CHANGE IN RATINGS
upgraded at Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley upgrades Abbott Labs to overweight from equalweight, and raised price target to $53. Morgan Stanley believes the KOS deal secures 10% growth through 2008.
downgraded at CSFB: ASH was downgraded from Outperform to Neutral at Credit Suisse. $65 price target. Valuation call, as the stock is already pricing in higher Valvoline profits.
Bed Bath & Beyond
downgraded at JP Morgan: BBBY was downgraded from Neutral to Underweight at JP Morgan. Stock already reflecting decent quarterly results, and HD offers a better value at current prices.
upgraded at Friedman, Billings: CAKE was upgraded from Market Perform to Outperform, Friedman, Billings Ramsey said. Company will file its 10-Q late, though will only likely record $5 to $6 million of options re-statements. $35 price target.
initiated at Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley initiates coverage of Cerner with an equalweight rating and $51 price target.
downgraded at Goldman Sachs: Goldman is downgrading CMVT to Sell from Neutral due to increased risk from expanded accounting review. Likely to take full year to become compliant with NASD listing requirements. Target price lowered to $18.50 from $21.
coverage initiated at Jefferies: Jefferies is initiating coverage on DAC with a Buy rating. Shares trade at discount to shipping yield peer group, despite being among the best in time charter coverage. Price target at $25.
upgraded at Goldman Sachs: EIX upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman. See utility segment growing rate base and earnings through 2010. Catalysts include announcement of new power and coal hedges to lock in lower costs, as well as potential RFP wins to develop gas generation capacity in California. Price target at $51.
upgraded at Merrill Lynch: Merrill Lynch upgrades Foot Locker to buy with a $28 price target. The company thinks as Foot Locker's cash flows improve, investors will increasingly value Foot Locker on this basis. The $28 price target reflects a 7% free cash yield.
downgraded at Merrill: FPL was downgraded from Buy to Neutral, Merrill Lynch said. Sum of the parts valuation is less than the current share price. Recent rally likely because of the mid-term election results.
upgraded at JP Morgan: HD was upgraded from Underweight to Overweight at JP Morgan. 2007 will be a transition year, but the stock has underperformed for too long. Also expect significant management changes.
upgraded at BofA: MEL was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at Bank of America. $44 price target. Company held an upbeat analyst meeting, and margins should continue to improve over the next several quarters.
upgraded at Merrill Lynch: Merrill Lynch upgrades Saks to a buy with a $24 price target, as Merrill believes the company turnaround is underway.
upgraded at Goldman Sachs: Goldman is upgrading MO to a Buy rating from Neutral. Expect potential Kraft spinoff and improved tobacco trends to drive shares. Price target at $96.
downgraded at Goldman: Goldman is downgrading TXU to Neutral from Buy following Q3 earnings presentation. Expect increased fuel and operating costs, higher capital spending levels on new Texas plants, and increased risk due to expansion into PJM. Price target at $63.
STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES
estimates raised at CSFB: A now seen earning $1.65 next year, Credit Suisse said. Company realizing higher margins and is buying back stock. Overweight rating and $31 price target.
price target raised at UBS: Morgan Stanley raises Analog Devices price target to $40 and reiterates Buy 2 rating after the company reported earnings that were ahead of estimates.
numbers raised at UBS: UBS raises 2006 and 2007 EPS estimates for American Eagle after the company reported 40% increase in earnings and 13% comp store sales growth.
estimates cut at CSFB: DHI now seen earning $1.55 a share in 2007, Credit Suisse said. Company once again warned of slower growth. Neutral rating and $23 price target.
price target cut at Jefferies: EXC target lowered to$66.50 from $70 at Jefferies. 2007 estimates reduced to $4.35 from $4.85 following company's preliminary guidance. Reiterated Buy rating.
target upped at CSFB: GOOG shares now expected to reach $600 at Credit Suisse. Coverage also reinstated with an Outperform rating, following the closure of the YouTube deal. Estimates set above consensus numbers.
cut from Focus List at JP Morgan: LRCX was removed from the Focus List, JP Morgan said. Stock had been on list for two years and gained more than 130%. Consensus estimates remain conservative. Overweight rating.
estimates increased at Goldman: Goldman is upping its 2007 estimates on MRK by 6 cents to $2.45 following results of pediatrician survey on HPV vaccines. Estimate remains well below consensus and management guidance. Maintain Sell rating and $36 price target.
estimates raised at Jefferies: Jefferies is upping its 2007 estimates on ROST by 6 cents to $1.95 after company reported in-line Q3 earnings. See increasing benefits from recent years' supply chain investments. Reiterated Hold rating and $30 target.
estimates raised at Goldman: 2006 estimates on SKS increased to $0.13 from $0.03, Goldman said. Strong Q3 earnings indicate progress in turnaround, with robust same store sales of +8.8% and gross margin gains. Maintained Neutral rating and $22 target.
added to Focus 1 list at Merrill: SYK was added to the Focus 1 list, Merrill Lynch said. Company can post double-digit annual sales and earnings growth through 2009. Buy rating and $60 price target.
estimates cut at CSFB: WMT 2007 estimate lowered to $3.25 a share at Credit Suisse. Company seeing mixed results, though slowing capex growth should eventually reach the bottom line. Outperform rating and $59 price target.