- Tyco Electronics (TEL) and Weight Watchers (WTW) to buy from neutral, and Smithfield Foods (SFD) to buy from underperform, at BofA/Merrill.
- Red Hat (RHT) to overweight from equal weight at Morgan Stanley.
- Gold Fields (GFI) to overweight from neutral at HSBC.
- Novartis (NVS) to outperform from neutral and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to neutral from underperform at Credit Suisse.
- Dollar General (DG) to buy from hold at ThinkEquity.
- Eagle Rock Energy (EROC) to outperform from sector perform at RBC Capital.
"High gold prices and low debt costs make now a great time for major gold producers to seek and acquire junior gold companies," says Ian Wyatt.
"Although we emphasize that this is a speculation, we believe the company could be a takeover candidate by large South African miners, perhaps by such companies as Gold Fields or AngloGold Ashanti.
- Hudson Square upgraded Take-Two (TTWO) to buy from hold, citing the better-than-expected Q3 report and increased guidance.
- Keybanc upgraded The Buckle (BKE) to hold from underweight given the potential for a special dividend in the near term.
- Stifel Nicolaus upgraded K-Sea Transportation (KSP) to hold from sell, citing KA First Reserve's $100M equity investment.
- Gold Fields (GFI) was upgraded to overweight from equal weight at Morgan Stanley.
- James Hardie NV (JHX) was upgraded to neutral from reduce at Nomura.
- UBS upgraded Potash (POT) to buy from neutral and raised its price target to $112 from $106. UBS raised its 2011 potash production estimates based on expectations for a tighter market and notes the potential for China to import substantial amounts of corn.
- BMO Capital upgraded Peabody Energy (BTU) to outperform from market perform. The firm, which has a $49 target on the stock, cites valuation for the upgrade.
- Janney Montgomery upgraded City Holding (CHCO) to buy from neutral with a $37 price target, citing the recent pullback in shares.
- Boston Scientific (BSX) was upgraded to sell from conviction sell at Goldman.
- Pegasystems (PEGA) was upgraded to buy from hold at Roth Capital.
- Wendy's/Arby's (WEN) was upgraded to buy from neutral at SunTrust.
There's nothing like a quick profit. Hedge fund manager, John Paulson, made $45.3 million in five weeks in a single gold trade. Bloomberg reports he owns 10.3 million shares of Detour Gold (DRGDF). Since purchasing the shares in October, they soared 35% to close at CAD $18 per share in Toronto.
Paulson, who manages $30 billion, has invested heavily in several gold companies. He is the largest shareholder of Anglo Gold Ashanti Ltd. (AU) with 12% of the company's stock. He also has stakes in Kinross Gold Corp (KGC) and Gold Fields Ltd. (GFI).
Yesterday was the last day of the quarter and, as usual, institutions were positioning some stocks that already had gains, a practice that Wall Street calls "prettying up portfolios."
But the last 45 minutes of trading may have revealed the true trend, as sellers drove the Dow down more than 115 points on the highest volume of the day.
The good news was that the major indices managed to hold above their respective 20-day moving average lines. But the S&P 500 failed to hold the 800 level, and many technicians felt that it was necessary to stay above that "psychological number" if the rally was to continue.
- If the next generation Apple (AAPL) iPhone is effectively a handheld computer, is the personal computer space a place to poke on the short side?
- What's the franchise value for Sun Microsystems (SUNW, er, JAVA)?
- Maybe that's the problem. In this ADD, immediate gratification world, perhaps folks don't remember that JAVA used to be SUNW?
- Woah. Nelly?
- Given that funky looking Gold Fields (GFI) chart, should I stress that I'm playing name through defined risk calls?
- In addition to the note that when I unwind my short crude I'm goning to sneak out of my long metal play, too?
- While I grabbed some tertiary financial exposure this morning, why is "Good traders know how to make money while great traders know how to take a loss" repeating in my keppe as I watch the action and overhang in Lehman (LEH)?
- Speaking of ticker symbols with G's in the front and I's behind, when do I revisit Gannett (GCI), which I pared nicely above $30 and kept some for the thesis?
- Speaking of pairs, how do I get long Jo, short Blair?
Positions in LEH, GFI, GCI
- Bear upgraded Voyager Learning (OTC: VLCY) to Peer Perform from Underperform following the company's announcement to explore strategic alternatives.
- Credit Suisse upgraded Digital River (NASDAQ: DRIV) to Outperform from Underperform citing attractive risk/reward.
- Wachovia raised its rating on FMC Tech (NYSE: FTI) to Market Perform from Underperform citing the larger than expected Pazflor Angolan development contract. The firm expects optimism of other large developments should bode well for growth beyond 2009.
"This is a great time to be buying in the gold and silver area," says resources expert Adrian Day. In his Global Analyst newsletter, the money manager and advisor explains, "We are focusing on quality companies in the junior resource sector, following what is traditionally the weak summer period for gold prices."
One favorite of the advisor is Gold Fields (NYSE: GFI), which he notes has a strong balance sheet and long-term reserves. He points out that the stock has been held down as would-be acquirer Harmony sells shares.
Among silver companies, he says, "Silver Standard Resources (NASDAQ: SSRI) has a strong balance sheet (even allowing for a problem in some commercial paper it holds) of C$242 million, including bullion.
- Wachovia upgraded shares of J.B. Hunt Transport (NASDAQ: JBHT) to Outperform from Market Perform citing strength in the company's Intermodal franchise.
- Matrix USA upgraded Gold Fields (NYSE: GFI) to Buy from Sell, citing the strong demand for gold jewelry from affluent customers in developing markets and investors.
- AG Edwards upgraded Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD) to Buy from Hold based on valuation and improving fundamentals.
- CBS Corp (NYSE: CBS) was upgraded to Buy from Neutral at SMH Capital based on expectations for CBS to continue to increase its annual dividend 10% a year.
- Jefferies is more confident in Amerigroup's (NYSE: AGP) ability to see further medical cost improvements in its GA market and it its TN expansion, upgrading shares to Buy from Hold...
TheFlyOnTheWall.com (subscription required).
I've just returned from the World Money Show, where some 10,000+ investors gathered to learn about global investing. I had a chance to meet with many of the advisors who were featured at the show, and over the next week I will be highlighting some of their favorite investment ideas. To view all of the stocks featured in this special global report, click here.
The international diversity of this top-tier conference is easily seen in this article, in which Adrian Day, a London-based advisor and editor of The Global Analyst looks at the prospects for a South African company with operations from China to Peru." Here's his review.
"Gold Fields (NYSE:GFI) is easily my favorite South African stock, and it's not difficult to see why: It has the best mines with the lowest cost and longest life; solid management; a strong balance sheet (with an ongoing emphasis on cost control); and a vision for international growth.
"Recently, however, its shares have lagged; this was because of a large equity issue occasioned by a substantial South African acquisition. But now that equity issue is concluded, we can buy again.
"Gold Fields has a focus on a few large, long-life assets, both in South Africa and internationally. Its recent $3 billion acquisition of the very deep and long-life South Deep mine has resulted in a jump in the share of its production from South Africa, as well as a significant increase in its share count and its debt.