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: The charitable trust that owns a controlling interest in Hershey ( HSY) is not satisfied with the candy maker's performance. According to a statement from the Hershey Trust, its board is "actively engaged in an ongoing process, the goal of which has been to ensure vigorous company board focus on resolving the company's current business challenges and on implementing new growth strategies." The Wall Street Journal reports Wednesday that the trust met with representatives of Cadbury Schweppes ( CSG) to discuss a possible merger. The statement and maneuvering follows last week's announcement that CEO Richard Lenny plans to retire. Shares of Hershey sunk 79 cents, or 1.7%, at $45.26, while Cadbury jumped $1, or 2%, at $50.26. Today's Hot List: GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK) and Synta Pharmaceuticals ( SNTA) are teaming up to develop and commercialize Synta's skin cancer drug STA-4783. Synta, which will receive an upfront cash payment of $80 million, fell 7.3% to $9.50 in recent trading, while Glaxo is down a mere 15 cents at $53.45. Valero Energy ( VLO) warned Wednesday that its third-quarter profits will fall well short of analysts' estimates. Earnings from continuing operations for the quarter, excluding special items, will likely be in the range of $1.30 to $1.40 a share. Analysts are calling for $1.91. The stock is trading 67 lower at $71.52.
Analyst Downgrades: Friedman, Billings Ramsey downgraded Ametek ( AME) from outperform to market perform, citing valuation based on a $46 price target. However, FBR said the fundamental outlook remains strong. The downgrade sent shares 3% lower to $43.95. Analyst Upgrades: Merrill Lynch upgraded Adtran ( ADTN) from sell to neutral. The firm believes buybacks should support the stock in the near term and business is poised to recover some time in 2008. In response, the stock added 52 cents to $23.71. Latest Activist Situations: StreetInsider.com 13D Tracker points to a regulatory filing that's moving shares of Borders Group ( BGP). William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital, which has an 11.7% stake in the bookstore chain, revealed in the filing that Borders had solicited the firm's views on "certain corporate governance and other matters including the composition of
its board of directors." Shares of Borders are up 19 cents, or 1.2%, at $15.74.