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CHANGE IN RATINGS

Arthur J. Gallagher

(AJG) - Get Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Report

upgraded at Merrill from Neutral to Buy. $27 price target. Company sports an attractive 5.3% dividend yield, and the stock is at its lowest valuation in 5 years. Brokerage margins should also stabilize with cost-cutting efforts.

Baxter International

(BAX) - Get Baxter International Inc. Report

upgraded at Citigroup from Hold to Buy. Company should be able to grow margins in BioSciences. $69 price target.

Best Buy

(BBY) - Get Best Buy Co., Inc. Report

downgraded at Cowen to Neutral rating from Buy. Company cites lack of new product cycles on the horizon and the recent pop in BBY shares.

Brinker International

(EAT) - Get Brinker International, Inc. Report

downgraded at Keybanc from Hold to Underweight. Company announced poor quarterly same-store sales, and competition should remain high in 2008. $15 price target.

Federated Investors

(FII) - Get Federated Investors, Inc. Class B Report

upgraded at UBS to Buy rating from Neutral. Price target and FY 2008 eps estimates hold at $44 and $2.65.

Genco Shipping

TheStreet Recommends

(GNK) - Get Genco Shipping & Trading Ltd Report

rated new Outperfrom at Credit Suisse. Remains bullish on the near-term outlook for charter rates and believes current stock price presents a compelling entry point. Sets $70 target.

Helen of Troy

(HELE) - Get Helen of Troy Limited Report

upgraded at Jefferies to Buy rating from Hold. Price target and FY 2008 eps estimates hold at $21 and $1.80.

Intuitive Surgical

(ISRG) - Get Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (ISRG) Report

downgraded at Wachovia to Market Perform. Stock looks fully valued, as 2008 estimates may fall short of consensus expectations.

Illinois Tool Works

(ITW) - Get Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW) Report

downgraded at Merrill from Buy to Neutral. Estimates also cut, because of the company's dependence on the North American consumer.

Lear

(LEA) - Get Lear Corporation Report

upgraded at Merrill from Sell to Neutral. Stock is down 30% from its recent highs, and the recent restructuring efforts are beginning to gain traction.

Rockwell Automation

(ROK) - Get Rockwell Automation, Inc. Report

downgraded at Merrill from Neutral to Sell. Estimates also cut, as the company will likely see lower demand as the economy continues to slow down.

Sonic Automotive

(SAH) - Get Sonic Automotive, Inc. Class A Report

upgraded at Merrill from Neutral to Buy. $22 price target. Company continues to focus on luxury autos, and has a strong presence outside of Florida and California.

Starbucks

(SBUX) - Get Starbucks Corporation Report

upgraded at BofA to Neutral. $20 price target. Return of Howard Schulz could ultimately lead to a recovery.

Western Refining

(WNR)

upgraded at Deutsche from Sell to Hold. $28 price target. Stock has lost its premium valuation, though the refining outlook remains difficult.

STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES

American Eagle

(AEO) - Get American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. Report

numbers lowered at UBS. Price target slashed to $20 from $25 and FY 2009 eps estimates drop to $1.83 from $1.97. Reiterates Neutral rating.

Charlotte Russe

( CHIC) 2008 estimates raised at FBR by 3 cents to $1.48 a share due to improved December traffic and lower promotions. Maintained Market Perform rating.

Lifecell

( LIFC) 2009 estimates cut at Morgan Stanley. Company offered disappointing guidance, because of Strattice uncertainty. Equal-weight rating.

Las Vegas Sands

(LVS) - Get Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) Report

numbers lowered at Jefferies. Price target dips to $142 from $152 and FY 2008 eps estimates drop to $3.05 from $3.14. Reiterates Buy rating.

Tween Brands

( TWB) 2007 estimates raised at FBR by 9 cents to $1.91 a share following announcement of strong December comp. Maintained Outperform rating.

Wynn Resorts

(WYNN) - Get Wynn Resorts, Limited (WYNN) Report

numbers lowered at Jefferies. Price target dips to $147 from $152 and FY 2008 eps estimates drop to $3.47 from $3.62. Reiterates Buy rating.

STRATEGY CALLS / MARKET CALLS

Retail estimates cut at Morgan Stanley

:Estimates cut at 6 retailers because of credit risk, Morgan Stanley said. SHLD probably has the largest amount of earnings at risk. Top-rated stocks remain WMT, TGT, CVS, NKE and WAG.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.