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New Stock Coverage: Is Noodles & Co Already Pasta Its Peak?


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

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) hit yet another historic high, but let's face it -- yesterday's closing bell couldn't compete with a town crier's chimes across the Atlantic announcing a regal birth. (The Feds are surely already investigating suspiciously-timed surges in Royal KPN (KKPNY), up 11.11%, and bebe (BEBE), a 12.15% gainer.) As a future king arrived on the scene, Mr. Mervyn appropriately enough became King for a day in the House of Lords, adding to the feel-good factor. Horse racing is, of course, called "the sport of kings," and the English woman who recently allowed her mare to defecate in McDonald's (MCD) offered an eerily accurate assessment of their awful earnings. Shares tumbled a Dow (^DJI)-worst 2.68%, with investors opting to sell only after the unfortunate animal had bolted. Britons love of our furry friends is legendary, and probably propelled a 13.63% increase in PetMed Express (PETS) to a fresh 52-week peak. Meanwhile Microsoft (MSFT), Friday's dog of the Dow, returned to the catbird seat on Monday, advancing 1.94% to best all blue chips.

A quite quiet week in economics continues, with no top-tier data due this morning. By contrast, this is the single busiest spell for Q2 earnings announcements, with Altria (MO), Apple (AAPL), AT&T, Inc. (T), Broadcom (BRCM), Discover Financial Services (DFS), DuPont (DD), Electronic Arts (EA), Travelers (TRV), United Parcel Service (UPS), and United Technologies (UTX) all among companies reporting results today.

Aetna (AET): Saying it sees the stock as a lower risk, higher reward investment among its managed care industry peers for the first full year of the Affordable Care Act, Stifel starts Buy-rated research. Its price objective is $80.

Applied Materials (AMAT): Berenberg has a Hold on the tech name.

Broadsoft (BSFT): BSFT is begun with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo.

Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD): The fast food firm is a fresh Buy with Wunderlich, whose price target is $117. Over the past half decade, the company has averaged impressive annual earnings per share growth of 23%.

Charter Communications (CHTR): Credit Suisse establishes an Outperform on CHTR.

Coty Inc (COTY): COTY is covered at Overweight by JPMorgan.

Guaranty Bancorp (GBNK): Shares are resumed with a Perform rating and $13.50 target price at FBR Capital, which notes a low interest rate environment could cap potential gains.

Lam Research (LRCX): RBC Capital covers the company at Outperform.

Noodles & Co (NDLS): The recent initial public offering, on a rocket to the moon of late, is today assigned a lukewarm outlook at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (Neutral), Jefferies (Hold), Morgan Stanley (Equal-Weight), and UBS (Neutral.) By contrast, Piper Jaffray (Overweight) and Robert W. Baird (Outperform with a $50 objective) are more upbeat.

Prosensa Holding (RNA): Leerink Swann launches coverage at Outperform.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Fishing for Chips? Try Texas Instruments Incorporated and Stock Downgrades: Annie's Inc Is No Stock for (Widows and) Orphans.)
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