Market Overview

Equity Brief: Ratings Changes for November 13th: PCP, PFE, PNRA, PSA, QCOM, RBC, REGN, RHT, RNR


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:

Barclays Capital raised its price target on shares of Precision Castparts (NYSE: PCP) from $185.00 to $200.00. They have an overweight rating on the stock.

Jefferies Group reiterated its buy rating on shares of Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE). They have a $27.00 price target on the stock. They wrote, "The 5% revenue miss in Q3'12 was forgiven to a degree as Lipitor phasing was partly to blame and EPS was still delivered through financial engineering. Lighter than expected Prevnar-13 and Enbrel sales were more concerning, though we now have the US launches of tofacitinib and hopefully Eliquis within the next 3-6 months to look forward to. New product launches, share repurchases and restructuring drive near term upside in our view."

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of Panera Bread Company (NASDAQ: PNRA). They have a $172.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "We believe that Panera Bread Co. remains well positioned to reinvigorate its brand, revitalize comparable store sales and accelerate unit growth in the long run. The introduction of the new menu, increased positive impact from media support, traction to off-premises catering program, faster recovery of higher-end consumers and a more stable traffic growth compared to its restaurant peers promise future growth. The company is focused on enhancing shareholders' value in terms of share repurchase activity. Successive raise in guidance also calls for its sound business model. However, un-favorability in dough cost of sales to franchisees, tough comparison arising out of the initiation of the My Panera loyalty card program and heightened competition will likely restrain the company's operating margin growth in near future. Hence, we maintain our Neutral recommendation on the stock."

Jefferies Group reiterated its hold rating on shares of Public Storage (NYSE: PSA). They have a $150.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $144.00. They wrote, "While self-storage fundamentals generally remain positive, we believe that YoY comparisons are going to get tougher and as a result, the rate of growth for the sector may begin to slow. We are on the lookout for signs that Self-Storage owners are pushing prices too hard, which may cause occupancy to decline."

Nomura raised its price target on shares of QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) from $70.00 to $75.00. They have a buy rating on the stock.

RBC Capital initiated coverage on shares of Regal Beloit (RBC). They issued a buy rating on the stock and set a $85.00 price target.

Credit Suisse initiated coverage on shares of Regeneron Pharms (REGN). They issued an outperform rating on the stock and set a $187.00 price target.

BMO Capital Markets lowered its price target on shares of Red Hat (RHT) from $65.00 to $60.00. They have an outperform rating on the stock. They wrote, "On a positive note, we understand that SUSE and Ubuntu are not seeing any demand weakness resulting from either IT budget pressure or the softness in the underlying server hardware market, a bullish read-through to Red Hat. Both rivals flagged the secular shift to scale-out computing and cloud infrastructures, trends that are very favorable to Linux. While these trends are early-stage and tilt in favor of free versions of Linux, the shift is a net positive for Red Hat. On a more cautious note, we do worry about the overall weak IT spending backdrop, and we're concerned that continued weakness in the underlying server market could skim off several points of billings growth for Red Hat in the coming quarters."

Evercore Partners upgraded shares of RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. (RNR) from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating.

Goldman Sachs upgraded shares of Rockwood Holdings, Inc. (ROC) from a neutral rating to a buy rating. They wrote, "We upgrade ROC to Buy from Neutral as we believe the current valuation excessively discounts ROC's exposure to European end markets and its TiO2 segment. While these headwinds have driven consensus 2012 EPS estimates down 9% YTD, they have also shifted the earnings mix in favor of ROC's high-growth and less cyclical Lithium and Advanced Ceramics businesses, which we expect will represent 52% of the earning mix in 2013, versus only 9% for TiO2. Our forecasts do not incorporate ROC's proposed acquisition of Talison announced August 23, 2012, which would further favorably improve the earnings mix towards Lithium."

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