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Upgrades & Downgrades: It Pays to Be Prudential

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Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

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Beware black swans on Black Friday. With the stock market closing early at 1pm Eastern, a dull day was widely expected but this week reminds us it's never over till Susan Boyle sings. While you were sleeping, tiptoeing through the tryptophan, a sheikh out occurring in debt ridden Dubai has futures in a funk twenty four hours after inflation made a startling return to the streets of New York. Such drama seemed a world away on Wednesday, when slim gains on thin volume moved markets to fresh 13-month highs before the Thanksgiving plumping up. See also Dubai Debt Issues Send Markets Into a State of Flux. In hindsight however the failure of even life's two certainties to prove profitable was a warning, with a 1.3% Hump Day humbling for tax titan H&R Block (HRB) hard on the heels of Tuesday's 6.9% tumble from funeral firm Hillenbrand (HI).

Initiations

CRH plc (CRH): ING Group starts British building material firm CRH plc with a Sell.

Upgrades

Prudential (PUK): Prudential gets a Buy-from-Hold boost from Citigroup.

QLT Inc (QLTI): The stock is upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets, which also takes its price target up $1.50 to $6.00.

Downgrades

ABB Ltd (ABB): The stock is lowered to Neutral from Overweight at HSBC Securities.

CGI Group (GIB): CGI gets cut to Sector Perform from Outperform at Scotia Capital.

First State Bancorp (FSNM): Keefe, Bruyette downgrades First State Bancorp to Market Perform from Outperform and trims its target to $1 from $3, the broker believing the company is under-capitalized on a consolidated basis and needs additional capital to get through the cycle.

R&G Financial: Keefe, Bruyette also reduces its R&G Financial rating (Market Perform from Outperform) due to negative tangible common equity, critically low reserves and high relative NPL levels. The new price objective is $2.50, down from $1.00.
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.

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