Stock Downgrades: Sirona Dental Braces Itself for Bad News

By Justin Sharon  FEB 20, 2013 9:21 AM

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

 


The market’s Millennial madness returned as the Nasdaq (^IXIC) hit its highest level since the year 2000, thanks to an Internet stock with a silly name. Befitting another bout of Tulip Mania, Bubble Wrap maker Sealed Air (SEE) surged 9.02% to a fresh 52-week peak. Just remember though, it’s merely money, not life and death. (Actually, on second thought…)
 
Such was the ebullience in equities that investors were even prepared to back up the truck in Brink’s (BCO) — though not quite as profitably as thieves backed up on its truck in Belgium at 8:05 p.m. on Monday in a $50 million diamond heist. Its shares rose 0.87% during the day and added on another 1.31% after-hours. 
 
Tesco (PINK:TSCDY), fresh from its horse meat scandal, gained 0.70% to defeat the neigh-sayers after upbeat analyst comments but there was no need to ask why the long face with Humana (HUM), based in America’s equine epicenter of Kentucky. It slid 6.39% in posting the S&P 500′s (^GSPC) poorest performance.
 
Today at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, the Federal Open Market Committee will release the minutes to its January 29-30 meeting. Corporate earnings activity sees announcements out of Akzo Nobel (PINK:AKZOY), BHP Billiton (BHP), Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), Crédit Agricole (PINK:CRARY), Devon Energy (DVN), Dish Network (DISH), Fluor (FLR), Garmin (GRMN), KBR, Inc. (KBR), MGM Resorts (MGM), and Toll Brothers (TOL).
 
AEGON N.V. (AEG): ABN Amro slashes the stock to Sell from Hold, sending it sharply lower ahead of this morning’s opening bell.
 
Barclays (BCS): A steep valuation sees the British bank downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.
 
Baidu Inc. (BIDU): Citing heightened competition from Alibaba’s new search engine, Crédit Agricole cuts the Chinese Internet outfit to Underperform from Outperform. Its price objective is $105.
 
Capital One (COF): FBR Capital removes the company from its Top Picks list and reduces its price objective to $63 from $68 amid a $7 billion asset sale and increased investor confusion over its private-label plans.
 
Compass Group (PINK:CMPGY): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at UBS.
 
Deckers Outdoor (DECK): DECK gets downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with Wedbush.
 
Express Scripts (ESRX): Macquarie moves the equity to Neutral from Outperform.
 
HollyFrontier (HFC): The energy stock is taken to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo.
 
L-3 Communications (LLL): Shares are lowered to Underperform from Perform at RBC Capital, whose concerns include a challenging Department of Defense budget.
 
Millennial Media (MM): Morgan Stanley moves the shares to Equal-Weight from Overweight.
 
NetSpend Holdings (NTSP): Shares, no longer trading on fundamentals after an acquisition offer, are now Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo.
 
OfficeMax (OMX): The stock, yesterday’s top NYSE percentage performer amid merger talk, is today downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T Capital.
 
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB): RRGB gets reduced to Neutral from Buy at Davenport due to valuation.
 
Sealed Air (SEE): Wells slashes the Bubble Wrap maker, a stellar performer on Tuesday, to Underperform from Market Perform. It is exposed to inflation pressures, the broker believes.
 
Starwood Hotels (HOT): Jefferies cuts the accommodation outfit to Hold from Buy.
 
SAIC, Inc. (SAI): The technical services stock gets taken to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.
 
Sirona Dental Systems (NASDAQ:SIRO): Robert W. Baird reduces its recommendation to Neutral from Outperform, trimming its price target in the process by $3 to $76. The broker says its channel checks indicate that eagerly awaited new products due to be unveiled at next month’s 35th International Dental Show may be less accretive to top line earnings than previously projected.
 
Trinity Industries (TRN): TRN is taken to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James.
 
Windstream (WIN): Shares are slashed to Sell from Neutral at UBS.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Adobe a Flash in the Pan? and Stock Upgrades: Staples Set for More Paper Profits.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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