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Equity Brief: Ratings Changes for November 15th: ORB, P, PAYX, PC, PII, PRU, RTN, SAVE, SLXP


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:

Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on shares of Orbital Sciences Corp. (NYSE: ORB). They issued a buy rating on the stock and set a $17.00 price target.

National Alliance Securities initiated coverage on shares of Pandora Media (NYSE: P). They issued a market perform rating on the stock and set a $7.83 price target. They wrote, "We're initiating on Pandora Media with a Market Perform rating, and $7.83 price target, with a 1% share price to target return opportunity. The Company's product portfolio offers a pure play on the online web / mobile advertising market, over PC, Tablet, Smartphone and connected platforms. We view the Company's near term share price risk / reward profile balancing neutral, with strong online advertising sales growth more than offset by content acquisition expense and emerging competitive threats, particularly from Apple and Spotify. We would look more favorably on the Company's risk / reward profile under $7 per share."

Credit Suisse downgraded shares of Paychex, Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) from an outperform rating to a neutral rating. Their analysts now have a $35.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $36.00.

Goldman Sachs downgraded shares of Panasonic Co. (NYSE: PC) from a conviction buy rating to a neutral rating.

Wedbush upgraded shares of Polaris Industries Inc (NYSE: PII) from a neutral rating to an outperform rating. Wedbush now has a $100.00 price target on the stock. They wrote, "Upcoming new models and development of revolutionary technologies gives us a more bullish outlook for ORV segment, despite increased competition in side-by-sides (SxS). Following our visit to Polaris' Wyoming, MN R&D facility, we came away with a more confident outlook for continued strong growth in the core off-road vehicle (ORV) segment, driven by: 1. upcoming new performance models in 2013 should enable Polaris to maintain leading market shares, despite competitor introductions such as the Can Am Maverick and Arctic Cat Wildcat, and 2. expansion of revolutionary new technologies into ORVs, such as non-pneumatic tires, electric motors, and diesel engines."

RBC Capital upgraded shares of Prudential Financial, Inc. (PRU) from an outperform rating to a top pick rating.

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of Raytheon Company (RTN). They have a $59.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "Raytheon is one of the best-positioned companies among the large-cap defense players because of its non-platform-centric focus. Looking forward, the company enjoys strong order bookings and order backlog, an improving balance sheet, growing cash flow, operational improvements and an above industry average ROE. Future growth will be driven by its focus on ISR unmanned systems, training, cyber security, Standard Missile-6, Patriot, Zumwalt and THAAD. This is, however, offset by apprehensions over the future growth of the U.S. defense budget, the fate of high-cost programs, risks related to key project executions and order cancellations. Thus in the absence of any positive triggers, we maintain our market Neutral recommendation on the company."

Raymond James upgraded shares of Spirit Airlines Incorporated (SAVE) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating. Raymond James now has a $21.00 price target on the stock.

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. (SLXP). They have a $43.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "Salix posted third quarter earnings of $0.95 per share, well above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.64, the year-ago earnings of $0.77 and the company's earnings guidance of $0.69 per share. Third quarter revenues increased 27% to $185 million, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $188 million, but in line with the company's guidance. Xifaxan continues to perform well and should keep driving growth. We believe Salix will continue seeking suitable in-licensing opportunities in order to grow revenues. However, we still have low visibility on the path forward for Relistor's label expansion and we expect investor focus to remain on the company's plans for Relistor. We maintain a Neutral recommendation on the stock."

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of Strayer Education, Inc. (STRA). They have a $49.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "Strayer Education's third quarter 2012 earnings of $0.36 per share, beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.32. However, earnings plunged significantly from $1.20 reported in the year-ago period due to top-line decline. Total revenue dropped 9% from the prior-year quarter to $124.3 million due to 5% decline in enrollments. Total revenue, however, beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $123 million. We are encouraged by Strayer's strong brand position and its geographic expansion strategy of opening new campuses every year, both in new states and markets. Further, the company's corporate alliances give it a competitive advantage and contribute significantly to growth. On the flip side, the company continues to suffer from a difficult regulatory environment as well as weak student demand. We thus prefer to remain on the sidelines until we see substantial enrollment growth and improvement in the overall industry environment. We have a Neutral recommendation on the stock with a target price of $49.00 "

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