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Equity Brief: Ratings Changes for November 8th: ENDP, EOG, EPAY, EXC, EZPW, FAST, FMER, FN, FOSL


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 Endo Pharmaceuticals (ENDP). They have a $28.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "Endo Health Solutions' third quarter 2012 adjusted earnings of $1.28 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.26 and increased 2% from the year-ago period. Revenues declined 1% in the third quarter of 2012 to $750 million. Revenues were well short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $788 million. Endo lowered its guidance for 2012. Endo now expects to end 2012 with revenues of $3.05 billion (previous guidance: $3.05-$3.175 billion). The company expects to end 2012 with adjusted earnings of $5.00 per share (previous guidance: $5.00-$5.20 per share). Meanwhile, Endo is on an acquisition/deal signing spree to expand its business and has completed four major acquisitions since 2010. However, we remain concerned about the generic threat hanging over Endo. We see limited upside potential from current levels and retain our Neutral stance on the stock."

Societe Generale downgraded shares of EOG Resources (EOG) from a buy rating to a hold rating. They wrote, "We continue to like EOG, but not the stock valuation. It currently trades at c.$78,500/daily flowing BOE, roughly 20% above our coverage universe, and at a nearly 30% premium on EV/EBITDA, which we think discounts much of the upside. We consider EOG a crowded long (95% of float). We like what we heard on today's call, and expect the Street to increase targets, but we'd take profits. EOG's YTD spending deficit was met with $556M of realized gains from derivatives, which it has been actively trading and that we do not give full credit for."

Needham & Company raised its price target on shares of Bottomline Technologies (EPAY) from $25.00 to $28.00. They have a buy rating on the stock.

UBS AG upgraded shares of Exelon Co. (EXC) from a sell rating to a neutral rating.

CL King downgraded shares of EZCORP, Inc. (EZPW) from a strong-buy rating to a neutral rating.

Zacks upgraded shares of Fastenal (FAST) from an underperform rating to a neutral rating. Zacks now has a $45.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "In line with expectations, Fastenal Company's third quarter 2012 earnings of $0.37 per share grew 12.1% year over year, attributable to 12.2% year over year revenue growth. The daily sales growth rates declined in the second and third quarters due to uncertainty in the growth outlook of Fastenal's end markets. However, daily sales re-accelerated in the month of September, which is an encouraging sign. Fastenal is also seeing some improvement in demand, mainly in the construction market. Moreover, Fastenal is fast accelerating its vending contract signings and installations. We are also encouraged by Fastenal's numerous growth drivers like government business and metalworking, which are gaining traction and will help to achieve future profitability. Other than that, the company's strategy of new store openings builds the infrastructure for future growth. We therefore upgrade our recommendation on Fastenal from Underperform to Neutral."

Robert W. Baird downgraded shares of FirstMerit Co. (FMER) from an outperform rating to a neutral rating. Their analysts now have a $13.00 price target on the stock.

JPMorgan Chase downgraded shares of Fabrinet Ordinary (FN) from an overweight rating to a neutral rating.

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of Fossil (FOSL). They have a $88.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "Fossil's third quarter 2012 earnings of $1.28 exceeded both the year-ago earnings and the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9.4% and 17.4%, respectively. The results also exceeded management's guidance range. The upswing in results was driven by top-line growth, improved margins and prudent expense management. Overall we are encouraged by Fossil's acquisition of Skagen, which overshadowed the weaknesses of European business. Fossil has also been experiencing back to back increase in comparable store sales. We are impressed by the improvement in Asia Pacific wholesale business and continued strength across North American watch business. However, higher labor costs, currency fluctuations and uncertainties in Europe continued to remain a headwind. We thus maintain a Neutral recommendation on the stock and a target price of $88.00."

AlphaValue reiterated its reduce rating on shares of TOTAL S.A. (FP). They have a $49.49 price target on the stock.

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