Stocks are in-between earnings seasons, and analyst upgrades and new price targets are rolling out. With earnings reports for the third quarter of 2010 on the horizon, here's a look at five stocks that have seen recent upgrades.
Goldman's reason for the upgrade was Lowe's improved margins despite a time when "many retailers are likely to experience decelerating growth." After the news the stock gained +2% in the premarkets. The retail stock has gained +10.2% over the past month. Along with the buy recommendation, Goldman estimated that the retailer's EPS would jump 18% in the third quarter and 31% in the fourth quarter. Lowe's will release its earnings report on Nov. 15.
Wal-Mart is intensely focused on fixing the mistakes made in the U.S. over the past two quarters by adding inventory back to the assortment, reinstating Action Alley, and returning to an EDLP pricing strategy. The company's outlook for 2H10 is cautious as the health of its core customer has not improved. However, correcting the company-specific issues at Wal-Mart U.S. should yield topline improvement in 2H10, and management's emphasis on the productivity loop gives us confidence that WMT can make our 2010 EPS estimate of $4.06," Citi experts announced. Wal-Mart will release its earnings report on Nov. 16, and shareholders will discover if Citi's recommendation holds true.