CHANGE IN RATINGSAK Steel ( AKS) upgraded at Goldman Sachs to Buy from Neutral based on falling iron ore prices and potential earnings surprise from electrical steel business. Company's variable cost structure, balance sheet and covenant restrictions are favorable compared to peers including U.S. Steel ( X). Price target raised to $12 from $6.50. Brocade ( BRCD) upgraded at Piper Jaffray to Buy from Neutral based on likely expansion of relationship with IBM. Believe expanded OEM agreement will drive strong revenue growth in 2010 and that debt concerns are overblown. Price target raised to $6 from $4.
Penske ( PAG) downgraded at Goldman Sachs to Neutral from Buy based on valuation and exposure to volatile luxury demand. Note low exposure to domestic OEMs, but note 67% rise in share price since Nov. 12. Price target raised to $11 from $8. Parker Hannifin ( PH) downgraded at Goldman Sachs to Sell from Neutral based on valuation and potential earnings shortfall caused by very low factory utilization. View recent rally as opportunity for profit taking. Price target at $30. Scana ( SCG) upgraded at Goldman Sachs to Neutral from Sell. Remain cautious due to weak demand and regulatory lag, but note improved capex outlook and updated cost and earnings contribution from new nuclear construction. Price target raised to $34 from $32. MEMC Electronic ( WFR) downgraded at Piper Jaffray to Neutral from Buy after company negatively pre-announced weak gross margins. Expect continuing weakness in semiconductor industry as demand deteriorates and capacity remains under-utilized. Price target raised to $17 from $16. MEMC Electronic ( WFR) numbers cut at Barclays to $18. Estimates also reduced, to match the company's new guidance for lower demand. Overweight rating. Wynn Resorts ( WYNN) downgraded at Oppenheimer from Perform to Underperform. $20 price target. Expect 2009 earnings to come in below consensus expectations.
STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGESApple ( AAPL) target raised at Kaufman to $152. Stock should trade back up toward its normal earnings multiple. Buy rating. Amgen ( AMGN) estimates, target reduced at UBS to $53. Estimates also cut, as IMS trends have been weak, along with the overall economy. Neutral rating.
Boeing ( BA) estimates cut at UBS through 2010. Lower production rates and pricing are hurting margins. Sell rating and $30 price target. Chevron ( CVX) estimates raised at UBS through 2010. Company is realizing higher production growth. Buy rating and $84 price target. Google ( GOOG) target raised at Oppenheimer to $410. Company should be able to post strong first quarter results, led by US click trends. Outperform rating. Linear Technology ( LLTC) estimates upped at UBS through 2010. Company likely to see improved order rates. Buy rating and $24 price target. Moody's ( MCO) estimates, target increased at Barclays . Estimates raised through 2010. Company to benefit from improving fixed income issuance trends. Overweight rating and new $31 price target. McGraw-Hill ( MHP) numbers raised at Barclays to $36. Estimates also increased, to reflect increased bond issuance trends. Overweight rating. URS ( URS) target raised at Merrill/BofA to $43. Gaining more conviction in the company's growth potential. Buy rating. Viacom ( VIAB) estimates cut at UBS through 2010. Expecting a sizable loss in the Entertainment segment for the first quarter. Neutral rating and $17 price target.