Continental Airlines Shares Grounded Despite Upgrade

Continental Airlines

(CAL) - Get Report

shares are pretty flat so far today, despite being upgraded over at

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report


The analyst raised the airline company's stock to a buy, citing fuel cost savings and an attractive valuation. The price target has been raised to $24 from $17.

Continental has been one of the better performing airline companies whenever the market rallies. Shares were down about 25% in 2008, which was not as bad as the overall market. The shares have technical support in the $10 to $11 price area, but if that fails to hold, then the $6 area is key. If the shares can firm up here, we see the $21 to $22 as the first spot the stock encounters overhead resistance. Then the $25 to $26 area would be next, if the first level can be surpassed. We do not rate the stock as it does not pay a dividend, but if the airline sector begins to firm up, this stock can be considered a go-to name to look at.

Continental Airlines does not currently pay a dividend.

Pfizer May be on the Acquisition Prowl


Financial Times

is reporting this morning that


(PFE) - Get Report

may be ready to make some big acquisitions if the opportunities present themselves.

The company is facing loss of its patent protection on blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor in 2011. Management recently announced it will not raise its quarterly payout for the first time in 42 years. No names have been mentioned as targets, but the Biotech space is usually the first spot that gets looked at.

We had removed the shares of Pfizer from our "Recommended" list on Nov. 12, when the stock was trading at $16.77. The company has a 7.01% dividend yield, based on Friday's closing stock price of $18.27. We prefer shares of

Eli Lilly

(LLY) - Get Report


Bristol Myers

at this current time for investments.


(PFE) - Get Report

is not recommended at this time, holding a Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Progress Energy a Bit Cautious on 2009 Profit Estimates

Progress Energy


just announced 2009 EPS estimates may be toward the low end of its previous estimates.

The company sees 2009 EPS in a range of $2.95 to $3.15. The current consensus estimates are for $3.11. Management sees profits being affected by higher pension expenses and increased financing costs.

We had put shares of Progressive on our "Recommended" list back on Oct. 28, when the stock was trading at $36.51. The company has a 6.10% dividend yield, based on Friday's closing stock price of $40.65. We still like the shares here and if the stock can firm up here, the next level of overhead resistance comes up in the $45 to $46 area.

Progress Energy is a "Recommended" stock at this time, holding a Rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. Gets Upgrade from JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase is upgrading shares of


(AMZN) - Get Report

this morning to an overweight from neutral.

The analyst believes the company is poised to experience market share growth, and it sees the stock hitting $65 a share. Amazon's dominance in the e-commerce space is no surprise. The company reported it sold more than 6.3 million items worldwide on its peak day, Dec. 15, or the equivalent of a record-breaking 72.9 items per second.

The shares of Amazon have bounced up 50% from recent lows it had hit in November. The company does have overhead resistance in the $62 to $66 area. On the downside, the company has long-term support of $26 that must hold if the company is to avoid facing single digits again. We do not rate the stock at this time, but this is another name we like to monitor for how the growth side of the markets are trading. does not currently pay a dividend.

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At the time of publication, the author had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

Tom Reese and Paul Rubillo are senior editors of Visit for more dividend stock ratings, picks, news, and analysis for long-term and income-seeking investors.