Analysts' Actions: Apple, Dana, DreamWorks, eBay, Schwab, TripAdvisor

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- RATINGS CHANGES

Apple (AAPL) was upgraded at Barclay's to overweight from equal weight. Twelve-month price target is $110. The company beats expectations since March due to Samsung's weakness and increased growth trajectory and brand appeal of the iPhone.

TD Ameritrade (AMTD) was initiated at Jefferies with a hold rating. Core earnings power is understated as a result of lower interest rates, Jefferies said. Twelve-month price target is $34.

Dana (DAN) was downgraded at Goldman Sachs to neutral. Twelve-month price target is $27. Valuation call, given the company's exposure to Latin America, Goldman said.

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DreamWorks (DWA) was downgraded at B. Riley to neutral from buy. Twelve-month price target is $25. Disappointing box- office results will likely keep a ceiling on the stock, B. Riley said

Brinker (EAT) was upgraded at J.P. Morgan to overweight from neutral. Stock has lagged year to date but has the most incremental upside potential, J.P. Morgan said.

eBay (EBAY) was downgraded at Pacific Crest to sector perform. Company is seeing weak near-term trends and there is downside to estimates, Pacific Crest said.

FMC (FMC) was downgraded at Jefferies to hold from buy. There are likely risks to Brazil sugarcane in 2015 and a step down in secular growth, Jefferies said. Twelve-month price target is $78.

Markit (MRKT) was initiated at UBS with a neutral rating. Company has an entrenched position in the financial services industry but lower earnings quality relative to its peers, UBS said. Twelve-month price target is $28.

NCI Building (NCS) was downgraded at RBC Capital to sector perform from outperform. Valuation call, based on a $19 price target, RBC Capital said.

Park Electrochemical (PKE) was upgraded to buy at TheStreet Ratings.

Reynolds American (RAI) was upgraded at RBC Capital to outperform from sector perform. Twelve-month price target is $72. Expect a Lorillard (LO) deal to materialize and add 31% to earnings, RBC Capital said.

Signature Bank (SBNY) was upgraded at Sterne Agee to buy from neutral. Twelve-month price target is $144. Equity offering has strengthened the balance sheet, Sterne Agee said.

Charles Schwab (SCHW) was initiated at Jefferies with a buy rating, Jefferies said. Higher rates coupled with ongoing organic growth potential, Jefferies said. Twelve-month price target is $35.

Taser International (TASR) was downgraded to hold at TheStreet Ratings.

TripAdvisor (TRIP) was downgraded at Nomura to neutral. Twelve-month price target is $103. Valuation call, as the stock has gained 30% year to date, Nomura said.

USG (USG) was downgraded at RBC Capital to sector perform from outperform. Valuation call, based on a 12-month price target of $30, RBC said.

Vulcan Materials (VMC) was downgraded at RBC Capital to sector perform from perform. Valuation call, based on a 12-month price target of $70, RBC Capital said.

Veritiv (VRTV) was initiated at Barclays with an overweight rating. Twelve-month price target is $45. The company sees share appreciation due to synergy realization and subsequent debt paydown, Barclays said.

Wells Fargo (WFC) was downgraded at J.P. Morgan to neutral. Estimates were also cut, as expenses are rising, J.P. Morgan said.

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Now let's look at TheStreet Ratings' take on some of these stocks.

TheStreet Ratings team rates DANA HOLDING CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate DANA HOLDING CORP (DAN) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 3.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 100.00% to $0.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, DANA HOLDING CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 33.54%.
  • DANA HOLDING CORP has improved earnings per share by 5.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, DANA HOLDING CORP swung to a loss, reporting -$0.29 versus $1.40 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.85 versus -$0.29).
  • The gross profit margin for DANA HOLDING CORP is rather low; currently it is at 16.35%. Regardless of DAN's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 2.01% trails the industry average.

TheStreet Ratings team rates TRIPADVISOR INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate TRIPADVISOR INC (TRIP) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed ? some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the growth in the company's net income has been quite unimpressive."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 22.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 66.88% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.38, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Despite the fact that TRIP's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 2.13 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Internet & Catalog Retail industry and the overall market, TRIPADVISOR INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Internet & Catalog Retail industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 9.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $62.30 million to $68.00 million.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.

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