Editor's Note: In this feature from Stockpickr, we highlight lists of stocks that have been upgraded by analysts or are experiencing activist investor situations or some other market-moving events.Rumors of the Day: AK Steel ( AKS) said it has settled its suit over retiree health-care costs. StreetInsider.com reports:
Soliel Securities Charles Bradford said "By settling the suit over the health care costs, enables AK Steel to remove the $2 billion cloud hanging over its head." He told the StreetInsider.com that several of the companies that wanted to buy AK Steel were resistant because of the health care liability. Now that there won't be a continuing liability and the health situation is being resolved, the company may now be ripe for a takeover.Shares are up 11% at $47.66. Meanwhile, Cognos ( COGN) got a boost from the merger deal announced between SAP ( SAP) and Business Objects ( BOBJ). According to StreetInsider.com, Deutsche Bank upgraded Cognos from neutral to buy and increased its price target from $43 to $60, saying Cognos could be the next takeover target in the intelligence solutions space. Cognos shares were trading 11% higher at $49.37. Today's Hot List: Noven Pharmaceuticals ( NOVN) announced that a phase III clinical study of Lithium QD -- its developmental once-daily lithium carbonate product -- did not meet its primary endpoint with statistical significance. The stock plunged 19% to $13.55. Textron ( TXT) has agreed to acquire United Industrial ( UIC) in a $1.1 billion cash deal under which it will offer to buy all outstanding UIC common shares for $81 apiece. UIC operates through its wholly owned subsidiary, AAI Corp., which is projected to generate revenue of roughly $700 million in 2007. AAI, which employs 2,500 worldwide, provides intelligent aerospace and defense systems, including unmanned aircraft and ground control stations, aircraft and satellite test equipment, training systems and counter-sniper devices. Textron shares sunk 2% to $64.05, while UIC jumped 6% to $80.38 in recent trading. Analyst Downgrades: Wachovia downgraded Allstate ( ALL) from outperform to market perform, citing deteriorating fundamentals in the company's personal insurance lines. Allstate shares dipped 1% to $58.26. Analyst Upgrades: Credit Suisse upgraded Lehman Brothers ( LEH) to outperform from neutral, citing improved performance prospects and the likelihood of multiple expansions. Credit Suisse maintained its $85-$90 target price range. Lehman shares fell 1% to $63.27.