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New Stock Coverage: Zoe's Kitchen Can Take the Heat

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Wall Street ratings agencies set the tone for today's stock market.

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Over the weekend, Warren Buffett attempted to justify his unwillingness to rock the boat on Coke's (NYSE:KO) excessive executive compensation by saying, "if you keep belching, you'll be eating in the kitchen." But is that such a bad thing? Yesterday Zoe's Kitchen (NYSE:ZOES) jumped 4.8%, and today the fast-casual chain attracts a slew of upbeat analyst initiations. Shares are, accordingly, currently adding on another 1.7% as we speak. Zoe's Kitchen, based in Plano, Texas, offers a variety of Mediterranean-style cuisine, and the stock surged 64.8% on its April market debut. While the valuation appears pretty plump, operating momentum is perceived as strong.
 
Dos Equis's "Most Interesting Man in the World" deserved better than a deadly dull 0.11% increase in Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) on Cinco de Mayo. At least Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG), up 2.17% on a broker boost, did its level best to liven things up. (OK, the fast food firm actually hails from Denver, but, as CNBC showed us when its senior economist ill-advisedly played Mexican music for a Texas senator born in Canada, why sweat the small stuff where geography is concerned?) Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT) certainly headed south for the occasion, imploding 3.45% as its CEO paid a belated price for last year's cyber crime breach. Identity theft protector LifeLock (NYSE:LOCK), which lost 4.80%, was clearly unable to help, and today's lock up expiration of 480 million Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) shares saw that stock slip 0.69% after last week's 10% tumble. Meanwhile, it seems we may at long last actually see someone locked up for the financial crisis. But don't Holder your breath.
 
Today's quarterly earnings announcements include Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA), Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), and Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM).
 
Now let's turn to this morning's new stock coverage, a list that includes an animal health outfit in addition to Zoe's Kitchen.

Boulder Brands (NASDAQ:BDBD): Longbow launches coverage at Neutral.
 
Cerulean Pharma (NASDAQ:CERU): Shares are assigned an Outperform and $14 price objective at JMP Securities.
 
Gildan Activewear (NASDAQ:GIL): GIL gets picked up at Outperform by Credit Suisse.
 
Parametric Sound (NASDAQ:HEAR): Shares are showing strength this morning after being picked up at Outperform with Wedbush.
 
Philbro Animal Health (NASDAQ:PAHC): Barclays (Overweight) and Guggenheim (Buy) are equally upbeat. Each have a $21 target price.
 
Range Resources (NYSE:RRC): Brean Capital covers the company at a Buy amid attractive assets that include 530,000 net acres in Southwest Pennsylvania.
 
TriNet Group (NYSE:TNET): Shares are an Overweight ($27 target) at JPMorgan, but Jefferies has only a Hold.
 
Verastem (NASDAQ:VSTM): Deutsche Bank begins Buy-rated research with a $14 price objective.
 
Zoe's Kitchen: Jefferies has a Hold and $25 target on today's headliner, but Piper Jaffray (Overweight and $32), William Blair (Outperform), and Robert W. Baird (Outperform and $35) are all more bullish.

Also see:

Stock Upgrades: Charles Schwab Is No Two Buck Chuck

Stock Downgrades: Target Lady Is in the Crosshairs and About to Wiig Out
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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