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Equity Brief: Ratings Changes for November 7th: SO, SQI, STEC, TDC, TEG, THQI, THS, TJX, TM


A number of stocks were upgraded and downgraded by equities research analysts today, as reported by Analyst Ratings Network (http://bit.ly/equitybriefdaily) and Equity Brief:

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of Southern Co (SO). They have a $47.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "We continue to rate shares of Southern Company as Neutral. One of the largest and best-managed electric utility holding companies in the U.S., SO dominates the power business across the southeastern region. With a good rate base growth and constructive regulation, we expect the firm to generate steady earnings and dividend growth in the coming years through its long-term power contracts. However, the challenging economic environment and increased spending levels to ensure regulatory compliance may hamper SO's results in the next few quarters. We are also concerned by its high level of Vogtle-related costs, which may result in reduced returns going forward. As such, we do not anticipate a significant upside in the near future and expect the stock to perform in line with the broader market."

William Blair downgraded shares of Sciquest Incorporated (SQI) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating.

Craig Hallum downgraded shares of STEC Inc (STEC) from a buy rating to a hold rating.

Lazard downgraded shares of STEC Inc (STEC) from a buy rating to a neutral rating.

FBN Securities downgraded shares of Teradata Co. (TDC) from an outperform rating to a sector perform rating. They wrote, "After growing by 16% ex-acquisitions at CC in F2011, the company grew revenue by only 10% at CC and 7% as reported in FQ3 2012. Moreover, calculated billings of $590M grew by only 4% as deferred revenue of $382M declined by 12% ($58M) Q/Q. The primary culprit is weakness in the Americas (also pointed out by CTXS, FFIV, QLIK and others) where TDC has 59% revenue exposure. Moreover, with the new FQ4 guidance (and assuming a 1pp currency hit vs. 3pp in FQ3), the company's constant currency growth rate is expected to decelerate further (to only 8% in FQ4 from 10% in FQ3). Even though the company is sticking to its LT double-digit revenue growth target, we are now modeling revenue growth in F2013 of only 9%."

DA Davidson reiterated its buy rating on shares of Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (TEG). They have a $59.00 price target on the stock.

MKM Partners lowered its price target on shares of THQ Inc (THQI) from $6.00 to $2.50. They have a neutral rating on the stock.

Credit Suisse downgraded shares of TreeHouse Foods Inc. (THS) from a neutral rating to an underperform rating.

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of TJX Companies Inc (TJX). They have a $44.00 price target on the stock.

Zacks downgraded shares of Toyota Motor (TM) from an outperform rating to a neutral rating. Their analysts now have a $82.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "Toyota Motor Corporation faces challenging market conditions in the Chinese and European markets. Further, strengthening yen is an issue that continues to mar its results. As a result, the company has lowered its sales guidance for fiscal 2013. However, the automaker continues to play a pivotal role in the global market for fuel-efficient and environment-friendly vehicles and benefits from its cost reduction measures. These factors led to more than threefold increase in profits to 257.92 billion ($3.28 billion) or 81.44 ($1.04) per share in the second quarter of the fiscal year. However, the company's profits failed to meet the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.62 per share. As such, we have downgraded the recommendation on the shares from Outperform to Neutral and set a target price of $82.00."

Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on shares of TripAdvisor, Inc. (TRIP). They issued a buy rating on the stock and set a $44.00 price target.

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