- Deutsche Bank upgraded Garmin (NASDAQ: GRMN) to Hold from Sell as it believes the company's second half of 2009 is tracking better than expected due to retailer restocking. Deutsche raised its target on shares to $33 from $15 but thinks Garmin's long-term trends remain unfavorable.
- Goldman upgraded Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO) to Buy from Neutral citing potential EPS improvement driven by the Home division. Fortune Brands price target to $49 from $45. Note that the firm downgraded General Mills to Neutral from Buy.
- Oppenheimer upgraded FPIC Insurance (NASDAQ: FPIC) to Outperform from Perform to reflect the company's acquisition of Advocate MD and management's commitment to share repurchases. The firm set a $49 price target on the stock.
- PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG) and Olin Corp. (NYSE: OLN) were upgraded to Neutral from Sell at UBS.
- Synovus (NYSE: SNV) was upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at BofA/Merrill.
- Take-Two (NASDAQ: TTWO) was upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray.
- Jefferies downgraded Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) to Hold from Buy on valuation and risk from the Omniture (NASDAQ: OMTR) acquisition as it does not see much synergy from the deal over the near-term. The firm keeps a $39 price target on the stock.
- Goldman downgraded General Mills (NYSE: GIS) to Neutral from Buy citing slowing top line growth and relative valuation. Note that the firm prefers Fortune Brands, which was upgraded to Buy from Neutral. The firm has a $66 price target on General Mills.
- Thomas Weisel downgraded Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) to Market Weight from Overweight as it sees a low probability of the company being acquired and believes its fundamentals continue to deteriorate. The firm lowered its target on shares to $4.50 from $6.
- Martha Stewart (NYSE: MSO) was downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.
- Verizon (NYSE: VZ) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS.
- Post Properties (NYSE: PPS) was downgraded to Sell from Hold at Citigroup.
- Citigroup started Marriott (NYSE: MAR), LaSalle Hotel (NYSE: LHO), and Starwood Hotels (NYSE: HOT) with Buy ratings and targets of $29, $22, and $36, respectively. The firm also initiated Sunstone Hotel (NYSE: SHO) and Host Hotels (NYSE: HST) with Hold ratings and targets of $7.50 and $11, respectively.
- Emergency Medical Services (NYSE: EMS) was initiated with a Buy rating and $55 target at Deutsche Bank.
- Wellpoint (NYSE: WLP) was initiated with a Hold rating at Collins Stewart.
- Arena Resources (NYSE: ARD) was initiated with a Market Perform rating at Morgan Keegan.
- Zumiez (NASDAQ: ZUMZ) was initiated with a Hold rating at Needham.