Change in Ratings
upgraded at Wachovia to outperform. Recent meeting with management confirms that fundamentals have dramatically improved in recent months. Company has cut operating costs, and should continue to benefit from higher natural gas prices.
upgraded at JP Morgan to overweight from neutral based on expected strength in Brazilian fertilizer unit. Higher price grain environment and increased global planting should drive increased demand for BG products. See price in $105 to $137 range based on sum-of-parts.
( CFC) upgraded at Wachovia to market perform. Loan production improved sequentially in February, favoring safer products. Estimates increased. Also expect the dividend to be eliminated.
initiated at Jefferies with a hold rating. Price target starts at $72 with 2008 EPS estimates at $4.50.
coverage initiated at Goldman Sachs with a neutral rating. See continued market share gains and momentum in the digital mammography segment, but note shares are close to being fairly valued. Price target at $64.
upgraded at Citigroup to buy with a $52 price target. Expect the company to post positive FLEX data at the upcoming ASCO conference.
( KFT) downgraded at JPMorgan from overweight to neutral. Profit margins will recover at a slower pace, as agriculture and meat companies have all of the pricing power these days.
downgraded at JPMorgan from neutral to underweight. Soft macro conditions will affect the company's cyclical outdoor marketing business. Estimates also lowered.
( MEE) upgraded at JPMorgan to neutral. Company will benefit from higher commodity prices and higher export demand.
downgraded at JPMorgan from overweight to neutral. Expenses are rising, and U.S. growth is slowing faster than expected. Estimates also cut.
( SLE) downgraded at JPMorgan to neutral from overweight due to macroeconomic issues. Note current economic slowdown, cost inflation and possible delays in turnaround in profit margins. Also note reasonable valuation as limiting downside.
upgraded at JPMorgan to neutral from underweight based on improving chicken economics and improved beef cutout spreads. Note positive impact of shutting down Emporia plant in eastern Kansas.
Stock Comments/EPS Changes
( ABK) estimates cut at Deutsche Bank by $2.00 to $1.10 a share to reflect equity offering. Maintained hold rating.
target cut at UBS. Price objective dips to $35 from $40 while fiscal-year 2008 EPS estimates lift to $1.62 from $1.58. Reiterates neutral rating.
2008 estimates cut at Deutsche Bank by 32 cents to $1.25 a share due to higher expenses. Maintained hold rating.
Monster Worldwide price target cut at Goldman to $27 from $32 based on sharply higher marketing expenses and weak domestic revenue trends. Maintained neutral rating.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com Ratings.