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Equity Brief: Ratings Changes for November 13th: TRNX, TSO, UDR, VMW, VOD, WEN, WLK, WLT, WU


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:

Northland Securities downgraded shares of Tornier BV (NASDAQ: TRNX) from a market perform rating to an underperform rating. Their analysts now have a $14.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $18.00.

Zacks reiterated its outperform rating on shares of Tesoro Co. (NYSE: TSO). They have a $45.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "Buoyed by heightened investor interest and a slew of positive developments, we are maintaining our Outperform recommendation on Tesoro Corporation shares. The company's decision to resume dividend payout (and now increase it) and the announcement of a $500 million share buyback program make us optimistic about the independent refiner/marketer. Our positive stance also revolves around Tesoro's proposed acquisition of BP's Southern California refinery, which, apart from boosting refinery capacity, will also improve the company's operational efficiency. An uptick in crack spreads and Tesoro's scale and diversification benefits afforded by its portfolio of seven refineries add to the positive sentiment. Overall, we believe Tesoro is well positioned going forward and view it as an attractive investment."

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of UDR, Inc. (NYSE: UDR). They have a $25.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "UDR reported modest third quarter 2012 results with FFO in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. UDR has a strong portfolio of apartment properties in prime business locations in the U.S., and operates across multiple markets that mitigate geographical risks. Furthermore, UDR is repositioning its portfolio to focus on markets that have better job and rent growth prospects. UDR has automated most of its businesses and has introduced electronic renewal initiatives, enabling its customers to renew their leases online. However, the company has a significant development pipeline, which increases operational risks in the current credit-constrained market and undermines its growth potential to some extent. We maintain our Neutral rating for the company."

Craig Hallum initiated coverage on shares of VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW). They issued a hold rating on the stock.

Grupo Santander reiterated its buy rating on shares of Vodafone Group plc (LON: VOD). They have a $3.18 price target on the stock.

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of Wendys (WEN). They have a $4.75 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "Wendy's has outlined a multi-year turnaround plan to improve its restaurant operating margins, reinvigorate brands, revitalize same-store sales and expand internationally. The company is also concentrating on enhancing shareholders' value through dividend distribution. The sale of the Arby's chain to permit sole focus on Wendy's as well as the introduction of a new breakfast menu and traction to late-night daypart promises more growth potential. Wendy's remains committed to solidifying its balance sheet. Extensive refurbishment of units is also on the cards. However, although Wendy's repositioning efforts seem to be on track, the turnaround process still needs time before it fully pays off. Moreover, an uncertain economy, faltering consumer confidence, high commodity costs as well as heightened competition remain an overhang. Thus, we remain Neutral on the stock."

Goldman Sachs downgraded shares of Westlake Chemical Corp (WLK) from a buy rating to a neutral rating. Their analysts now have a $85.00 price target on the stock.

BMO Capital Markets lowered its price target on shares of Walter Energy (WLT) from $50.00 to $43.00. They have an outperform rating on the stock. They wrote, "BMO Research maintains the Outperform rating on Walter, but is lowering the target price to US$43 from US$50 based on lower Q4/12 guidance and expectations for continued cost pressures in FY2013. Walter remains the 'goto' met story in the U.S. in an improving met coal environment. Spot benchmark met coal pricing has risen to US$160/t up from the recent lows of US$140/t in August on due to production cuts and improving Chinese demand."

DA Davidson upgraded shares of The Western Union Company (WU) from an underperform rating to a neutral rating. DA Davidson now has a $13.00 price target on the stock. They wrote, "We don't expect WU shares to appreciate much over the near term, however, at current prices, downside risk appears minimal. Further, a ~4% dividend yield provides patient investors with compensation. Consequently, we are raising our rating from Underperform to NEUTRAL."

Credit Suisse initiated coverage on shares of XOMA Corp. (XOMA). They issued an outperform rating on the stock and set a $4.00 price target.

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