CompuCredit ( CCRT) downgraded at Jefferies to hold rating from buy. Price target cut to $10 from $13 and 2008 EPS estimates hold at minus 9 cents. Fannie Mae ( FNM) upgraded at Morgan Stanley to equal-weight based on valuation. See weak fourth-quarter results as reflected in share price. Note that first-quarter results for both FNM and Freddie Mac ( FRE) should still show negative earnings, but see rebound thereafter. Continue to prefer FRE to FNM. No target price. Jabil Circuit ( JBL) upgraded at Merrill from neutral to sell, Merrill Lynch said. Stock is down 50% since late September, and is already pricing in lower end-market demand. Company also trades at a discount to its earnings growth rate, and looks historically cheap on its book value. Jackson Hewitt ( JTX) upgraded at Goldman Sachs to neutral from sell based on valuation. See dismal third-quarter results and weak outlook fully reflected in shares. Price target cut to $14 from $20. Liberty Capital Group ( LCAPA) downgraded at Morgan Stanley to equal-weight from overweight following the carve out of 85% of its former asset value into new tracker Liberty Media ( LMDIA). See LCAPA trading at a discount to NAV due to potential liabilities in the case that Liberty liquidates its holdings. Do not see catalysts that would narrow this gap. Target at $17. Legg Mason ( LM) upgraded at Wachovia to market perform, Wachovia said. Valuation call, as value funds should attract more funds in the current environment. CEO change should also be a positive, and Citigroup has already placed most of its shares on the market. Omniture ( OMTR) upgraded at Jefferies to buy rating from hold. Price target and 2008 EPS estimates hold at $27 and 44 cents, respectively. Paetec ( PAET) coverage initiated at Deutsche Bank with a buy rating and $12 target price as company is well-positioned to benefit from improving industry conditions. PepsiAmericas ( PAS) upgraded at Deutsche Bank to a buy rating as recent share weakness is unwarranted. Pioneer Drilling ( PDC) upgraded at Deutsche Bank to a buy rating due to significant accretion from acquisitions, increased international exposure and more optimal capital structure. RiskMetrics Group ( RMG) coverage initiated at Goldman with a neutral rating. See appealing business model and organic revenue growth, but note pricey valuation. Target price at $24. Thornburg ( TMA) downgraded at Jefferies to hold rating from buy. Price target slashed to $3.75 from $13 and 2008 EPS estimates cut to negative $3.10 from $1.48. Whirlpool ( WHR) downgraded at JPMorgan from neutral to underweight. Stock is up 8% on the year, but the 20% increase in steel prices will weigh on earnings.
Stock Comments/EPS Changes
SandRidge Energy ( SD) target price raised at Deutsche Bank to $39.