Wednesday's Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades - TheStreet

Wednesday's Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades

Who made what calls.
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CHANGE IN RATINGS

Amazon

(AMZN) - Get Report

upgraded at Bear Stearns to Peer Perform. The company surpassed expectations the past two consecutive quarters with strong revenue growth and improving margin expansion.

Amazon upgraded at JP Morgan to Neutral. Company should be able to sustain higher margins, built upon accelerating North American growth.

Amazon price target higher at Goldman. It is raising its target on AMZN to $91 from $55 based on Q2 results that showed strong top-line results in North America, and 11.4% incremental margins. 2007 estimates raised to $1.47 from $1.44. Maintained Neutral rating.

Amazon upgraded at Credit Suisse to Outperform from Neutral based on strong quarterly results. Raised target price to $100 from $45.

Avery Dennison

(AVY) - Get Report

upgraded at JP Morgan from Neutral to Overweight. Paxar acquisition should boost cash flow, and the stock looks inexpensive on forward estimates.

WR Berkley

(BER)

upgraded at Citigroup from Hold to Buy. $35 price target. Stock is already pricing in declining market conditions. Higher investment income should drive book value and the share price.

Countrywide Financial

(CFC)

downgraded at Friedman, Billings Ramsey from Market Perform to Underperform. Company is hurt by falling home prices, especially in California. $25 price target, which equates to 1 times book value. Estimates also cut.

Countrywide Financial price target cut at Goldman to $27 from $32, following Q2 results that showed severe deterioration in credit quality for the bank portfolio. Management cut 2007 guidance based on lower anticipated production and servicing margins. Goldman estimates lowered to $2.65 from $3.55. Maintained Sell rating.

Crane

(CR) - Get Report

upgraded at Friedman, Billings Ramsey to Outperform. $54 price target. Estimates also raised, to reflect the company's higher margins.

Hain Celestial

(HAIN) - Get Report

upgraded at UBS to Buy rating from Neutral following recent 13% selloff. Price target and FY 2008 EPS estimates hold at $34 and $1.42, respectively.

Illumina

(ILMN) - Get Report

upgraded at Cowen to Outperform. Recent meetings with management and industry checks show that the base business is strong and that new growth platforms are not fully reflected in the consensus estimates.

Kimberly-Clark

(KMB) - Get Report

upgraded at from Sell to Hold. $68 price target. Tissue margins have likely bottomed, based on lower paper costs. Estimates also raised.

Nucor

(NUE) - Get Report

upgraded at CIBC from Sector Perform to Outperform. $69 price target. Stock is down more than 8% over the past week, and will soon begin to trade on 2008 estimates.

Paccar

(PCAR) - Get Report

downgraded at Morgan Stanley from overweight to equalweight and moves price target to $90.

Seagate Tech

(STX) - Get Report

upgraded at Bear Stearns to Outperform from Peer Perform. Conditions in the HDD sector have stopped getting worse, which is an important indicator in this "cyclical growth" sector. Competition may be moderating. $30 price target.

Seagate Tech upgraded at Baird from Neutral to Outperform. $30 price target. Field checks suggest that industry fundamentals are improving. Pricing should also firm up, as the supply/demand rights itself.

STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES

Quest Diagnostics

(DGX) - Get Report

numbers raised at Jefferies. Price target lifts to $65 from $60 and FY 2008 EPS estimates upped to $3.19 from $3.13. Reiterates Buy rating.

Illumina

(ILMN) - Get Report

estimates increased at Goldman to $0.69 from $0.59. Q2 results showed strong sales and better-than-expected earnings. Adoption of Solexa's genome analyzers was faster than expected. Expect introduction of more new product for genotyping and improvements in sequencing later this year. Price target raised to $44 from $41 and maintained Neutral rating.

Jacobs Engineering

(JEC) - Get Report

numbers raised at UBS. Price target lifts to $78 from $69 and FY 2008 EPS estimates upped to $2.85 from $2.65. Reiterates Buy rating.

Lockheed Martin

(LMT) - Get Report

numbers raised at Jefferies. Price target lifts to $110 from $95 and FY 2008 EPS estimates upped to $7.35 from $6.75. Reiterates Hold rating.

LAM Research

(LRCX) - Get Report

estimates raised at UBS. FY 2008 EPS estimates upped to $4.72 from $4.59 while price target holds at $70. Reiterates Buy rating.

Steel Dynamics

(STLD) - Get Report

numbers raised at Jefferies. Price target moves to $46 from $41 and FY 2008 EPS estimates jumps to $4.20 from $3.70. Reiterates Hold rating.

Wachovia

(WB) - Get Report

added to FBR Top Picks list. Based on the company's strong earnings growth outlook and attractive valuation, particularly following recent weakness, the company is set to Outperform. $60 price target.