Analysts' Upgrades, Downgrades: IBM

CHANGE IN RATINGS

Akamai ( AKAM) downgraded at Goldman to Sell from Neutral. The firm believes that the co. is going to be experiencing ongoing competitive headwinds which may lead to underperformance. Lowered price target to $20 from $21.

Alfa ( ALFAA) upgraded at Credit Suisse to Outperform from Underperform. Strong upside potential is seen after reporting exceptional results stemming from strong profitability improvements. Increased target price to $4 from $2.

Franklin Resources ( BEN) rated new Buy at Pali. $87 price target. Company should benefit from improving flows in international markets.

CME Group ( CME) rated new Outperform at JMP with an Outperform rating. $335 price target. Volumes and debt capital raising may be past trough levels.

CommVault Systems ( CVLT) upgraded at Goldman to Neutral from Sell. Its strong technology has given it more exposure and a more likely candidate for a strategic acquisition. Increased target to $17 from $15.

Darden Restaurants ( DRI) rated new Buy at Jefferies. $40 price target. Sales have softened in recent quarters, but the company still stacks up well relative to its peers.

Johnson Controls ( JCI) downgraded at Goldman to Conviction Sell from Neutral based on valuation. The co. is likely to underperform due to its exposure in the autos space. Lowered its target price to $17 from $19.

Johnson Controls ( JCI) target raised, estimates cut at Barclays to $24 from $19 on increased content, and significant exposure to Asia. 2009 EPS estimate lowered from $0.36 to $0.34 and 2010 EPS estimate cut to $1.35 from $1.48. Maintain Equal Weight rating.

Lumber Liquidators ( LL) downgraded at Goldman to Neutral from Buy as the co. seems to be fully valued at this juncture. Increased target price to $18 from $17.

NetApp ( NTAP) upgraded at MKM to Buy. $25 price target. Expect margins and earnings to recover after a challenging July quarter.

Schnitzer Steel ( SCHN) downgraded at Morgan Stanley from Equal-weight to Underweight. $42 price target. Estimates also cut, to reflect lower expected scrap prices.

STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES

Adobe Systems ( ADBE) numbers raised at Oppenheimer to $34. Estimates also boosted, to reflect the upcoming product cycle. Outperform rating.

Agrium ( AGU) target raised at Goldman to $56 from $54. The increase in numbers stems from its current valuation and recent acquisitions of UAP and Royster-Clark which has strengthened its retail business and reduced its dependency on highly cyclical nitrogen. Maintained Neutral rating.

Baxter ( BAX) estimates raised at Morgan Stanley through 2010. Company is seeing strong H1N1 demand. Overweight rating and $65 price target.

Biogen ( BIIB) 2009 estimates lowered at Goldman to $3.83 from $4.14. Implications including the rebounding of the Tysabri pipeline and the possibilities of M&A's. Maintained Buy rating.

Canadian Solar ( CSIQ) price target, estimate raised at Barclays to $8 from $6 on increased shipments, and higher margins. 2009 EPS estimate raised from $0.15 to $1.00. Maintain Underweight rating.

Cintas ( CTAS) estimates, target lowered at Morgan Stanley to $27. Estimates also cut, to reflect a slower economic recovery. Equal-weight rating.

Cytec ( CYT) target raised at Credit Suisse to $22 from $18 based a slightly lower risk profile owing to a significant amount of free cash flow recently reported. Maintained Neutral rating.

Ford ( F) target and forecast increased at Credit Suisse to $8 from $4 and 2Q09 estimates to a loss of $0.28 from a loss of $0.78. The co. has recently gained market share in the US while slashing incentives by an estimated $1,100 per vehicle. The firm is expecting significant earnings for Q2. Maintained Neutral rating.

Google ( GOOG) target raised at Goldman to $510 from $486. 2009 and 2010 estimates were also increased to $22.54 from $21.30 and to $24.62 from $23.36 respectively. The co. is expected to benefit from more e-commerce activity, rising international penetration, and easy comps. This should accelerate the co.'s revenue growth rates from mid single digits year over year in mid-2009 to mid-teens year over year in mid 2010. Maintained Buy rating.

Google ( GOOG) price target and estimates lifted by Merrill/BofA to $510 from $480. 2009 and 2010 EPS estimates raised to $22.09 and $25.32, respectively. Maintain Buy rating.

Google ( GOOG) price target, estimates boosted at Barclays to $495 from $460 after solid 2Q earnings. 2009 EPS estimate raised to $21.93 from $21.24 and 2010 EPS estimate increased from $23.23 to $24.65. Maintain Overweight rating.

Google ( GOOG) FY09 EPS estimates increased at Credit Suisse to $21.61 from $21.07 vs. $19.49 due to reducing its G&A expenses as the co. continues to focus on cost efficiency. The co. reported in-line earnings after beating their estimates, improving their margins, and increasing their gross revenues 2.9% year over year. Maintained rating of Outperform and target of $475 as the firm sees a strong long term outlook while the current slowdown in growth is cyclical rather than secular.

Genuine Parts ( GPC) numbers raised at Goldman to $41 from $37. Cites a based blend of a risk/reward scenario and discounted cash flow analysis. Maintained Neutral rating.

Home Depot ( HD) price target, estimates raised at Barclays to $27 from $26 on improved near term outlook. 2010 EPS estimate raised from $1.40 to $1.44 and 2011 EPS estimate increased from $1.30 to $1.36. Maintains Overweight rating.

IBM ( IBM) price target, estimates raised at Merrill/BofA to $130 from $110. 2009 and 2010 EPS estimates increased to $9.86 and $11.05, respectively. Maintain Buy.

IBM ( IBM) price target, estimates increased at Barclays to $119 from $109 after its 2Q earnings surpassed expectations. 2009 and 2010 EPS estimates increased to $9.80 from $9.15 and to $10.75 from $9.90, respectively. Maintain Equal Weight rating.

IBM ( IBM) target raised at Credit Suisse to $110 from $90 and FY09 EPS estimates to $9.72 from $8.29. Based on the co.'s recent results, the firm does not believe that there are any near term challenges that would pressure the stock down. The co. reported strong earnings as its margin upside countered revenue pressures and their cost management system was very effective. Maintained Neutral rating.

IBM ( IBM) estimates, target boosted at Citigroup to $135. Estimates also raised, to reflect more cost-cutting. Buy rating.

IBM ( IBM) numbers raised at UBS. Price target raised to $117 from $110. 2009 EPS estimates raised to $9.73 from $9.18. Maintains Neutral rating.

JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) price target, estimates raised at Barclays to $46 from $42 after strong 2Q. 2009 and 2010 EPS estimates inflated to $1.70 from $1.40 and to $3.25 from $3.00. Maintain Overweight rating.

JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) numbers raised at UBS. Price target raised to $39 from $37. 2009 EPS estimates raised to $1.45 from $1.11. Maintains Neutral rating.

Marriott ( MAR) 2009 and 2010 EPS estimates cut at Barclays from $0.87 to $0.79 and from $0.78 to $0.72, respectively. Maintain Underweight rating and $14 price target.

Marriott ( MAR) numbers lowered at UBS. Price target lowered to $20.00 from $23.25. 2009 EPS estimates lowered to $0.81 from $0.94. Maintains Neutral rating.

Mosaic ( MOS) target raised at Goldman to $50 from $45 based on valuation and the co.'s phosphate exposure. Maintained Neutral rating.

Potash ( POT) target lowered at Goldman to $96 from $105. High inventories and demand destruction led to the lower numbers. The firm believes that the co. is still searching for a bottom. Maintained Neutral rating.

PPG ( PPG) target raised at Credit Suisse to $46 from $30.Cites a reflection of valuation after reporting better than expected earnings and management alluding to more stabilized end markets. Maintained Underperform rating.

SAP ( SAP) estimates raised at Goldman to $2.02 from $1.98 for 2009 to reflect the movements in exchange rates mainly between the EUR and the USD. Maintained target of $35 and rating of Neutral.

Sempra Energy ( SRE) target raised at Goldman to $53 from $51. Cites high quality management, growth potentials in the utility and natural gas businesses, and improving FCF metrics. Maintained Neutral rating.

Terra Industries ( TRA) target lowered at Goldman to $28 from $32. Estimates also lowered to $2.75 from $3.30 for 2009. Cites valuation and the M&A activity that is stirring up in the nitrogen business. Maintained Buy rating.

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

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