Stock Downgrades: Skullcandy Suffers Serious Concussion

By Justin Sharon  JAN 02, 2013 9:12 AM

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

 


MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Equities enter 2013 with the Dow (^DJI) freshly back above 13,000 — thanks to Congress finally reconvening on its fiscal cliff crisis 13 hours before the deadline — the S&P 500 (^GSPC) having just posted a 13% annual increase, and its European equivalent up by an identical amount over the same period. Anyone suffering from Triskaidekaphobia may find it all a bit ominous, especially with the 113th Congress being sworn in (and at) tomorrow, but for now let’s just bask in a fabulous 52 weeks that saw investors rack up profits while dodging those Mayan prophets of doom. As for post-election years, Mr. Market is decidedly mixed on that score, with Dow Industrials (^DJI) gaining eight times and falling seven since Ike’s first inaugural in 1953. You would thus be just as well flipping a coin, if Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) — which decided on its name by precisely that method — will forgive the analogy after a torrid 12 months in which it fell 44.68% to lead all Dow (^DJI) laggards.

Today in economics, the Institute for Supply Management’s December manufacturing index is expected to show improvement at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, and we get minutes to the Federal Open Market Committee’s December 11-12 policy meeting at 2:00 p.m. In earnings action, Texas Industries (TXI) is due to report results.
 
Alliant Energy (LNT): The electric utility is cut to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo, which now sees fair value in a range of $46 to $47.
 
Brown-Forman (BF.B): Morgan Stanley moves the spirits stock, maker of Jack Daniels and Southern Comfort, to Underweight from Equal-Weight.
 
Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV): The home builder, a high-flyer in 2012 with a gain of 382.76%, is now Neutral from Buy at UBS.
 
LinkedIn (LNKD): LNKD gets lowered to Equal Weight from Overweight by Barclays.
 
Retailers: Jefferies gives Hold-from-Buy ratings reductions to American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) (price target taken to $22 from $26), Ann Inc. (NYSE:ANN) — formerly known as Ann Taylor — ($35 from $40), and Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT) ($59 from $74.) Skullcandy (NASDAQ:SKUL) fares worst of all, lowered two notches to Underperform from Buy amid issues over promotional pressures and rising competition in the headphone market. Its target is slashed to $6 from $17.
 
RetailersAscena Retail Group (ASNA), formerly known as Dress Barn, and Ross Stores (ROST) are each now Neutral from Buy at Citigroup. Its reduced respective price objectives are $20 and $60.
 
Starwood Hotels & Resorts (HOT): Shares are taken to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust on account of an excessive relative valuation. Its $65 target price is intact.
 
Tilly’s Inc. (TLYS): Troubled by both industry maturation and increased competition form Amazon (AMZN), Piper Jaffray takes the name to Neutral from Overweight. The target is also trimmed, by $3 to $13.
 
WellPoint (WLP): Potential margin pressure is among the reasons Credit Suisse cuts the company to Neutral from Outperform. Its price target is $65.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Bowling Giant Brunswick Out of the Gutter and Looking at the Stars and New Stock Coverage: For 2013, Get Into the Habit of Buying Abbott.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.