Change in Ratings Ambev ( ABV) upgraded at Merrill Lynch to Buy from Neutral. Note attractive valuation relative to historical and peer levels. Also see lower grain prices and normalized consumer behavior. Brinker International ( EAT) downgraded at UBS to Neutral from Buy. Price target lowered to $21 from $23. Fiscal 2009 EPS estimates lowered to $1.52 from $1.61. Elan ( ELN) upgraded to Equal-weight from Underweight at Lehman based on recent sharp sell-off. Price target reduced to $14 from $19. FMC Technologies ( FTI) upgraded at UBS to Neutral from Sell. Maintains 2008 EPS estimate of $2.80 and $60 price target. Health Management Associates ( HMA) upgraded at Leerink Swann to Outperform based on valuation relative to progress in turnaround. Note Q2 results were relatively in line with estimates and limited value of negative same-store admissions. Internap Network Services ( INAP) downgraded at Oppenheimer to Perform from Outperform. Accelerating price declines in IP and deteriorating CDN environment hurt revenue and margins. See no near-term catalysts. Pacer ( PACR) downgraded at JPMorgan to Underweight from Neutral due to lower fuel prices and weak volumes in the second half of 2008. Note greater issue with 2011 repricing of service contract with UNP. Rowan ( RDC) upgraded at Jefferies to Buy from Hold. Lowers 2008 EPS estimate to $4.09 from $4.18. Maintains $51 price target. Sonic ( SONC) downgraded at Merrill Lynch to Underperform from Neutral due to recent price appreciation vs. target. Same-store growth is being hurt by pricing and promotional activities, while restaurant margins are suffering from commodity and labor costs. Target lowered to $14 from $15.
Vulcan Materials ( VMC) downgraded at JPMorgan to Neutral from Overweight. Price target lowered to $83 from $103. 2008 EPS estimates lowered to $2.94 from $3.64. Stock Comments/EPS Changes Biomarin ( BMRN - Get Report) numbers lowered at Jefferies. 2008 EPS estimates lowered to $0.36 from $0.46. Price target lowered from $45 to $35. Maintains Buy rating. Cisco ( CSCO - Get Report) 2009 estimates lowered at Goldman to $1.43 from $1.48 based on lower Q1 guidance. Company did not give full-year guidance, citing macroeconomic environment. Price target reduced to $28 from $29 and reiterated Neutral rating. Hecla Mining ( HL) numbers lowered at RBC. Price target dips to $12 from $14 and FY09 EPS estimates drop to $0.66 from $0.75. Reiterates Outperform rating and Average Risk qualifier. Humana ( HUM) price target raised at Goldman to $58 from $54 based on strong Q2 results and outlook. Note downside protection in Medicare-driven business mix. Maintained Buy rating. MGM Mirage ( MGM - Get Report) price target raised at Jefferies to $92 from $89. 2008 EPS estimates lowered to $1.76 from $1.78. Maintains Buy rating. MGM Mirage price target reduced to $40 from $50 at Lehman. Full-year EPS estimates reduced to $1.43 from $1.67. Priceline.com ( PCLN) 2008 estimates increased at BofA. Firm believes selloff unwarranted. Believes market overreacted to European bookings growth of 80% vs. guidance for 80% to 90%. Reiterated Buy rating and increased FY2008 EPS to $5.72 from $5.51. Parallel Petroleum ( PLLL) numbers lowered at RBC. Price target dips to $26 from $28 and FY09 EPS estimates cut to $3 from $3.78. Reiterates Outperform rating and Above Average Risk qualifier.
Pioneer Natural Resources ( PXD) numbers raised at RBC. Price target jumps to $110 from $85 and EPS estimates upped to $15.09 from $14.34. Reiterates Outperform rating and Above Average Risk qualifier. Rowan price target reduced at Lehman to $48 from $53. Lehman maintains Overweight rating. Boston Beer ( SAM) estimates slashed at Goldman. 2008 estimates cut to $1.06 from $1.82. Sees weaker profit growth outlook due to brewery and input costs. Target lowered to $41 from $45 and maintained Neutral rating. Wendy's ( WEN) numbers lowered at RBC. Price target dips to $21 from $25 and FY08 EPS estimates drop to $0.96 from $1.18. Reiterates Sector Perform rating and Average Risk qualifier. Whole Foods ( WFMI) price target cut at Goldman to $22 from $26 following weak Q3 results. Note difficulty in offering a value proposition among customers in current environment. Maintained Neutral rating. W&T Offshore ( WTI) numbers lowered at RBC. Price target dips to $45 from $50 and FY09 EPS estimates drop to $3.57 from $4.20. Reiterates Sector Perform rating and Above Average Risk qualifier.