SEE to Underperform from Neutral after 22% run-up in share price. Sees limited upside. Maintained $61 target price.
downgraded at J.P. Morgan: SHW was downgraded from Overweight to Neutral, JP Morgan said. Company likely to see verdict in the Rhode Island case by February or March, and the risk of this event outweighs any near-term upside potential.
upgraded at J.P. Morgan: J.P. Morgan said it is upgrading THOR to Neutral from Underweight. Sees new life in the US VAD market and significant progress in Heartmate II.
coverage initiated at Goldman: Goldman said it is initiating coverage on UARM with an Inline rating. Tremendous potential for this exciting growth company but stock is fully valued.
STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES
Advanced Micro Devices
target raised at Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley said it is increasing its target price on AMD to $40 a share from $30 a share with higher EPS estimates for 2005 and 2006. Strong demand for processors cited in the note. Maintained Overweight rating.
target raised at Jefferies: Jefferies said it is raising its target price on ENDP to $35 as well-staged pipeline should eliminate discount vs. peers. Maintained Buy rating.
estimates raised at Piper: Piper said it is raising its 2006 estimates on FFIV by 4 cents to $2.00 a share. Target price raised to $66.
price target raised at Piper Jaffray:Piper Jaffray said it is raising its price target on GOOG to $600 from $445. Expects continued gain in market share and growth in global Search market. Maintained Outperform rating.
estimates raised at Jefferies: Jefferies said it is raising its 2006 estimates on HSC by a nickel to $3.95 a share due to acquisition of Brambles Industrial Services. Maintained Buy rating.
estimates cut at Jefferies: Jefferies said it is cutting its 2005 estimates on MERQE by 3 cents to $1.45 a share. Maintained Hold rating, delisting likely.
outlook cut at Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley said it is lowering its estimates on SEPR for 2006-2009. Xopenex MDI is the next significant growth opportunity for Sepracor. Maintained Overweight rating.
upgraded at UBS: UBS said it is upgrading USPI to Buy from Neutral. Views recent weakness in stock price as opportunity. Maintained $40 price target.
XM Satellite Radio
estimates raised at UBS: UBS said it is slightly raising 2006 EPS estimates on XMSR. Sees growth opportunities from retail and OEM channels. Maintained $45 target price.