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(AIZ) - Get Assurant, Inc. Report

downgraded at Merrill: AIZ was downgraded from Buy to Neutral at Merrill Lynch. Stock has outperformed the S&P 500 and its peers by about 17% on the year, and is already reflecting better-than-expected third quarter results.

Avon Products

(AVP) - Get Avon Products, Inc. Report

downgraded at Bear: AVP was downgraded from Outperform to Peer Perform at Bear Stearns. Stock has rebounded from its lows, and now reached the $31 price target. Risk/reward is neutral at current levels.


(BBT) - Get BB&T Corporation Report

downgraded at Friedman, Billings: BBT was downgraded from Outperform to Market Perform at Friedman, Billings Ramsey. Stock trades near its all-time high, and upside is relatively limited from current levels. $48 price target.

Endurance Specialty


downgraded at Keefe, Bruyette: ENH was downgraded from Outperform to Market Perform at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. 2006 estimates raised, but the stock appears fully valued. $37 price target.

First Data

(FDC) - Get First Data Corporation Class A Report

downgraded at Goldman Sachs: Goldman is downgrading FDC to Neutral from Buy due to valuation. Current price fully reflects turnaround in business. Lower return on capital after Western Union spinoff also negative. New price target at $26.

Forest Labs

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downgraded at Merrill: FRX was downgraded from Buy to Neutral, Merrill Lynch said. Stock is up 32% since the positive Lexapro verdict in July, and already appears to be pricing in an FDA approval of the Orapem antibiotic later this year.

Global Payments

(GPN) - Get Global Payments Inc. (GPN) Report

upgraded at JP Morgan: GPN was upgraded from Neutral to Overweight at JP Morgan. Estimates also raise, as near-term strength in the ISO segment should drive margins gains.

Health Net


upgraded at CIBC: HNT was upgraded from Sector Perform to Outperform, CIBC said. Reserves have been rising in California, and competition is also heating up. Expect better quality earnings in the third quarter, though upside to the consensus estimate may be limited.


(KSS) - Get Kohl's Corporation (KSS) Report

downgraded at Bear: KSS was downgraded from Outperform to Market Perform at Bear Stearns. Management is executing its business plan, but the stock's valuation looks full.

Mercury General

(MCY) - Get Mercury General Corporation Report

upgraded at Credit Suisse: Credit Suisse said it is upgrading MCY to Outperform from Neutral based on strength of overall securities market and likelihood of change in ownership structure. Raised target price to $55 from $53.



upgraded at Merrill: MRX was upgraded from Sell to Neutral, Merrill Lynch said. Solodyn acne product has had a solid launch, which should help offset the high valuation and increased competition for Restylane.

Medicis Pharmaceutical


upgraded at Credit Suisse: Credit Suisse is upgrading MRX to Outperform from Underperform based on better than expected new product flow. Maintained $40 target price.

Phelps Dodge

( PD) coverage resumed at Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley resumed coverage of Phelps Dodge with an overweight rating and a $110 price target.



rated new Buy at Merrill: RDC was initiated with a Buy rating, Merrill Lynch said. $41 price target. Company likely to gain two more new international contracts that will further strain supply. Recent pullback has also created a buying opportunity.

Molson Coors

(TAP) - Get Molson Coors Brewing Company Class B (TAP) Report

downgraded at Bear: TAP was downgraded from Peer Perform to Underperform, Bear Stearns said. Channel checks suggest the company had a difficult summer, which could lead to increased promotions. Estimates also cut through 2007.

Western Union

(WU) - Get Western Union Company Report

coverage initiated at Goldman Sachs: Goldman is initiating coverage on WU with a Buy rating. Believe strong competitive position overshadowed by near-term disruption in its U.S. and Mexico channels, creating opportunity. Price target at $25.



(CLS) - Get Celestica Inc. Report

target price raised at UBS: UBS is raising its target price on CLS to $14 from $12 based on higher revenue estimates in 2007. Maintained Buy rating.


(HON) - Get Honeywell International Inc. (HON) Report

target boosted at Merrill: Shares of HON now seen reaching $51, according to Merrill Lynch. Stock remains one of the best ways to play the favorable non-residential outlook. Buy rating.


( MVSN) price target raised at Jefferies: MVSN target increased to $24 from $22, Jefferies said. Company recently completed convertible bond offering. Reiterated Hold rating.

Precision Drilling

(PDS) - Get Precision Drilling Corporation Report

estimates cut at UBS: UBS said it is lowering its 2006 EPS estimates on PDS to $3.92 from $4.27 based on weaker drilling in Canada. Lowered target price to $33 from $45.