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Upgrades & Downgrades: Disney Is More Beauty Than Beast


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

Stocks rose for a third straight session as a better than expected Philly Fed Index proved It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. We're also indeed in The Golden Age for Elizabeths. Elizabeth Arden (RDEN) was upgraded on Wednesday, Liz Claiborne (LIZ) today, Elizabeth Taylor loved Tiffany's (TIF) 18% dividend increase and Estee Lauder (EL) spokeswoman Elizabeth Hurley is sitting pretty with that stock at a fresh 52-week high.

The day's other developments were one long strange trip. It included the short journey of a man in Austin who, angry at the IRS, ended it all, thus simultaneously experiencing one of life's certainties while avoiding another. New York's former top cop was sentenced to four years in prison. It was both a fine time for American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) and a foul one for American Eagle airlines. Other news in a nutshell? Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my! The week ends with earnings out of Amerigroup (AGP), and J.C. Penney (JCP).


Gilead Sciences (GILD): Roth resumes coverage on Gilead Sciences with a Buy ($53 target) as it believes the continued growth of Atripla and Truvada will continue to propel valuation. For the latest on this sector, see Xenoport Shareholders Run Their Restless Legs.

Walt Disney (DIS): Jefferies initiates Walt Disney with a Buy and sets a $36 price target, saying management is taking the right steps to streamline the company's cost structure.

Best Buy (BBY): The electronics retailer is initiated with a Market Outperform and $45 price objective at JMP Securities, which believes better than expected industry growth will drive earnings above expectations.

St. Jude Medical (STJ): Soleil Securities starts St. Jude Medical at a Buy and sets a $46 target price.

China Automotive Systems (CAAS): Maxim picks up China Automotive Systems at Hold.

DTE Energy (DTE): Citigroup starts DTE Energy (Buy) and assigns a $49 price objective.

China Digital TV (STV): Auriga initiates China Digital TV with a Buy rating and an $8.50 target saying the co has been viewed as a pure play on China's cable TV analog to digital conversion.

Freeport-McMoRan (FCX): The stock is started at Sector Perform at Scotia, which sets a price objective of $105.


WebMD Health (WBMD): Citigroup upgrades WebMD Health to Buy from Hold and boosts its target $9 to $49.

Liz Claiborne (LIZ): KeyBanc Capital upgrades Liz Claiborne (Buy from Hold; $7.50 target) as the broker believes their combination of expense cuts and structural changes will allow for a return to profitability in late 2010.

Adobe Systems (ADBE): FBR Capital increases Adobe Systems to Outperform from Market Perform with fresh $39 target, citing an upcoming release of its flagship CS5 product and a recent share price pullback. For a related story, see Why Apple's War on Adobe Flash Is Premature.

Oil Stocks: Morgan Stanley moves both Transocean (RIG) and Ensco (ESV) to Overweight from Underweight.

Charles Schwab (SCHW): The stock gets a Neutral-from-Sell upgrade at Goldman Sachs.


First Solar (FSLR): Noting an uncertain policy environment in Germany, Merriman moves First Solar to Neutral from Buy.

Accenture (CAN): Kaufman cuts Accenture to Sell from Hold as demand for project-based systems integration work could remain sluggish throughout 2010.

Atwood Oceanics (ATW): Morgan Stanley takes Atwood Oceanics to Underweight from Equal Weight.

Windstream (WIN): Bank of America/Merrill Lynch lowers Windstream, now Neutral from Buy with the target still $11.

Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD): The beverage stock is now Hold (from Buy) at Stifel Nicolaus, citing a weakening of US industry volume trends.

The Knot (KNOT): The stock is also taken to Hold from Buy at Stifel Nicolaus due to a negative financial impact of the restructuring of its Macy's (M) registry agreement, among other factors.

Advance Auto Parts (AAP): BB&T Capital cuts Advance Auto Parts to Hold from Buy.

Apache (APA): The stock is removed from the US Focus List at Credit Suisse as its appreciation over the last year leaves the risk/reward proposition more balanced.
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