Thursday's Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades

Who made what calls.
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CHANGE IN RATINGS

ACCO Brands

(ABD)

downgraded at Deutsche: ABD was downgraded from Buy to Hold at Deutsche Bank. $26 price target. Estimates also lowered, as a potential earnings recovery has been pushed out to 2008.

AK Steel

(AKS) - Get Report

downgraded at JP Morgan:AKS was downgraded from Overweight to Neutral at JP Morgan. Recent insider selling suggests an acquisition is not likely to materialize in the near term. Stock is also already pricing in solid first quarter results.

Autonation

(AN) - Get Report

downgraded at Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley downgrades Autonation from equalweight to overweight.

Apollo Group

(APOL)

upgraded at Merrill: APOL was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at Merrill Lynch. $55 price target. Company is still in the early stages of a turnaround and trades at a significant discount to its peers.

Apollo Group numbers raised at UBS: APOL numbers raised at UBS. Price target jumps to $48 from $40. 2007 eps estimates rise to $2.44 from $2.33. Reiterates Neutral rating.

Atwood Oceanics

(ATW)

upgraded at Jefferies: ATW upgraded to Buy rating from Hold at Jefferies. Price target jumps to $67 from $53 and 2007 eps estimate hold at $4.41.

Cheesecake Factory

(CAKE) - Get Report

upgraded at Piper Jaffray: CAKE upgraded to Market Perform rating from Under Perform at Piper. Price target bumps up to $26 from $24 and 2007 eps estimate remain at $1.20.

China Mobile

(CHL) - Get Report

upgraded at Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley upgrades China Mobile from equalweight to overweight.

Digital River

(DRIV) - Get Report

upgraded at Oppenheimer: DRIV was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at Oppenheimer. $58 price target. Stock is down 11% on the year, though the fundamentals remain quite strong.

EMC

(EMC)

upgraded at Raymond James: EMC was upgraded to Outperform at Raymond James. Company set to monetize VMWare, which is a major growth driver.

EMC upgraded at Goldman Sachs: Goldman is upgrading EMC to Buy from Neutral following the company's announcement that it will spin out 10% of VMware subsidiary. Analysis concludes that VMware is worth $5.80, while rest of EMC worth $11.05. Price target raised to $17 from $14.50.

FMC Corp

(FMC) - Get Report

downgraded at Oppenheimer: Oppenheimer is downgrading FMC to Neutral from Buy due to lower guidance and achievement of price target. Guidance indicates lower-than-expected price hikes in soda ash and higher energy/mineral costs. 2007 estimates cut to $5.86 from $6.32. Price target removed.

Global Payments

(GPN) - Get Report

upgraded at Suntrust: GPN was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at Suntrust Robinson Humphrey. $52 price target. Stock has sold off sharply, but the struggling money transfer business should stabilize in the coming quarters.

Heidrick & Struggles

(HSII) - Get Report

upgraded at Merrill:HSII was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at Merrill Lynch. Company posted strong fourth quarter results, led by the acquired Highland assets. 2007 estimate also raised to $2.65 a share. $55 price target.

LifePoint Hospitals

(LPNT)

upgraded at Jefferies: LPNT upgraded to Buy rating from Hold at Jefferies. Price target rises to $42.50 from $35 and 2007 eps estimates bump up to $2.49 from $2.46.

Pacer International

(PACR)

downgraded at Bear Stearns: Bear Stearns downgrades Pacer International from peer perform to underperform.

Pacer International downgraded at Baird: Robert W. Baird downgraded Pacer to neutral given weaker core operating results and a difficult near-term domestic freight environment.

Protective Life

(PL)

downgraded at Wachovia: PL was downgraded to Market Perform at Wachovia. Company posted poor fourth-quarter results, with declining growth across the board. Investment spreads are also narrowing.

Quest Software

(QSFT)

upgraded at JP Morgan: QSFT was upgraded to Overweight at JP Morgan. Company is landing more big deals and is a major beneficiary of the Vista launch.

Riverbed Technology

(RVBD)

downgraded at Robert Baird: Robert Baird is downgrading RVBD to Underperform based on competition, lower margins and moderating outperformance. Lowered target price to $25.

Sina

(SINA) - Get Report

upgraded at CIBC: SINA was upgraded from Sector Perform to Outperform at CIBC. Company's wireless problems should subside in the first half of the year, and the company remains a key beneficiary of the 2008 Olympics.

Concha y Toro

(VCO)

downgraded at UBS: VCO downgraded to reduce rating from Neutral at UBS. Price target bumps up slightly to $35.50 from $35.25 and fy 2007 eps estimates remain at $1.31.

STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES

Affymetrix

(AFFX)

numbers raised at UBS: AFFX numbers raised at UBS. Price target lifts to $28 from $25 and 2007 eps estimates rise to $0.33 from $0.27. Reiterates Neutral rating.

Cigna

(CI) - Get Report

target price raised at Credit Suisse: Credit Suisse is raising its target price on CI to $140 from $125 after 4Q results exceeded estimates. Maintained Neutral rating.

Walt Disney

(DIS) - Get Report

target price raised at Credit Suisse: Credit Suisse is raising its target price on DIS to $44 from $41 after Q1 was higher than consensus estimates. Maintained Neutral rating.

Walt Disney price target raised at Goldman: Goldman is increasing its target on DIS to $42 from $41 based on broad-based outperformance and continuing double-digit operating growth beyond 2007. Q1 results showed 45% and 44% growth in operating income and earnings, respectively. Maintained Buy rating.

Electronic Data Systems

(EDS)

target price raised at Credit Suisse: Credit Suisse is raising its target price on EDS to $31 from $29 following strong Q4 results and inline outlook. Maintained Outperform rating.

Hewlett-Packard

(HPQ) - Get Report

estimates increased at Goldman: 2007 estimates on HPQ upped by 2 cents to $2.57 at Goldman. Moving shares back to Conviction Buy list based on expected upside results for January quarter and continuing prospects for expense reduction. Price target raised to $48 from $47.

Intercontinental Exchange

(ICE) - Get Report

estimates cut at Goldman: 2008 estimates on ICE reduced to $5.40 from $5.53 at Goldman. Q4 results came in 2 cents below Goldman expectations. Key negative was declining rate per contract in futures. Positives include pent-up demand by algorithmic traders for OTC and NYBOT products and management's focus on non-organic growth initiatives. Maintained Buy rating.

Lazard

(LAZ) - Get Report

price target raised at Goldman: Goldman is upping its target on LAZ to $63 from $58 following strong earnings beat in Q4 results. See strong results in advisory and asset management incentive fees. 2007 estimates raised to $2.75 from $2.65. Maintained Buy rating.

Loopnet

(LOOP) - Get Report

estimates raised at Credit Suisse: Credit Suisse is raising its 2007 EPS estimates on LOOP to 40 cents from 36 cents following strong Q4 results. Raised target price to $19 from $18.

MedImmune

(MEDI)

estimates slashed at Goldman: 2006 estimates on MEDI cut to $0.09 from $0.20 at Goldman. See concerns over Synagis and delay in FDA filing of Numax to the second half of 2007. Maintained Buy rating and $37 target.

XL Capital

(XL)

estimates cut at Goldman: Goldman is reducing its 2007 estimates on XL by $0.50 to $8.80, due to management guidance for Financial Operations and Investment Affiliates income that was lower than forecasts. Maintained Neutral rating and $85 target.