CHANGE IN RATINGS
( AAI) downgraded at Bear Stearns to Peer Perform from Outperform due to limited earnings growth. See potential multiple contraction on slower growth in current environment. Removed $16 price target.
downgraded at FBR to a Market Perform rating due to deal financing overhang after announcement of acquisition of MDA.
upgraded at Morgan Stanley to Equal-weight. Stock is down 65% from its 2007 peak, and cost-cutting efforts should benefit margins in the long term. $12 price target.
downgraded at Bear Stearns to Peer Perform rating as they believe the company has closed the valuation gap with the other pure plays in their sector.
Delta Air Lines
upgraded at Bear Stearns to Outperform from Peer Perform based on valuation. Note shares are trading at 25% discount to sector, with 10% free cash flow yield. Established $20 price target.
Delta Air Lines upgraded at Morgan Stanley to Overweight. Stock offers the most upside potential in the group, despite the likely need for downward earnings revisions in 2008.
downgraded at Wachovia to Market Perform. Stock is up 150% since late 2006, and now looks fully valued at 28 times expected earnings.
downgraded at Deutsche Bank to a Hold rating after checks at CES indicated competitive pressure.
upgraded at Morgan Stanley to Equal-weight. $16 price target. Stock is down 45% from its 2007 highs, and management will likely announce more cost cuts at the upcoming conference call.
upgraded at Goldman Sachs to Buy from Neutral in light of recessionary environment in 2008. Believe agricultural/fertilizer stocks offer best opportunity in chemical sector. With global grain prices at record levels, expect fertilizer pricing momentum to remain strong this year. Price target at $120.
upgraded at Morgan Stanley from Equal-weight to Overweight. $20 price target. Market is too pessimistic about growth, following the purchase of MRK's generic business.
Pharmaceutical Product Dev.
( PPDI) 2008 estimates raised at FBR by 19 cents to $1.89 a share following issuance of guidance. Maintained Outperform rating.
Pharmaceutical Product Dev. upgraded at UBS to Buy rating from Neutral. Price target upped to $55 from $45 and FY 2008 eps estimates lift to $1.83 from $1.70.
downgraded at Goldman Sachs to Neutral from Buy in conjunction with lowered outlook for industrial names sensitive to petrochemical feedstock pricing. Target cut to $75 from $80.
upgraded at Goldman Sachs to Buy from Neutral. See favorable position in both chemicals and industrial gas spaces, with limited exposure to volatile petrochemical feedstock prices. Target raised to $102 from $96.
upgraded at UBS to Buy rating from Neutral. Price target jumps to $80 from $66 and FY 2008 eps estimates lift to $4.88 from $4.91.
downgraded at Keybanc from Buy to Hold. Company is likely to suffer from the recent weakness in the domestic coal market. Estimates also cut.
Rohm & Haas
( ROH) downgraded at Goldman Sachs to Neutral from Buy, based on potential recession in U.S. and exposure to petrochemical feedstock prices. Believe economically-sensitive names will face continuing pressures on economic front as well as from oil prices. Price target reduced to $57 from $64.
downgraded at Jefferies to Hold rating from Buy. Price target and 2008 eps estimates hold at $30 and $0.50, respectively.
upgraded at UBS to Neutral rating from Sell. Price target cut to $30 from $35 and FY 2008 eps estimates upped to $2.74 from $2.70.
STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES
estimates lowered at Morgan Stanley to $27 a share. Estimates also cut, to reflect higher expected CDO losses. Now looking for a 44% dividend cut in the second quarter. Underweight rating.
target price lowered at Credit Suisse to $11 from $17. Believes numerous headwinds from deteriorating consumer landscape will lead to earnings risk in 2008. Maintained Underperform rating.
target lower at Goldman to $52 from $58 based on weakening economic outlook for cyclical chemical stocks. See continuing weakness in broad economy creating a more challenging scenario, especially considering high oil prices.
price target lowered at Goldman to $45 from $52 based on weak economic outlook. See cyclical chemical companies facing difficulties in 2008 in challenging industrial environment.
price target cut at Goldman to $21.25 from $25. Q1 earnings were solid but 2008 guidance was revised to the downside. Note competitive pricing at Wal-Mart and lower margins. Maintained Neutral rating.
Fortress Investment Group
target cut at Credit Suisse to $27 from $29. Cites that stock is down 40% over past three months and price under $15 represents solid long-term opportunity. Maintained Outperform rating.
( GENZ) target price raised at Deutsche Bank to $90 after announcement of positive preliminary Q4 revenues. Maintained Buy rating.
St. Jude Medical
2008 estimates raised at FBR by 3 cents to $2.20 a share based on increased confidence in clinician survey data. Maintained Outperform rating.
target trimmed at Goldman to $27 from $33 based on negative effects on automotive sector stemming from deteriorating economic forecasts. Maintained Buy rating.
STRATEGY CALLS / MARKET CALLS
Softline Retail estimates cut at Morgan Stanley
: Earnings estimates were lowered by an average of 3%, Morgan Stanley said. Stocks have already come down, but still could fall another 15% to 20%. LTD, ARO, AEO, ANF, M, JWN, KSS and JCP among the names affected. Maintain Cautious industry stance.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.