Stock Upgrades: Baker Flowers Foods Rolling in Dough

By Justin Sharon  NOV 19, 2012 9:15 AM

Wall Street ratings agencies set the tone for today's stock market.


MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Facebook (FB) jumped 23.65%, enjoying its best week as a public company and causing investors to do a double-take, since experts assured us that a massive share lock up expiration would instead trigger heavy selling. Indeed conventional wisdom has had better weeks, what with John Chambers — a CEO commonly assumed to be toast — seeing his Cisco Systems (CSCO) surge 6.96% to top all Dow (^DJI) stocks. The IMF chief said of Athens, “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings,” but Europe preferred instead to skinny, and double, dip in its ever increasing debt pool. The financially troubled continent’s week ended, appropriately enough, with Spain being bounced by Czechs after failing to produce any net profits.

Today in economics, October existing home sales are expected to come in essentially unchanged at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, Agilent (A), Bob Evans Farms (BOBE), Brocade (BRCD), Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (CBRL), Dycom Industries (DY), Jack in the Box (JACK), Lowe’s (LOW), New Jersey Resources (NJR), Qihoo 360 Technology (QIHU), Tyson Foods (TSN), and Urban Outfitters (URBN) are all due to report results.
Actuant (ATU): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Hold at Keybanc.
Agilent Technologies (A): Goldman Sachs gives the stock a Buy-from-Neutral boost.
Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM): The commodity company is increased to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital.
Altria Group (MO): MO gets moved to Buy from Neutral at UBS amid reduced promotional spending. The target price is taken up to $36 from $35, and shares are up ahead of the open.
Anglo American Platinum (AGPPY): The firm gets raised to Neutral from Reduce at Nomura.
Associated British Foods (ASBFY): Société Générale hoists the stock to Buy from Hold.
Astoria Financial (AF): AF is upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Sterne Agee due to a favorable valuation. Its price objective is $9.
athenahealth (ATHN): Shares are upgraded to Strong Buy from Market Perform at Raymond James on expectations for strong business fundamentals.
Bank of America (BAC): The Dow (^DJI) member is moved to Buy from Hold at Stifel Nicolaus to reflect the decline in operating expenses over the next two years and a potential dividend increase. The objective is $11.
Barclays (BCS) Shares in the British financial firm are up sharply in London this morning on the back of a Buy-from-Neutral boost at Goldman Sachs. A “compelling risk/reward” scenario “could offer sector-leading upside”, analysts wrote in a note.
Computer Sciences (CSC): The name is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank on account of a faster than expected turnaround. The target is taken to $46 from $38.
Dean Foods (DF): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman, which cites an improving balance sheet. The target is taken to $22 from $20.
Flowers Foods (NYSE: FLO): Shares, up 16.19% last week, are today boosted to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc based on improving industry fundamentals and share gains following the expected Hostess Brands liquidation. The target is $25.
E*TRADE Financial (ETFC): ETFC is upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Evercore.
Halliburton (HAL): Macquarie hoists HAL to Outperform from Neutral with a $38 target to reflect reduced capex expectations.
Infineon Technologies (IFNNY): Jefferies juices its recommendation to Hold from Underperform.
National Cinemedia (NCMI): The stock is now Outperform from Perform with a $17 price objective at Barrington Research, which highlights a renewed focus on ad rates.
Old National Bancorp (ONB): Shares are upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James amid improved operating trends. The target is $14.
Oshkosh Corporation (OSK): Boutique brokerage Drexel Hamilton takes the truck maker to Hold from Sell.
PetSmart (PETM): Barclays boosts the equity to Overweight from Equal Weight.
Rambus (RMBS): RMBS gets raised to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.
Randgold Resources (GOLD): GOLD gets upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital.
Skyworks (SWKS): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch adds the stock to its US 1 list of favored equities.
Spectra Energy (SEP): The limited partnership is lifted to Buy from Hold at Citigroup.
Suncor Energy (SU): SU is upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.
Williams-Sonoma (WSM): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the Pottery Barn owner by an unusual 180 degrees, to Buy from Underperform.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: K12 Still Has Lots to Learn and New Stock Coverage: Recommending Starwood Hotels Without Reservations.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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