Change in Ratings

Alcon ( ACL) downgraded at J.P. Morgan to Neutral from Overweight due to slowing prescription trends, strengthening U.S. dollar, competition from generic TobraDex and increased spending. Q3 earnings missed estimates and included lower guidance for Q4.

Freeport-McMoRan ( FCX) downgraded at Goldman Sachs to Neutral from Buy based on lower base metals price estimates. Believe company's quick reaction (curtailed margin expansions and production) to declining commodity prices is reassuring. Price target lowered to $37 from $85.

Frontline ( FRO) downgraded at J.P.Morgan to Underweight from Overweight based on lower VLCC and Suezmax spot rate forecasts for 2009. Dividend estimate revised to $2.50 from $5.00.

Itron ( ITRI) upgraded at J.P.Morgan to Overweight from Neutral based on valuation and factoring in potential worst-case scenario. See likely 2010 recovery in earnings and attractive multiple even if gross margins continue falling.

Marvell ( MRVL) rated new Equal-weight at Morgan Stanley. $8.50 price target. There is excess inventory in the HDD market, and the company's customers are losing market share.

Southern Copper ( PCU) downgraded at Goldman Sachs to Sell from Neutral based on significant exposure to declining copper, zinc and molybdenum prices. Also note unresolved labor issues at Cananea mine. Price target cut to $11 from $25.

Stock Comments/EPS Changes

Boston Scientific ( BSX) numbers cut at Morgan Stanley. Target cut to $15 a share. Estimates also cut, to reflect a lower currency benefit. Overweight rating.

Caterpillar ( CAT) numbers lowered at Morgan Stanley. Shares now seen reaching $31 a share. Estimates also cut by 30% to 50% through 2010, given slower emerging markets construction growth and a potential slowdown to mining and energy capital spending. Underweight rating.

Chipotle ( CMG) numbers cut at Morgan Stanley. Company facing higher food costs and realizing lower margins because of growth initiatives. Underweight rating and new $42 price target.

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

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