Analysts' Actions: AOL, Thoratec, Walgreen's, WebMD, More

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- RATINGS CHANGES

AOL (AOL) was upgraded to buy at Cantor Fitzgerald. $50 12-month price target. Business fundamentals are improving, Cantor Fitzgerald said.

Atmel (ATML) was downgraded to neutral at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch. $9 12-month price target. The company has muted growth prospects, BofA/Merrill said.

Esterline (ESL) was upgraded to buy from neutral at Goldman Sachs. Consensus estimates are too low and the company is attractively valued, Goldman said. $140 12-month price target.

First Security (FSGI) was upgraded to hold at TheStreet Ratings.

Nu Skin (NUS) was downgraded to neutral from overweight at J.P. Morgan. $50 12-month price target. Risk still remains in the shares, said J.P. Morgan.

Ralph Lauren (RL) was upgraded to outperform from neutral at Credit Suisse. $180 12-month price target. The company is seeing higher retail demand and margins are likely to rebound in the second half, Credit Suisse said.

Telefonica (TEF) was upgraded to buy at TheStreet Ratings.

Thoratec (THOR) was downgraded to neutral at Goldman Sachs. $28 12-month price target. The company has limited visibility, said Goldman.

Thoratec (THOR) was downgraded to neutral from outperform at Credit Suisse. $27 12-month price target. The company lowered its guidance meaningfully, Credit Suisse said.

Team Health (TMH) was upgraded to buy from hold at Deutsche Bank. $63 12-month price target. ACA benefits are still ramping and core sector trends are strengthening, said Deutsche.

Walgreen (WAG) was upgraded to hold at Cantor Fitzgerald. This was a valuation call, based on a $56 12-month price target, Cantor said.

WebMD (WBMD) was upgraded to buy at TheStreet Ratings.

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

"We rate THORATEC CORP (THOR) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, 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 net income, revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

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

  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Health Care Equipment & Supplies industry average. The net income increased by 0.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $18.17 million to $18.24 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.8%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • THOR has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 5.23, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $17.43 million or 29.14% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, THORATEC CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -30.55%.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.

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