CHANGE IN RATINGSApplied Materials upgraded at CIBC: CIBC said it was upgrading AMAT from Sector Performer to Sector Outperformer on growing exposure to DRAW. Maintained $18 target. BEA Systems downgraded at Bernstein: BEAS was downgraded from Market Perform to Underperform, Sanford C. Bernstein said. $9 price target. Stock is already pricing in business stabilization. BellSouth upgraded at Bear Stearns: Bear Stearns said it is upgrading BLS to Outperform following agreement to be acquired. Raised target price to $43.73. Central Garden & Pet downgraded at CIBC: CENT was downgraded from Outperform to Sector Perform, CIBC said. Stock has rallied since November, and appears fully valued, based on near-term earnings expectations. Chico's upgraded at Prudential: Prudential said it is upgrading CHS to a Neutral Weight rating as stock has fallen inline with $40 target price. Finisar initiated at Jefferies: Jefferies said it was initiating coverage at FNSR with a Buy rating and $6 target citing rapid growth of fiber optic datacom market. Forest Oil downgraded at UBS: UBS said it is downgrading FST to Neutral from Hold. Cites limited upside after successful spinoff. Lowered target price to $41 from $61. Hyperion Solutions downgraded at JP Morgan: HYSL was downgraded from Overweight to Neutral, JP Morgan said. Stock is up 25% since May, and near-term earnings upside potential appears limited. Kyphon upgraded at UBS: UBS said it is upgrading KYPH to Buy from Neutral. Cites strong visibility and potential upside from acquisitions. Maintained $46 target price. LifePoint Hospitals downgraded at Bear Stearns: Bear Stearns said it is downgrading LPNT to Peer Perform to reflect a longer than expected turnaround and higher than anticipated interest expense. Dropped 2006 target price. 3M downgraded at AG Edwards: MMM downgraded from Buy to Hold, AG Edwards said. Company will struggle to grow just 5% this year, based on local currency. Management also has less room to cut operating expenses, relative to the industry.
Mattson Technology downgraded at CIBC: CIBC said it was downgrading MTSN from Sector Outperformer to Sector Performer on decelerating fundamentals. Maintained $9 target. Newmont Mining downgraded at CIBC: NEM was downgraded from Sector Perform to Underperform, CIBC said. Expect to see continued deteriorating in production rates and operating margins, going forward. OSI Pharmaceuticals upgraded at Bear Stearns: Bear Stearns said it is upgrading OSIP to Outperform based on attractive valuation and growth for Tarceva. Target price set at $40. Potash downgraded at CIBC: POT was downgraded from Sector Perform to Underperform, CIBC said. Valuation call. Also hearing that Chinese negotiations have been placed in the hands of a central buying committee, which does not bode well for selling prices. $90 price target. Spectrum Brands upgraded at CIBC: CIBC said it was upgrading SPC from Sector Underperformer to Sector Outperformer and raising the target by $6 to $26 on cost savings and valuation. AT&T upgraded at Wachovia: Wachovia said it is upgrading T to Outperform on the sooner than expected acquisition of BellSouth. Believes deal improves wireless and enterprise position.
STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGESBanc of America estimates raised at Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley said it is increasing its estimates on BAC for the full year to $4.44 a share from $4.40 a share. Maintained Overweight rating. Entergy estimates cut at Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley said it is lowering its estimates on ETR for 2006 to $4.67 a share from $4.80 a share. Maintained Overweight rating. Intel estimates lowered at Goldman: Goldman said it is lowering its estimates on INTC for the full year to 85-cents a share from $1.25 a share. Preannouncement as expected. Iowa Telecom estimates raised at Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley said it is increasing its estimates on IWA for the full year to $1.30 a share from $1.28 a share. Cable could accelerate line loss further. Maintained Equalweight rating.
Orient Express estimates cut at Goldman: Goldman said it is lowering its estimates on OEH for the full year to $1.20 a share from $1.53 a share. Maintained Inline rating. Parker Hannifin outlook raised at UBS: UBS said it is raising its 2007 EPS estimates on PH by 5 cents to $5.60 on February order strength. Raised target price to $81 from $79. Research in Motion estimates raised at Piper: Piper said it is raising its 2007 estimates on RIMM by 11 cents to $3.33 a share based on expectations for reacceleration of subscriber growth. Maintained Market Perform rating. Research in Motion estimates lowered at UBS: UBS said it is lowering its 2006 EPS estimates on RIMM to $2.52 from $2.66 on impact from litigation concerns. Maintained Buy rating. Research in Motion estimates cut at Goldman: Goldman said it is lowering its estimates on RIMM for the full year to $2.42 a share from $2.54 a share. One key part of Buy thesis is down. MEMC Electronic outlook raised at UBS: UBS said it is raising its 2007 EPS estimates on WFR to $2.35 from $1.75. Sees increasing signs of pricing power. Raised target price to $55 from $35.