Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Stock Upgrades: Nothing but Net Profit Makes Microsoft a Sterling Success


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

The Donald Sterling debacle is mercifully at an end, with ex-Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer being cleared to buy basketball's LA Clippers for a tidy $2 billion. Whether that's a smart way to splash the cash remains to be seen, but with the tech titan and Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) member boasting a pristine balance sheet and revenue of $20.4 billion, Ballmer can certainly afford to pay big bucks. His stock options may surge further today as Microsoft scores a broker boost. The analyst expresses optimism about new head Satya Nadella's future intentions for mobile and cloud offerings, the latter including Azure and Office 365.
"Stairway to Heaven," commanding our attention again, continues to sweetly sum up stock market action. Yesterday, however, equities required "A Whiter Shade of Pale" to rise to fresh bests. A benign beige book from the Fed sent S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) shares to a historic high of 1927. The year 1927 brings to mind Murderers' Row and the New York Yankees. The 2014 version just lost their fourth straight on the baseball diamond, but J-Lo, on a belated return home to the borough of her birth, offered far better value for money with a free concert. She's still Jenny from the block, OK, so don't be fooled by the rocks that she got. Unless they're from Tiffany (NYSE:TIF), on a stellar recent run and now utterly unaffordable for common folks after touching $100 for the first time ever. Wednesday was 25 years after Tiananmen's tanks, and tomorrow is seven decades since the tide turned in World War Two on the beaches of France, but we journalists know that the pen is always mightier than the sword. This as Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE:NWL), maker of Paper Mate, Parker, Sharpie, and Waterman, surged 4.42% on a broker boost. Elsewhere, eye-care pioneer Allergan (NYSE:AGN) tumbled another 2.36%, and a failed ophthalmologist refused to see the light in Syria. Developments in Damascus are even scarier than Zooey Deschanel's irises superimposed on celebrities of the opposite sex.
Today's quarterly earnings announcements include Ciena Corp (NYSE:CIEN), Diamond Foods (NASDAQ:DMND), J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM), Joy Global (NYSE:JOY), Vail Resorts (NYSE:VAIL), and Verifone Systems (NYSE:PAY).
Now let's analyze this morning's upgrades, a group encompassing our aforementioned Microsoft as well as a suddenly resurgent financial firm from Athens.

Abraxas Petroleum (NASDAQ:AXAS): SunTrust takes the energy outfit to Buy from Neutral.
British Sky Broadcasting (OTCMKTS:BSYBY): Shares get boosted to Perform from Underperform by Sanford Bernstein.
Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM): Barclays increases its investment assessment to Equal Weight from Underweight. The price objective, previously $28, gets taken up by $12.
Clovis Oncology (NASDAQ:CLVS): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Hold with a $50 target price at Stifel, which cites potential upside due to CO-1686 in second-line EGFR-mutant NSCLC with T790M mutation.
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA): Atlantic Equities raises its rating to Overweight from Neutral.
Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU): LULU gets a Neutral-from-Underperform lift Sterne Agee.
Microsoft: Today's headline upgrade is moved to Outperform from Market Perform by FBR Capital. Its price objective also increases, to $49 from $43.
National Bank of Greece (NYSE:NBG): A second upgrade of the week for the former PIIG, today taken to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.
Verint Systems (NASDAQ:VRNT): The stock is now Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.
Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Whole Foods Offers Investors a Free Lunch

Stock Downgrades: As Obama Pumps Iron, Life Time Fitness Losses Luster
< Previous
  • 1
Next >
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.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Videos