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


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

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
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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