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Upgrades & Downgrades: Pumping the Brakes on Solar Stocks


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.


Blue Nile (NILE) / Digital River (DRIV): Morgan Stanley sees both online jewelry retailer Blue Nile and e-commerce outsourcer Digital River treading water, assuming coverage of each with Equal-weight ratings.

Tiffany & Co. (TIF): Blue Nile's brick and mortar competitor Tiffany fares better, Oppenheimer initiating with an Outperform ($38 price target) on improving sales and easing comparisons.


Buckle (BKE): No need for belt tightening at Buckle after Roth Capital raised its rating to Buy from Hold after an earnings beat at the apparel retailer yesterday.

The Gap (GPS): Competitor Gap gets a boost from Friedman Billings, the broker upgrading it to Outperform from Market Perform and increasing its price objective by $6 to $24. Improvement at Old Navy and ongoing inventory control are cited. KeyBanc Capital is also out with an upgrade (Buy from Hold) and similarly sees the stock reaching $24. See also Five Reasons Gap Stock is a Perfect Fit.

Flextronics (FLEX) / Jabil Circuit (JBL): Citigroup is increasingly optimistic on the EMS industry, believing fundamentals have bottomed and forecasting future margin expansion. Flextronics was added to the firm's Tops Picks list and Jabil Circuit (Buy from Hold) also had its rating raised.


Dicks Sporting Goods (DKS): Athletic apparel outfit Dick's Sporting Goods gets a post-earnings downgrade at Needham (Hold from Buy) on valuation.

Solar Stocks: Jefferies sees the sun setting on solar stocks, lowering its rating on the sector amid concerns about pricing power. First Solar (FSLR), SunPower (SPWRA) (Hold from Buy) and Suntech (STP) (Underperform from Hold) are among the downgrades. For those bullish on this sector, see Five Solar Stocks Turning Up the Heat.
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