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Equity Brief: Ratings Changes for November 9th: SNDK, SPRD, SRDX, STKL, TCAP, THC, THI, TROW, TSM


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 upgraded shares of SanDisk Co. (NASDAQ: SNDK) from a neutral rating to an outperform rating. Zacks now has a $52.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "SanDisk posted stellar third quarter results with both the bottom and top lines surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimates. Though the results came below the year-ago levels, the sequential comps were better than expected. Revenues from OEMs and Retail started recovering. Fourth quarter guidance was encouraging too. Though lackluster PC sales, European issues, competition from Micron Technology Inc. and currency fluctuations could hurt the fundamentals a bit, we remain overtly positive on management's commentary of a turnaround story in the coming quarter and beyond and strong secular demand for NAND flash. We upgrade the stock to Outperform. "

Canaccord Genuity downgraded shares of Spreadtrum Comms (NASDAQ: SPRD) from a buy rating to a hold rating. They wrote, "Spreadtrum reported solid Q3/12 results but issued sales guidance below our expectations when factoring the unexpected continuation of their product acceptance programs and deferred revenue. Further, despite guidance for Q4/12 smartphone solution sales to increase 64% sequentially to 18M units, Spreadtrum management guided to sequentially flat Q4/12 gross margin. Going forward, we believe pricing pressure in both the 2G feature phone and EDGE smartphone markets, increased TD-SCDMA smartphone competition, and higher operating expenses given Spreadtrum's aggressive roadmap will result in lower margins than our previous expectations."

JPMorgan Chase downgraded shares of Spreadtrum Comms (NASDAQ: SPRD) to a neutral rating. They wrote, "Monthly smartphone shipments will likely peak in November at ~10mn due to the end-2012 TD handset procurement program of CM. CM's 2013 TD handset procurement plan won't come out until after the CNY. Moreover, we believe dual-core TD smartphone chipsets may not start shipping till April 2013. The transition period could make it hard for the stock to perform after the share price run, in our view."

Zacks reiterated its outperform rating on shares of SurModics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRDX). They have a $22.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "SurModics' fourth quarter fiscal 2012 adjusted earnings of $0.19 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.17. Adjusted revenues climbed 12.3% to $13.8 million in the final quarter of fiscal 2012. Strong sales of vitro diagnostics offerings and hydrophilic coatings boosted revenues. Given SurModics' strong product portfolio, we expect it to achieve the fiscal 2013 guidance of $55-$58 million. We are also pleased with the sale of SurModics Pharmaceuticals unit as this has allowed the company to focus on its core businesses. We believe that the stock is undervalued at current levels with significant scope for appreciation. Consequently, we retain our Outperform recommendation on the stock."

Fraser Mackenzie upgraded shares of Sunopta Inc. (NASDAQ: STKL) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating. Fraser Mackenzie now has a $7.75 price target on the stock, up previously from $7.50.

Robert W. Baird upgraded shares of Triangle Capital Cor (NASDAQ: TCAP) from a neutral rating to an outperform rating.

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of Tenet Healthcare Co. (THC). They have a $29.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "Tenet's third quarter both earnings per share and revenue fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, they outperformed the year ago numbers. Growth in revenues, largely driven by higher outpatient visits and surgeries along with cost containment initiatives, thanks to Medicare Performance Initiative, fueled the year-over-year improvement. Adjusted admissions, which grew 1.4%, marked the eighth consecutive quarter increase and the 18th of the last 21 quarters. Nevertheless, the ongoing strategic plans are expected to generate growth, enhance capital structure and boost shareholder value. The company remains confident about its performance in the upcoming quarters with increasing contribution expected to come from every corner. Overall, we believe that strong organic and inorganic growth can help boost the future earnings outlook. We retain our Neutral recommendation."

TD Securities downgraded shares of Tim Hortons Inc. (THI) from a buy rating to a hold rating.

BMO Capital Markets downgraded shares of Tim Hortons Inc. (THI) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating.

Bank of America initiated coverage on shares of T. Rowe Price (TROW). They issued a buy rating on the stock and set a $77.00 price target.

UBS AG upgraded shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co. Ltd. (TSM) from a neutral rating to a buy rating.

Stifel Nicolaus downgraded shares of Time Warner Cable (TWC) from a buy rating to a hold rating. Their analysts now have a $95.00 price target on the stock. They noted that the move was a valuation call. They noted that the move was a valuation call.

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