An abbreviated version of MunDayne:
Whom do these guys think they're kidding? The latest trend among analysts appears to be downgrading a stock and lowering estimates while boosting the target price. The latest example: Tom Kraemer of
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
, who Friday downgraded
to outperform from strong buy while raising his price target to 210 from 181.
This appears to be the new standard on Wall Street as analysts try to keep favor with clients and companies. "Nobody wants to upset anybody," says Jeff Matthews of
, one of this column's regulars. "One way or the other he's gonna be right. If the stock goes to 220 he can say he had raised his target; if it falls to 150 he can say he downgraded it." IBM closed Friday at 179 3/4 after a slide of 17 1/4, or 8.8%. "It's a fabulous conspiracy of not to say anything bad," Matthews says.
Kraemer couldn't be reached (he wasn't talking to the press) and a Morgan Stanley Dean Witter spokesman didn't return my call.
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Securities and Exchange Commission
documents and show a keen ability to write. Experience preferred but not necessary. Benefits: Working among the smartest, shrewdest and most aggressive journalists in financial journalism. If hired you will not be allowed to own any individual stocks. If interested, email me your resume and a brief note explaining why you'd like the job.
Herb Greenberg writes daily for TheStreet.com. In keeping with the editorial policy of TSC, he does not own or short individual stocks. He also does not invest in hedge funds or any other private investment partnerships. He welcomes your feedback at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Greenberg writes a monthly column for Fortune and provides daily commentary for CNBC.