StreetNotes: A Daily Roundup of Street Research

Who made what calls.
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CHANGE IN RATINGS

Allegheny Tech

downgraded at Merrill: Merrill said it is lowering its rating on ATI to Neutral from Buy. The stock appears fairly valued.

Carolina Group

target price raised at UBS: UBS said it is raising its price target on CG to $53 from $47 based on a positive outcome from Engle decision. Also believes company has best fundamentals in US tobacco sector. Maintained Buy rating.

Carolina Group

upgraded at Prudential: Prudential said it is upgrading CG to an Overweight rating in anticipation of a benefit to earnings from the elimination of liquid net worth provision relating to Engle lawsuit.

Cisco

upgraded at Prudential: Prudential said it is upgrading CSCO to an Overweight rating as in-line fiscal Q2 could be followed by sales acceleration.

Convergys

rated new Neutral at UBS: UBS said it is initiating coverage on CVG with a Neutral rating. Sees top-line uncertainties but admires competitive position in core business. Sets target price at $17.

Electronic Data

upgraded at Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley said it is increasing its rating on EDS to Equalweight from Underweight on improving NMCI economics.

IBM

downgraded at J.P. Morgan: J.P. Morgan said it lowering its rating on IBM to Neutral as the stock already reflects its encouragement in mainframes, microelectronics, and its cost structure.

Juniper

downgraded at Prudential: Prudential said it is downgrading JNPR to a Neutral Weight rating as slowing core routing market growth limits upside potential.

McKesson

downgraded at Bear Stearns: Bear Stearns said it was downgrading MCK from Outperform to Peer Perform on valuation and limited upside.

National Instruments

downgraded at Bear Stearns: Bear Stearns said it was downgrading NATI from Outperform to Peer Perform on valuation as it had reached their target price of $34.

Protective Life

upgraded at UBS: UBS said it is upgrading PL to Buy from Neutral based on higher ROE expectations and solid fundamentals. Raised target price to $54 from $47.

PortalPlayer

upgraded at Jefferies: Jefferies said it was upgrading PLAY from Hold to Buy and raising EPS estimates from $1.46 to $1.79 citing new market opportunities.

Swift

upgraded at Merrill: Merrill said it is increasing its target price on SWFT to $26 a share with a raised rating of Buy.

Synaptics

upgraded at Bear Stearns: Bear Stearns said it was upgrading SYNA from Peer Perform to Outperform on strength of notebooks and MP3 players. Price target set at $29.

Tetra Tech

upgraded at Jefferies: Jefferies said it was upgrading TTEK from Hold to Buy on multiple long-term water and security related opportunities. Price target raised from $16 to $20.

Urban Outfitters

coverage initiated at Prudential: Prudential said it is initiating coverage on URBN with an Overweight rating. Analyst Stacy Pak believes this is one of the best growth stories in retail, with 20% store growth possible through existing concepts for the next 8-years.

STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES

Ashland

estimates, target raised at Jefferies: Jefferies said it was raising ASH FY 2006 and 2007 EPS estimates from $2.90 to $3.25 and $3.25 to $3.70 respectively and it was raising its price target by $10 to $72 citing stronger fundamentals. Maintained Buy rating.

Best Buy

estimates raised at Bear Stearns: Bear Stearns said it was raising EPS estimates on BBY by $0.04 for FY 2006 and $0.05 for FY 2007 citing strong December comps and spending cuts. Maintained Outperform rating.

Best Buy

outlook raised at Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley said it is increasing its estimates on BBY for 2005 to $1.93 a share from $1.88 a share following December sales results.

Cinergy

estimates, target raised at Jefferies: Jefferies said it was raising CIN FY 2005 EPS estimate from $2.75 to $2.80 and price target from $40.50 to $43.50. Maintained Hold rating.

Dell

estimates lowered at CSFB: CSFB said it was lowering its estimates for DELL 4Q 2006 EPS from $0.36 to $0.26 and FY 2006 EPS from $1.26 to $1.17 on accelerated options vesting. They raised FY 2007 EPS estimate from $1.60 to $1.68. Maintained Outperform rating.

Genentech

estimates raised at Jefferies: Jefferies said it was raising DNA 4Q 2005 EPS estimate to $0.34 from $0.30 on accelerated Avastin and Herceptin use. Maintained Buy rating.

Genentech

estimates raised at UBS: UBS said it is raising 2005 EPS estimates by a penny to $1.28. Sees another strong quarter driven by solid growth from Avastin, Herceptin, Rituxin and royalty revenues. Maintained Buy rating and $115 price target.

FirstEnergy

estimates raised at Jefferies: Jefferies said it was raising FE 4Q and FY 2005 estimates by $0.05 to $0.70 and $3.00 respectively and raising the price target from $56 to $60 citing the absence of a refueling at a nuclear plant. Maintained Buy rating.

Intel

target price lowered at UBS: UBS said it is lowering its target price on INTC to $33 from $37 despite company changes highlighted at Consumer Electronics Show. Maintained Buy rating.

Manpower

numbers reduced at Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley said it is lowering its estimates on MAN for 2005 to $2.71 a share from $2.72 a share. Maintained Equalweight rating.

Millennium Pharmaceuticals

target price raised at UBS: UBS said it is raising its target price on MLNM to $11 from $10.75 after in-line pre-announced US Velcade sales. Maintained Neutral rating.

PNM Resources

estimates reduced at Jefferies: Jefferies said it was lowering PNM 4Q and FY 2005 EPS estimates by $0.05 to $0.30 and $1.45 respectively on lower rates and plant outages. Maintained Hold rating.

Regal Entertainment

estimates lowered at CSFB: CSFB said it was lowering RGC FY 2005 and 2006 EPS estimates from $0.77 and $1.10 to $0.71 and $0.88 respectively citing a shortfall in 4Q box office growth. Maintained $25 price target and Outperform rating.

Sears Holdings

outlook cut at Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley said it is lowering its estimates on SHLD for fiscal 2006 to $5.20 a share from $5.75 a share citing December sales.

Trident Microsystems

target raised at Jefferies: Jefferies said it was raising the target on TRID from $20 to $25 citing their expectation of significant revenue growth and strong profitability in 2006 & 2007. Maintained Buy rating.

United Tech.

target raised at Jefferies: Jefferies said it was raising the target on UTX from $59 to $64 citing the new CH-53 model ordered by the Marine Corps. Maintained Buy rating.

WellPoint Health Networks

target raised at CSFB: CSFB said it was raising its price target on WLP from $90 to $94 on favorable membership trends. Maintained Outperform rating.