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Upgrades & Downgrades: Is RIMM Ready to Run?


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.


Stocks slumped, felled by FedEx (FDX) and forex as the package delivery firm dropped 6.07% and the dollar rose to a three month high. The Dow ended down for a third successive session and a day many Big Board investors lost their shirts was appropriately ended by executives of Herbalife (HLF). (This is after all the company which paid an excessively handsome amount to outfit a quickly homesick David under the erroneous assumption he'd be their Goliath.) Avon (AVP) was unable to put lipstick on a pig, its 5.01% tumble exceeding even Harley Davidson's (HOG) 4.83% downgrade-related downturn. Arthritic baby boomers increasingly ill suited to hitting the open road as Hells Angels can at least take comfort in the performance of another iconic brand of their youth, with Winnebago Industries (WGO) up a tidy 21.93%.

Research in Motion (RIMM) -- sharply higher before the bell on impressive earnings -- and research huddles, again under investigation, are both generating morning buzz. No major economic data this quadruple witching Friday but CarMax (KMX) and Carnival Corp (CCL) announce earnings and the Copenhagen climate summit concludes, Obama having arrived in snowbound Scandinavia to talk global warming.


Lululemon Athletica (LULU): The retailer is initiated with an Outperform and $34 target price at JMP Securities.

E*TRADE (ETFC): The online broker is showing strength ahead of the open after being begun with a Buy at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.

Oil Stocks: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch also launches on the oils, with Buys assigned on Apache (APA), Hess (HES), Chevron (CVX), Anadarko (APC), and Occidental (OXY). Exxon Mobil (XOM) is among the Neutrals and ConocoPhillips (COP) gets an Underperform.

Employer Solutions: Paychex (PAYX) and Automated Data Processing (ADP) are each initiated at Hold by Lazard.

Tech Stocks: In large-cap tech, Macquarie is initiating EMC Corp (EMC) (Neutral), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) (Outperform), Dell (DELL) (Neutral), and IBM (IBM) (Outperform).

Biotech: Jefferies launches coverage of the biotech industry, including Celgene (CELG) (Buy; $63 price target), Gilead (GILD) (Hold; $49), and Incyte (INCY) (Buy; $13). For more on the sector, see Gilead Sciences and Its Acquired Problems.

Forest Labs (FRX): Soleil Securities assigns a Buy on Forest Labs with a price objective of $38.

Frontline (FRO): The stock is picked up at Perform by Oppenheimer, which forecasts continued tanker market weakness.

Saks (SKS): Jesup & Lamont starts Saks at a Buy ($8 objective) on improving fundamentals and increased earnings visibility.

AOL (AOL): The stock gets initiated at a Neutral by Goldman after last week's IPO.

Gap Inc (GPS): The retailer gets initiated at Neutral by Pali Research as operational improvements are largely behind the company.

F5 Networks (FFIV): The tech stock is now Neutral rated with a $58 target at Credit Suisse.

Cracker Barrel (CBRL): The stock has cracked the coverage list at Jefferies, which assumes it with a Hold.

Pacific Sunwear (PSUN): Auriga U.S.A initiates Pacific Sunwear at Hold.

PetSmart (PETM): KeyBanc starts PetSmart with a Hold, noting gross margin has declined in each of the last four years.

Warner Music Group (WMG): Needham initiates Warner Music with a Buy and sets a $7 target.

Adobe Systems (ADBE): Maxim initiates Adobe Systems at Hold.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG): Food for thought at Chipotle Mexican Grill, now Neutral at Bank of America/ Merrill.


Research in Motion (RIMM): Deutsche Bank raises its Research in Motion rating to Hold from Sell after its solid earnings. The price objective increases $15 to $75. For an opposing view, see Research In Motion's Margins Are Moving in the Wrong Direction.

EMC Corp (EMC): The stock gets added to the Conviction Buy List at Goldman Sachs.

BP plc (BP): The oil stock is increased to Buy from Neutral at Goldman.

Banks: Keefe Bruyette raises ratings on Northern Trust (NTRS) and State Street (STT), each now Outperform from Market Perform, as it feels "longer-term secular trends remain favorable."

Universal Health (UHT): The stock is increased to Buy from Neutral at UBS, the target taken to $38 from $31.

JA Solar (JASO): The solar stock gets a 180 degree (Buy from Reduce) boost by Nomura.

T. Rowe Price (TROW): Stifel Nicolaus takes T. Rowe Price to Buy from Hold as they should gain market share.

Children's Place (PLC): The retailer is raised to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee, which sets a $42 target.

Take-Two (TTWO): The video game maker is taken to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee after earnings. See also Video Game Industry Looks Like a Bomb.


CR Baird (BCR): William Blair takes CR Bard to Market Perform from Outperform.

Citrix Systems (CTXS): The stock is cut to Sell from Neutral by MKM Partners, which cites sluggish growth in its XenApp product.

NetApp (NTAP): NTAP is now Neutral at Goldman, which is also removing the shares from their Conviction Buy List.

Potash Corp (POT): The ag stock is lowered to Sell from Hold at Soleil (objective of $85) due to valuation among other issues.

Entergy (ETR): The energy stock gets a Hold-from-Buy downgrade at Argus with P/E multiples are above peer averages.

Total SA (TOT): Total is reduced to Sell from Neutral by Goldman

Continental Airlines (CAL): Stifel Nicolaus cuts Continental Airlines to Hold from Buy as share price upside is seen as limited from current levels.

Career Education (CECO): The stock is cut (Sector Perform from Outperform) RBC Capital after yesterday's steep decline.

No positions in stocks mentioned.
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