Market Overview

Equity Brief: Ratings Changes for November 13th: DANG, DAR, DDD, DECK, DOW, EMC, ENR, EQT, ERF


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:

HSBC initiated coverage on shares of Dangdang (NASDAQ: DANG). They issued an overweight rating on the stock.

Ardour Capital downgraded shares of Darling International Inc. (NYSE: DAR) from a buy rating to a hold rating. Their analysts now have a $17.50 price target on the stock, down previously from $19.00.

Piper Jaffray upgraded shares of 3D Systems Co. (NYSE: DDD) from a neutral rating to an overweight rating. Piper Jaffray now has a $55.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $43.00. They wrote, "We are upgrading 3D Systems to Overweight from Neutral given our belief the 3D printing industry will experience strong secular growth. . We continue to believe 3D Systems is well positioned within the Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM) market given the company's metal capabilities with laser sintering machines. We believe the DDM market is one of the bigger near-term drivers of system and material demand and anticipate 3D Systems will be one of the leading suppliers in this market."

Jefferies Group reiterated its buy rating on shares of Deckers Outdoor (NASDAQ: DECK). They have a $50.00 price target on the stock. They wrote, "We did more UGG channel checks which re-affirm our belief that this brand is not dead. We think the colder weather is helping drive sales once again, and see upside from margin tailwinds in the NT. Meanwhile visible LT growth opportunities include DECK's retail store rollout, int'l expansion, brand extensions, and the smaller brands. With valuation attractive, we would aggressively buy DECK at current levels. Reiterate Buy, $50 PT."

Goldman Sachs upgraded shares of The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) from a neutral rating to a buy rating. Goldman Sachs now has a $36.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $32.00.

Craig Hallum initiated coverage on shares of EMC Corp. (EMC). They issued a hold rating on the stock.

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of Energizer Holdings, Inc. (ENR). They have a $80.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "Energizer reported a much improved fourth quarter wherein earnings of $1.76 per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by $0.21. Revenues for the quarter came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.14 billion. Energizer's fourth quarter improved on the basis of stringent cost control and margin expansions. Moreover, the company also witnessed growth in its international markets. We believe that product innovations coupled with higher pricing of its household products and the restructuring initiatives would positively impact its results going forward. Moreover, lower-than-expected operating expenses and prudent product mix would expand margins in the near term. However, lower volumes in the battery category, unfavorable foreign exchange and increasing competition from its peers are the near-term headwinds. We maintain our Neutral recommendation and set a price target of $80.00."

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of EQT Corp. (EQT). They have a $62.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "We are maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on EQT Corporation following its third quarter 2012 results. The company posted lackluster numbers due to a 23% reduction in the average wellhead sales price. Furthermore, we remain worried about weak natural gas fundamentals and EQT's high exposure to commodity prices. We believe that the company remains susceptible to the erratic energy sector fundamentals, lacks a well diversified asset portfolio and faces operational hindrances. However, we expect the company to achieve its 2012 targeted production sales volume supported by the low-risk/high-growth drilling locations in the Marcellus Shale. "

FirstEnergy Capital upgraded shares of Enerplus Resources Fund (ERF) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating. FirstEnergy Capital now has a $15.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $17.00. They wrote, "While we recognize that results from the quarter lagged our expectations, we feel the current valuation would be attractive to yield-oriented investors. As a result of initiatives undertaken by the Company earlier this year, Enerplus has strengthened its balance sheet and despite an estimated 1.2x cash use to cash flow metric for next year, we estimate the Company's net debt will exit 2013e at 0.4x its current line of credit, as compared to the group average of 0.6x."

Canaccord Genuity raised its price target on shares of ESCO Technologies Inc. (ESE) from $34.00 to $37.00. They have a hold rating on the stock.

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