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Upgrades & Downgrades: Don't Mess With Texas Instruments

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Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

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The world's wealthiest man turns 54 this morning with his net worth having been boosted by the past week's jump into Windows 7. By contrast, jumping out of windows was the order of the day for scores of stockbrokers exactly eight decades ago. If only Madonna had been around back then to invent yoga, the stress of the Crash may have been mitigated. Certainly yesterday's 8.52% gain in Lululemon (LULU) shares suggests downward dogs could cure any angst engendered by a downward Dow.

Actually the Dow rose slightly on Tuesday in contrast to other major indices, mixed market messages evidenced in GameStop's (GME) 2.16% gain even as Boyd Gaming (BYD) (-17.79%) and Scientific Games (SGMS) (-21.75%) posted plunges. Greater consistency was at least witnessed with woeful losses out of the singularly ill named pair Winn-Dixie (WINN) (-9.75%) and Wynn Resorts (WYNN) (-11.0%). And though it did nothing for the stock, Goldman's upgrade of Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) was at least apropos, coming on the eve of a Cheese Cake-Cheese Steak World Series which Wall Street is willing the Bronx Bombers to win. In economics, September durable goods rose an in-line 1.0% at 8:30 AM Eastern today and new home sales are out at 10:00 AM. Earnings include Aflac (AFL), ConocoPhillips (COP), General Dynamics (GD), Express Scripts (ESRX), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Hess Corp (HES), International Paper (IP), Praxair (PX), SAP (SAP) and WellPoint (WLP).

Initiations

Ciena (CIEN): The stock is initiated with a Buy and $17.50 target price at Citigroup.

J. Crew (JCG): MKM Partners starts J. Crew at Buy ($52 target), citing tighter inventory controls allied to a trade-down boost from more chichi stores.

Food Companies: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch launches coverage on Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Tyson Foods (TSN) (both Buys) and Smithfield Foods (SFD) (Underperform).

Vodafone (VOD): Barclays picks up Vodafone with a rating of Equal-weight.

Upgrades

Motorola (MOT): RBC Capital raises its Motorola rating to Outperform from Sector Perform. See Bob Faulkner's Play Motorola Both Ways.

Texas Instruments (TXN): Goldman Sachs takes Texas Instruments to Buy from Neutral, citing strong potential margin improvement.

BP plc (BP): Goldman raises British oil giant BP Plc to Neutral from Sell.

Target (TGT): The retailer gets a 180 degree (Buy from Sell) upgrade at Citigroup, the price objective increased to $61 from $44 on an improvement in productivity and same store sales.

Waters Corp (WAT): The stock is lifted to Outperform from Market Perform at Leerink Swann following following a third quarter which beat the Street. Material upside to fiscal 2010 earnings is seen, with share buybacks among favorable factors. Deutsche Bank also boosts Waters, to Buy from Hold.

Ceradyne (CRDN): Wells Fargo increases Ceradyne (Market Perform from Underperform).

Wynn Resorts: Oppenheimer upgrades Wynn Resorts (Outperform from Perform; $73 target) as the company continues to exhibit its superior access to capital markets.

Ericsson (ERIC): UBS increases Ericsson to Neutral from Sell.

AK Steel (AKS): Citigroup upgrades AK Steel to Buy from Hold, raising its objective to $21 from $17.

Downgrades

Intel (INTC): The chipmaker is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Roth Capital, its price objective shaved by $13 to $20, on lower visibility and inventory correction.

SanDisk (SNDK): Flash memory maker SanDisk gets cut to Neutral from Buy at Goldman due to valuation.

IMS Health (RX): The stock is downgraded by Bank of America/Merrill Lynch to Underperform from Neutral ($18 target) due to its "poor outlook with the cost cutting and consolidation of its competitors."

Under Armour (UA): The sportswear company is lowered (Underperform from Hold) at Needham after earnings.

Apollo (APOL): An unfortunate Apollo pile-on includes downgrades from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and RBC Capital.

Winn-Dixie: Janney Montgomery Scott cuts Winn-Dixie (Neutral from Buy).

Steel Companies: Kryptonite for AK Steel and U.S. Steel (X), cut to Hold from Buy at Keybanc. See more in What to Expect from US Steel.

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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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