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Benzinga's Top Upgrades with Color for May 4, 2012

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Listed below are today's Top Upgrades at Benzinga:

Bank of America Upgrades Giant Interactive (NYSE: GA) to Neutral:

BofA Merrill Lynch said in its report “Giant is managing the transition of its flagship game ZT to extend game life and expand the paying user base. Although we expect this move to benefit the game in the long term, we also see disruption to the growth trajectory and higher near-term uncertainty. We see extending the ZT series and the launch of ZT2 as good for sustainability and for diversification.”

Stifel Nicolaus Upgrades Mohawk Industries (NYSE: MHK) to Buy:

Stifel Nicolaus comments, "We are upgrading shares of Mohawk following the company's stronger than expected guidance reported Thursday evening. We note the revenue strength that was exhibited in the two higher margin businesses, Dal-Tile and Unilin. We were impressed with results across the company's segments, particularly the strength of the Dal-Tile and Unilin segments. Dal-Tile sales were up 14% during the quarter, and we believe that the company's strengthening position with home centers and share gains in Mexico, in addition to the generally rising overall market, will allow for sales to continue growing nicely."

Stifel Nicolaus Upgrades Constant Contact (NASDAQ: CTCT) to Buy:

Stifel Nicolaus notes, "We believe CTCT is quickly becoming the small business marketing platform of choice, as recent product introductions and upcoming releases have enabled it. to move well beyond its e-mail marketing roots. In the coming years, we believe CTCT's suite of products will become as important to the marketing efforts of a small business as QuickBooks is to the financial health of these small organizations. The net result of management's expanded product vision and international expansion should be a healthy reacceleration in net new customer additions by the back-half of 2012, ongoing gains in ARPU, and reduced churn in coming quarters."

CK Cooper Upgrades Houston American Energy (NYSE: HUSA) to Buy:

CK Cooper writes, "HUSA announced a registered direct offering of 6.2MM units, each unit consisting of one share of common stock and one warrant exercisable at a price of $2.68. The offering is expected to generate proceeds of $13.1MM gross ($12.6MM net) which should provide sufficient liquidity to allow HUSA to meet its 2012 capital budget of $40.8MM assuming the warrants are exercised. In our last report on 4/19/12 we maintained our neutral rating due to concerns that HUSA would be unable to meet its capital budget obligations for exploration drilling at CPO-4. With funds from the capital raise, our liquidity concerns are substantially reduced."

Pritchard Capital Partners Upgrades ENSCO to Buy:

Pritchard Capital notes, "ESV has painted a very bullish picture for the offshore landscape going forward. We continue to see contract durations lengthen as dayrates trend upward. Demand for deepwater fixtures remains strong, driven by the GOM, Brazil, and Africa. Continued exploratory successes offshore will increase the upside potential for the deepwater market. Rig availability for this segment is very limited for 2012, and operators have now shifted the focus to 2013 and beyond. The Midwater segment continues to show improvement, especially for high specification rigs. The strongest regions for this segment have been the GOM, Mexico, and North Sea; all displaying exceptionally high levels of demand. ESV has demonstrated its ability to limit unplanned downtime, which has led to improved utilization across the fleet. Additionally, the Company is actively focusing on keeping its operating expenses down."

DNB Markets Upgrades First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) to Buy:

DNB Markets commented, "Following a weak Q1 we believe expectations have been reset and view improved cash flow going forward as key trigger for a revaluation of the shares. Free cash flow guidance of USD475m for 2012, or USD5.4/share, indicates a 30% cash yield as the company increases project completions through 2012. In addition, First Solar is trading at an all-time low on EV/EBITDA, P/E and P/B multiples, both in an historical perspective and compared to a broad solar peer group."

Bank of America Upgrades Spreatrum Communication (NASDAQ: SPRD) to Neutral:

Bank of America commented in the report, "We move to Neutral as the share price is within 3% of our PO. We raise 2012/13 EPS 10%/4% on the better 1QA/2Q guide but remain cautious due to SPRD's (1) low-quality beat/guide, (2) weaker smartphone AP competitive position (low-end segment), (3) unlikely to close tech/design gap with MediaTek, (4) limited EPS visibility; (a) quarterly R&D grants, (b) chip shipment/ASP, (c) deferred revenue."

All of Benzinga's Analyst Ratings new can be viewed here.

Posted-In: Bank of America CK Cooper DNB Markets Pritchard Capital Partners Stifel NicolausAnalyst Color Upgrades Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga

 

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