- Cree (CREE) and Rubicon Technology (RBCN) to buy from neutral at Merriman.
- Children's Place (PLCE) to outperform from market perform at BMO Capital.
- Lockheed Martin (LMT) to neutral from underperform at BofA/Merrill.
- Copano Energy (CPNO) to outperform from market perform at Morgan Keegan.
- Motorola Mobility (MMI) to neutral from reduce at Nomura.
- Parker-Hannifin (PH) to buy from hold at KeyBanc.
- Akamai (AKAM), ShoreTel (SHOR), AMB Property (AMB) and ProLogis (PLD) to buy from hold at Stifel Nicolaus.
- Sapient (SAPE) to outperform from market perform at Wells Fargo.
- Kroger (KR) to buy from neutral at UBS.
- Harman (HAR) to overweight from neutral and Deutsche Bank (DB) to neutral from underweight at JPMorgan.
- Savient (SVNT) to outperform from market perform at JMP Securities.
- LabCorp (LH) to buy from hold at Deutsche Bank.
- Optimer Pharm (OPTR) and Landstar System (LSTR) to outperform from neutral at RW Baird.
- Essex Property Trust (ESS) to buy from neutral at Janney Capital.
- Tyson Foods (TSN) to neutral from sell at Goldman.
- Host Hotels (HST) to outperform from sector perform at RBC Capital.
- SPX Corp. (SPW) to outperform from market perform at FBR Capital.
Lifepoint Hospitals (LPNT) looks like it might be a good value play at current levels. The stock has seen unusually high call volume in recent trading sessions and the shares have risen over 4.5% since September 2nd. LifePoint Hospitals, through its subsidiaries, operates general acute care hospitals in non-urban communities in the United States. During the year ended December 31, 2009, it derived 39.9% of its revenues from the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The company's business model appears fairly steady and its revenue numbers would indicate this as well.
LPNT has grown its revenues every year since 2006. In that year the company reported revenue of $2.3 billion. In 2009, that number had risen to nearly $3 billion. The company also reported a profit in these years, the smallest of which was $94 million in 2007. In the most recent fiscal year, LifePoint had net income of $141.70 million.
- Janney Montgomery upgraded Aqua America (NYSE: WTR) to Buy from Neutral on valuation, viewing the recent weakness as a buying opportunity. The firm has a $19 target on the stock.
- UBS upgraded Gildan Activewear (NYSE: GIL) to Buy from Neutral due to customer Broder's improved liquidity and the improved outlook for margins.
- RBC Capital upgraded State Street (NYSE: STT) to Top Pick from Outperform and raised its target to $55 from $40. The analyst said the $2B capital raise addresses TCE ratio concerns and large unrealized losses in the investment portfolio.
- Sherwin-Williams (NYSE: SHW) was upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan.
- Advance Auto Parts (NYSE: AAP) was upgraded to Buy from Underperform at Banc of America/Merrill.
- M&T Bank (NYSE: MTB) was upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein.
- Jefferies upgraded shares of WuXi Pharma (NYSE: WX) to Buy from Hold as they believe the risk/reward is much improved following the recent weakness. They think the company's 2008 guidance is achievable.
- Credit Suisse raised ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) to Outperform from Neutral as they believe the rise in crude oil means analyst estimates are too low.
- Goldman sees upside to hospital stocks given low valuations and expectations. The firm upgraded LifePoint Hospitals (NASDAQ: LPNT) to Buy from Neutral and named it a top pick along with previous top pick Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH).
- William Blair believes Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG) has the best growth profile in large-cap biotechnology and initiated shares with an Outperform rating.
- Citigroup views Sysco (NYSE: SYY) as the dominant leader in the foodservice distribution industry, initiating shares with a Buy rating, and feels the company will continue to take market share from its peers. The firm thinks the current valuation reflects the perception that Sysco may perform poorly in the near-term, which they disagree with.
- Wachovia started Kinetic Concepts (NYSE: KCI) with a Market Perform, citing competitive pressures and mature markets for its rating.
- Wachovia is positive on BioMimetic Therapeutics (NASDAQ: BMTI), initiating shares with an Outperform, based on strong rhPDGF technology, strategy, and management team.
- Wachovia is positive on Lifecell Corp's (NASDAQ: LIFC) Strattice, a porcine tissue matrix, which improves the company's international exposure and provides opportunities in new markets, initiating shares with an Outperform...
- Credit Suisse initiated Community Health (NYSE: CYH) and Universal Health (NYSE: UHS) with Outperform ratings, LifePoint (NASDAQ: LPNT) with a Neutral rating, and Health Management (NYSE: HMA) and Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC) with Underperform ratings.
- Banc of America cut ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) to Neutral from Buy on valuation and the lack of upstream catalysts.
- Raymond James downgraded LifePoint Hospitals (NASDAQ: LPNT) to Market Perform from Strong Buy following the company's cut in guidance. Merrill Lynch downgraded LifePoint Hospitals to Neutral from Buy.
- Citigroup downgraded EOG Resources (NYSE: EOG) and Quicksilver Resources (NYSE: KWK) to Sell from Hold as both trade above the sector averages for NAV and cash flow and neither is well protected in the likely event commodity prices deteriorate...
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