Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Upgrades & Downgrades: Take-Two Takes a Time Out

By

Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

PrintPRINT
The S&P 500 saw its winning streak snapped at three as it and other indices were hit with a late-day swoon. Retailers reported disappointing same store sales with unseasonably warm weather again used as an easy excuse; expect politicos pilfering gift cards to be blamed next. Toll bridges proved more profitable than Toll Brothers (TOL), down 7.54% on a worse than forecast fiscal fourth quarter loss. Energy Recovery (ERII), which rose 11.40% on an analyst upgrade, was exempt from the market's late loss of energy but almost all other equities died on their feet in the final hour of trading and ahead of a monster Friday for fútbol. Though not so Payless ShoeSource parent Collective Brands (PSS), up 7.64% to its highest price since October of '07 after impressive earnings, which doubtless delighted Imelda Marcos, who just announced she is running for office (presumably in pricier pumps).

Today's earnings announcements include Big Lots (BIG), Cubic (CUB), Royal Bank of Canada (RY), and Sirona Dental Systems (SIRO). At 8:30AM Eastern the month's main economic report, November nonfarm payrolls, came in considerably better expected at a loss of only 11,000 jobs and the nation's unemployment rate fell to 10.0% from a 26-year high of 10.2%. October factory orders, out at 10:00AM, are expected to be flat.

Initiations

Credit Cards: Oppenheimer initiates Visa (V) and MasterCard (MA) with Outperforms on each and respective price objectives of $95 and $290. The credit card companies are seen benefiting from growing consumer consumption, the secular shift to electronic payments and growth outside the US. For more, see Credit Card Companies Face a Grim Future.

Titan International (TWI): Sterne Agee starts Titan International at Neutral with a $10 price target.

Housing Stocks: Meritage Homes (MTH) (Buy) and Ryland Group (RYL) (Neutral) are initiated at Pali.

Rayonier (RYN): The stock is picked up with a Buy and $48 target at Soleil Securities on an expected improvement in lumber markets.

Avon Products (AVP): Wedbush Morgan assumes coverage of Avon Products at Outperform based on a powerful brand equity.

Retailers: Hot Topic (HOTT) and Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) are each begun at Neutral by JP Morgan. See also Why Hot Topic Could Still Ignite.

Savient Pharmaceuticals (SVNT): JP Morgan also starts Savient Pharmaceuticals at Overweight ($19 price objective).

SanDisk (SNDK): JMP Securities now covers SanDisk (Outperform with an objective of $30) based on the powerful NAND adoption cycles underway in solid state drives and smartphones.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR): Piper Jaffray initiates Green Mountain Coffee at Overweight.

Under Armour (UA): Jefferies initiates Under Armour with a Buy.

Financial Services: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch starts Moody's (MCO) and McGraw-Hill (MHP) with Buys on each.

Food Stocks: Piper Jaffray picks up Del Monte (DLM), Hain Celestial Group (HAIN) and B&G Foods (BGS) all at Neutral.

Upgrades

Brown Forman (BF-A): JP Morgan toasts spirits maker Brown Forman with a Neutral-from-Underweight increase.

Barclays (BCS): British bank Barclays gets a Neutral-from-Sell boost at JP Morgan, its '09 estimates also increasing on a higher projected gain for the Global Investments division.

Akamai Technologies (AKAM): The stock is taken to Buy from Hold by Citigroup on improving near term trends in eCommerce. Target price is $31.

First Solar (FSLR): Collins Stewart upgrades First Solar to Buy from Hold with a $160 target on easing pricing pressures in recent months.

Downgrades

Comcast (CMCSA): The stock is cut to Neutral from Outperform ($18 target) at Credit Suisse, which views its announced acquisition of NBC Universal as strategically questionable amid limited synergies.

AK Steel (AKS): Citigroup lowers AK Steel to Hold from Buy due to valuation, with a price objective of $21.

Smith & Wesson (SWHC): Firearm firm Smith & Wesson is downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merriman after yesterday's earnings shot the stock in the foot. The broker cites uncertainty over upcoming domestic demand. Cowen also cuts the company, to Neutral from Outperform.

Netflix (NFLX): The stock gets a Hold-from-Buy downgraded at Citigroup as its shares appear fully valued.

Take-Two (TTWO): Too many downgrades to mention for Take-Two; suffice to say it'll need to do a triple take after being taken to Neutral from Buy at MKM Partners, Hold from Buy at Brean Murray, and Neutral from Outperform at Cowen following yesterday's announcement from the company that it expects a full-year loss.

Endo Pharmaceuticals (ENDP): Wells Fargo downgrades Endo Pharmaceuticals to Market Perform from Outperform.
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.
PrintPRINT
 
Featured Videos

WHAT'S POPULAR IN THE VILLE