Change in RatingsCheck Point ( CHKP) was downgraded from Market Perform to Underperform, Friedman Billings Ramsey said. Current quarter should be strong, but the stock is up more than 40% over the past six months. $19 price target. Celera ( CRA) was upgraded from Market Perform to Outperform, Piper Jaffray said. $16 price target. ABT alliance will ultimately pay off, and the current 2007 consensus estimates appear beatable. Morgan Stanley upgrades Enbridge Energy Partners ( EEP) to equalweight from underweight. Fortune Brands ( FO) was downgraded from Overweight to Neutral, JP Morgan said. Stock is up 20% since the end of June, though there's downside risk to the company's near-term earnings. Goldman said it is resuming coverage on International Paper ( IP) with a Neutral rating. Company recently completed restructuring and divestitures and has specific plans for proceeds. See limted upside for shares, with investor focus on margin improvement plan. Price target at $34. Level 3 ( LVLT) initiated at UBS with Neutral rating. Price target set at $7.00. Forecasts FY07 EPS loss of ($0.72). Lubrizol ( LZ) was downgraded to Neutral, JP Morgan said. Valuation call, as the stock has dramatically outperformed its peers over the past two years. Maintaining estimates. 3M ( MMM) coverage reinstated with a Neutral rating, Goldman said. Company completed sale of Specialty Pharma group. 2007 estimates reduced by $0.15 to $4.90, to account for divestiture. Price target at $86.
Altria ( MO) was downgraded from Buy to Hold, Deutsche Bank said. $95 price target. Stock has already caught up to its peers in valuation. Next leg up will need to be created by execution, after the Kraft spinoff. Morgan Stanley downgrades Newfield Exploration ( NFX) from overweight to equalweight and cuts 2006-2008 EPS estimates. Pantry ( PTRY) was upgraded from Market Perform to Outperform, Friedman Billings Ramsey said. Accretion from the recent store acquisition should outweigh lower gas margins. $58 price target. Goldman said it is downgrading Rite Aid ( RAD) to Sell based on valuation. Shares have risen 33% since September and now trade at an identical EBITDA multiple with faster-growing and less leveraged CVS/Caremark combination. See potential 10%-15% correction sometime in the first half of 2007. 2008 estimates raised to $0.20 from $0.11 to reflect lower tax rate. Price target raised to $5.45 from $4.54. Red Hat ( RHT) was upgraded from Sector Perform to Outperform, CIBC said. $26 price target. Recent meeting with management increased confidence in the company's ability to execute over the coming quarters. SRA International ( SRX) downgraded to Hold rating from Buy, Jefferies said. Price target drops to $25 from $37. 2007 EPS estimates lowered to $1.18 from $1.29. Stanley Works ( SWK) was downgraded from Neutral to Underweight, JP Morgan said. Stock has outperformed its peers of late, and the recent acquisition strategy brings new integration concerns.
TRW Automotive ( TRW) downgraded to Sell from Neutral, Goldman said. See weaker 2007 outlook due to headwinds in Commercial Steering, less favorable mix and product launch in Occupant Safety business and rising costs. Price target cut to $23 from $26. Texas Instruments ( TXN) was upgraded from Sell to Accumulate, ThinkEquity Partners said. $30 price target. Competitors are showing that the analog market is heating up, though wireless remains a big risk for the first quarter. Westlake Chemical ( WLK) downgraded to Reduce rating from Neutral, UBS said. Price target drops to $32 from $36. 2007 EPS estimates fall to $3.20 from $3.35.
Stock Comments/EPS ChangesGoldman said it is upping its 2006 estimate on CVS ( CVS) by 3 cents to $1.56. It believes company will prevail in effort to acquire Caremark ( CMX) provided spread between its offer and Express Scripts' remains below 5%. Successful acquisition would drive shares higher. Reiterated Buy rating with $39.19 target. numbers lowered at UBS 7:40 AM EST Georgia Gulf ( GGC) numbers lowered at UBS. Price target drops to $21 from $23. 2007 EPS estimates dip to $2.75 from $3.05. Reiterates Neutral rating. 2007 estimates on IBM ( IBM) increased to $6.74 from $6.60, Goldman said. Company reported reasonably strong quarterly results last night, including expectations for lower tax rate in 2007. See additional fundamental upside of 5 to 10 cents in earnings for the year. Maintained Buy rating. Price target at $107.
Prudential said it is raising its 2007 estimates on IBM by 10 cents to $6.77 a share following quarterly results. Maintained Neutral Weight rating. Goldman said it is increasing its 2007 estimates on JDS ( JDSU) to $0.26 from $0.21 after company preannounced positive Q2 results. See strength in test and measurement segment. Maintained Neutral rating and $19.50 target. 2007 estimates on Merrill Lynch ( MER) increased to $8.00 from $7.60. Goldman said. See higher investment banking revenues and higher run-rate in equity and FICC trading. Company reported better than expected Q4 results. Price target raised to $107 fro $103 and maintained Neutral rating. Credit Suisse said it is lowering its 2007 EPS estimates on Molex ( MOLX) to $1.49 from $1.74 following disappointing F2Q results. Maintained $25 target price. Credit Suisse said it is raising its 2007 EPS estimates on Parker Hannifin ( PH) by 30 cents to $6.55. Cites solid quarter but is cautious on margins. Maintained Neutral rating.