Change in Ratings

Adobe ( ADBE) downgraded to underperform from buy at Jefferies. Price target slashed to $30 from $50 and fiscal-year 2008 earnings-per-share estimates cut to $1.78 from $1.90.

Alliance Data ( ADS) upgraded from peer perform to outperform by Bear Stearns with a $66 price target. Company posted solid fourth-quarter results, and the stock should resume multiple expansion now that the Blackstone deal is done.

Astoria Financial ( AF) upgraded from underperform to outperform by Bear Stearns. Bear also raised estimates, as the company's balance sheet is set up to benefit from recent interest-rate cuts. Bear set a $28 price target.

Affiliated Managers ( AMG) downgraded from outperform to market perform, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods said. Asset flows were disappointing during the quarter and cut into future earnings.

Baker Hughes ( BHI) downgraded from outperform to market perform by Wachovia. Company has product and regional weaknesses relative to its peers. Estimates also cut.

Baker Hughes ( BHI): 2008 estimates on BHI lowered to $5.30 from $5.66 by Goldman. See lower North American revenue growth assumptions due to pricing pressures. Price target reduced to $77 from $85 and maintained neutral rating.

Cadence Design ( CDNS) downgraded at J.P. Morgan from neutral to underweight. Estimates also cut, as the company is seeing a longer sales cycle. Customers also feeling financial pressure.

Century Aluminum ( CENX) downgraded from outperform to market perform, Friedman, Billings Ramsey said, giving a $50 price target. There is risk to 2008 estimates, given rising energy costs and volatile aluminum prices.

Gilead Sciences ( GILD) upgraded at Wachovia from market perform to outperform. Company posted strong fourth-quarter results, and the stock looks attractive following the recent selloff.

Hess ( HES) upgraded at J.P. Morgan from neutral to overweight. Exploration results should be the main catalyst for 2008.

Nordstrom ( JWN) upgraded to outperform, Bear Stearns said. Earnings risk is largely priced into the stock. $44 price target.

Monster Worldwide ( MNST) downgraded at Deutsche Bank to hold due to recession concerns and weak job-posting levels.

Saks ( SKS) downgraded at Bear Stearns from peer perform to underperform. Stock is trading at 34 times expected 2008 earnings, and the current credit crunch could delay any potential takeover plans.

W&T Offshore ( WTI) downgraded at J.P. Morgan from neutral to underweight. Company is increasing spending, despite three poor years of drilling results.

Yum! Brands ( YUM) downgraded at Deutsche Bank to a hold rating as bar is set too high for 2008.

Stock Comments/EPS Changes

Amazon.com ( AMZN) estimates raised at Deutsche Bank by 6 cents to $2.42 a share due to accelerating growth trends. Maintained buy rating.

Amazon.com ( AMZN) price target slashed at Goldman to $83 from $97 based on lower margins and potential spending to exploit strong position. Maintained neutral rating.

Merck ( MRK) target lowered at Goldman to $56 from $58 based on fourth-quarter results that showed solid earnings but lack of top-line strength. Note uncertainty regarding cholesterol joint venture and potential multiple compression in the sector. Maintained neutral rating.

Mattson Technology ( MTSN): Deutsche Bank said it is cutting its target price on MTSN to $7 as exposure to DRAM depresses sales and earnings. Maintained hold rating.

Novellus Systems ( NVLS) numbers cut at Morgan Stanley to $1.36. Company realizing lower gross margins. Equal-weight rating and new $28 price target.

Starbucks ( SBUX) price target lowered at Goldman to $22 from $25 due to weak same-store sales and lowered 2008 guidance. First-quarter results were stable, but visibility limited based on management's decision to suspend quarterly SSS and annual guidance until trends stabilize. Maintained neutral rating.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.

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