General Maritime ( GMR) upgraded at Bear Stearns to Outperform from Peer Perform. Several positive catalysts: compelling valuation, potential recovery in the tanker day rates in fourth quarter, and a solid dividend yield. $31 price target. Getty Images ( GYI) downgraded at Deutsche Bank to Sell from Hold. In second quarter the company saw a year-over-year decline in core business and organic revenue. Creative images continue to see weakness from mix and demand issues. Price target lowered to $35. Harleysville Group ( HGIC) upgraded at Keybanc from Hold to Buy. $33 price target. Company posted solid second quarter results and deserves to trade at a premium valuation. Jones Apparel Group ( JNY) upgraded at Morgan Stanley from underweight to equalweight with a $25 price target. Jackson Hewitt ( JTX) downgraded at Goldman Sachs to Sell from Neutral based on higher near-term risks, including renegotiation of HSBC RAL agreement, outcome of DoJ/IRS investigation, and decreasing performance expectations for upcoming tax season. Target price at $25. Littlefuse ( LFUS) upgraded at Robert Baird from Neutral to Outperform. $42 price target. Company's strong position in the circuit protection business, cost-cutting opportunities and solid balance sheet will help offset the weak second quarter results. Laboratory Corp of America ( LH) upgraded at Jefferies to Buy rating from Hold. Price target and FY 2008 eps estimates hold at $86 and $4.94, respectively.
Marshall & Ilsley ( MI) upgraded at Deutsche Bank from Hold to Buy. $50 price target. Investors are essentially receiving the Metavante business for free at current levels. Middleby ( MIDD) upgraded from Neutral to Outperform at Robert Baird. $73 price target. Work stoppage has been settled, and the market focus will likely shift back toward the company's organic growth prospects. Marvell ( MRVL) downgraded at CIBC to Sector Performer from Sector Outperformer. Though company has passed the bottom, it may be difficult to live up to renewed bullish expectations for growth. $23 price target was pulled. Nelnet ( NNI) upgraded at Goldman Sachs to Neutral from Sell. Recent sharp correction has brought shares to a level where risks are fully priced in, specifically Senator Kennedy's legislative initiatives targeting student lenders. Price target at $20. OfficeMax ( OMX) upgraded at JP Morgan from Neutral to Overweight. Valuation call, as the company is trading at just 12 times expected 2008 earnings. Photronics ( PLAB) downgraded to Neutral at Merrill Lynch. Company cut guidance, based on lower flat-panel display and chip photomask demand. Downside limited by the fact the stock trades at 1.5 times tangible book value. Qwest ( Q) upgraded at CIBC from Sector Perform to Outperform. $11 price target. Company has positive leverage to the enterprise business, and should soon have a new CEO.
Qwest added to Focus List at JP Morgan. Company reported a poor quarter, but the stock looks oversold after a 25% sell-off. $10.50 price target. Senior Housing ( SNH) upgraded at UBS to Buy rating from Neutral. Price target holds at $24, while FY 2008 eps estimates drift down to $1.70 from $1.75. Symantec ( SYMC) upgraded at Friedman Billings Ramsey to Outperform from Market Perform based on expected strength in government vertical. Also see potential upside from enterprise product cycle. Price target raised to $24 from $20. Triumph Group ( TGI) upgraded from Neutral to Buy at Merrill Lynch. $95 price target. Estimates also raised, as the company's margins should rise as management executes on its turnaround strategy. Wisconsin Energy ( WEC) upgraded to Buy at Merrill Lynch. Stock is down 8% on the year, but should grow earnings 11% annually through 2011. $49 price target.