CHANGE IN RATINGSAdtran ( ADTN) upgraded at Merrill from Sell to Neutral. Buybacks should support the stock in the near term, and business is poised to recover some time in 2008. Ametek ( AME) downgraded at Friedman, Billings Ramsey from Outperform to Market Perform. Valuation call, based on a $46 price target. Fundamental outlook remains strong. Amedisys ( AMED) downgraded at Deutsche Bank from Buy to Hold. Valuation call, as the stock is nearing the $44 price target. Short squeeze may also be over. BladeLogic ( BLOG) initiated at UBS with Neutral rating. Price target set at $31 and FY 2008 eps estimates begin at $0.07. Dynamic Material ( BOOM) downgraded at Jefferies to Hold rating from Buy. FY 2008 eps estimates hold at $2.35 while price target lifts to $58 from $45. Cognos ( COGN) downgraded at Robert Baird from Outperform to Neutral. Valuation call, as the stock has rallied following the BOBJ takeover. $50 price target. Digital River ( DRIV) downgraded at Oppenheimer from Buy to Neutral. New analyst set a $50 price target, as SYMC is pressuring market pricing. General Maritime ( GMR) downgraded at Bear Stearns from Outperform to Peer Perform. Company will likely continue to realize lower tanker rates headed into the fourth quarter. The stock offers an 8% dividend yield, but lacks significant catalysts.
Juniper Networks ( JNPR) downgraded at Morgan Stanley from overweight to equalweight and removes $33 price target. MGI Pharma ( MOGN) upgraded at JP Morgan from Neutral to Overweight. Stock is up 67% on the year, but sales growth and operating leverage potential over the next couple of years is far ahead of its peers. Qwest Communications ( Q) downgraded at UBS to Neutral rating from Buy. FY 2008 eps estimates dip to $0.43 from $0.47 while price target drifts down to $10 from $11. Sigma Designs ( SIGM) initiated with Buy rating at UBS. Price target set at $65 and FY 2008 eps estimates begin at $1.45. Thornburg Mortgage ( TMA) downgraded at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods to Underperform. Company is increasing its loss estimates, which will further cut into book value. $10 price target. Tesoro ( TSO) upgraded at Bernstein from Market Perform to Outperform. $61 price target. Refining margins should recover from trough levels, buoyed by the usual seasonal trade. Western Union ( WU) downgraded at Suntrust Robinson Humphrey from Buy to Neutral. $21 price target. Losing confidence in the company's long-term organic growth prospects.
STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGESContinental Air ( CAL) cut from Focus List at JP Morgan. Stock has led the sector since August, and now looks fairly valued. Overweight rating. Cisco ( CSCO) target raised at Goldman to $40 from $37 based on higher multiple assumptions. Believe 20x multiple is deserved considering sustainability of mid- to high-teens growth rate. Also, IT Spending survey results indicate positive trends for corporate networking. Maintained Buy rating.
Google ( GOOG) target raised at Merrill Lynch. Now seen reaching $740 a share. Channel checks suggest strong third quarter results. Target raised based on shift to 2009 numbers, where the company could earn $24.62 a share. Buy rating. International Paper ( IP) estimates trimmed at Goldman to $2.20 from $2.30. Company preannounced weak Q3 earnings, citing weaker land sales of $100 million vs. previous guidance for $110-$140 million. Maintained Neutral rating and $38 target. Molson Coors ( TAP) price target raised at Goldman to $65 from $55 based on joint venture announcement with SABMiller. Companies agreed to combine U.S. businesses, with cost savings estimated at $500 million annually once completed. Maintained Buy rating.