CHANGE IN RATINGSAnadarko ( APC) upgraded at Merrill/BofA from Neutral to Buy. $57 price target. Stock has digested the recent equity offering, and the company will benefit from higher oil prices. BJ's Wholesale Club ( BJ) downgraded at Goldman to sell from neutral and price target reduced to $33 from $39. Goldman expects BJ to be a relative underperformer within coverage given 1) slowing core SSS against challenging comparisons, 2) decelerating EPS growth and 3) a 2H2009 shift in earnings momentum towards discretionary retailers, likely leaving defensive names like BJ as a source of funds. Downgrade attributed to sector-relative idea with no structural issues. CenturyLink ( CTL) upgraded at UBS. Rating raised to Buy from Neutral. Price target raised to $35 from $28. 2009 EPS estimates lowered to $3.16 from $3.20. Dick's Sporting Goods ( DKS) upgraded at Goldman from Neutral to Buy. $20 price target. Stock has sold off with its peers, but remains a premium player in retail. Hess ( HES) upgraded at Barclays. Rating raised to Overweight from Equal Weight. Maintains $75 price target. Increases 2009 EPS estimates to $0.50 from -$0.15. Keycorp ( KEY) upgraded at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods from Market Perform to Outperform. $8 price target. Stock is one of the more inexpensive banks, and the company now has a capital buffer. Kohl's ( KSS) upgraded at Goldman Sachs to a buy from neutral and price target increased to $50 from $44. As an aspirational/desperational winner and Mervyn's consolidation beneficiary, KSS should continue to outperform, averaging SSS declines of (2.7%) since Jan. vs. its department store peers' declines of (8.8%). Assuming 2-yr trends across revenue and GM hold firm, there is upside to estimates and, as such, are raising 2009/2010 EPS estimates to $2.76 and $3.02 from $2.63 and $2.83. Against these revisions, KSS trades at a compelling 14.1X 2010 EPS, below the 2/5 year averages of 14.3X/17.3X, respectively, providing a compelling entry point for shares.
Moodys ( MCO) upgraded at Piper Jaffray. Rating raised to Overweight from Neutral. Price target raised to $32 from $30. 2009 EPS estimates raised to $1.55 from $1.52. Steel Dynamics ( STLD) upgraded at Merrill/BofA from Neutral to Buy. $17 price target. Analyst poll suggests that the steel market is recovering from the botton.
STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGESAlcoa ( AA) estimates reduced at Goldman because of higher expected cost of goods sold. Buy rating and $13 price target. Akamai ( AKAM) target increased at Goldman to $21 a share. Expect more investor interest in the sector, because of increased M&A potential. Neutral rating. Bank of New York ( BK) estimates cut at Credit Suisse to reflect the TARP repayment. Neutral rating and $30 price target. Brocade ( BRCD) estimates, target raised at Merrill/BofA to $9. Estimates also boosted, as mid-quarter checks suggest continued business momentum. Buy rating. Coca-Cola Enterprises ( CCE) 2009 estimates boosted at Goldman to reflect better US profit growth and currency changes. Buy rating and $21 price target. Citrix Systems ( CTXS) target boosted at Goldman to $35. Sector should see more interest, based on the potential for increased M&A. Buy rating. Goldman ( GS) estimates raised at Pali through 2010. Company should achieve higher ROE, based on strong business growth across the board. Neutral rating. Hospira ( HSP) estimates, target raised at Merrill/BofA. Shares of HSP now seen reaching $40. Estimates also increased, to reflect higher specialty injectable sales growth. Neutral rating. Nucor ( NUE) estimates raised at Goldman because of higher cost-cutting efforts. Buy rating and $50 price target.
State Street ( STT) estimates cut, target raised at Credit Suisse because of the TARP repayment. That said, business fundamentals likely improved from the first quarter. Outperform rating and new $54 price target. Time Warner Cable ( TWC) numbers increased at Barclays to $33. Estimates also raised, to reflect lower debt expenses. Equal-weight rating. MEMC Electronic ( WFR) 2009 estimates lowered at Kaufman because of evidence of weaker solar and semiconductor demand. Buy rating and $24 price target. XL Capital ( XL) target raised at Friedman, Billings Ramsey to $17. Book value has stabilized and the company is on the road to recovery. Outperform rating. Exxon Mobil ( XOM) numbers increased at Barclays through 2010. Company should benefit from higher oil prices. Equal-weight rating and new $91 price target.