Market Overview

Equity Brief: Ratings Changes for November 20th: ADM, AEE, AET, AKS, AMCX, APA, ARMH, ASBC, AXL


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:

BMO Capital Markets upgraded shares of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating. BMO Capital Markets now has a $32.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $26.00.

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of Ameren Co. (NYSE: AEE). They have a $31.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "Our bullish outlook for Ameren Corp. is supported by consistent performances across its solid base of stable utility operations in the Midwestern market, as well as its focus on cost minimization, its strong balance sheet, its above-industry average dividend yield and relatively cheap earnings-based valuation. However, valuation continues to be restrained by merchant generation, its predominantly coal-based generation assets and pending regulatory cases. Given these headwinds, we believe that Ameren's current valuation adequately reflects its fairly balanced risk/reward profile. As such, we see limited upside from current levels and maintain our market Neutral recommendation for Ameren."

Lazard initiated coverage on shares of Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET). They issued a buy rating on the stock and set a $50.00 price target.

Jefferies Group reiterated its hold rating on shares of AK Steel Holding Co. (NYSE: AKS). They have a $3.50 price target on the stock, down previously from $5.00. They wrote, "In exchange for >30% dilution to cycle earnings power, through its bond/stock offerings last week, AKS achieved roughly 6 additional quarters of additional liquidity at current cash burn run rates. Amidst continued challenging mkt. conditions, AKS has still to execute what we see as relatively risky RM expansion projects to reduce its cost disadvantage relative to peers. We see better risk-reward elsewhere in steel."

Goldman Sachs upgraded shares of AK Steel Holding Co. (NYSE: AKS) from a sell rating to a neutral rating. Goldman Sachs now has a $3.50 price target on the stock.

Caris & Co. downgraded shares of AMC Networks (NASDAQ: AMCX) from an average rating to a below average rating.

Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Apache (APA). They issued an overweight rating on the stock and set a $81.00 price target.

Raymond James downgraded shares of ARM Holdings plc (ARMH) from a strong-buy rating to an outperform rating. Their analysts now have a $38.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $36.00.

Credit Suisse initiated coverage on shares of Associated Banc-Corp (ASBC). They issued a neutral rating on the stock and set a $13.00 price target.

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc (AXL). They have a $10.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "American Axle focuses on diversification and geographic expansion, which helps it to grow. The company's backlog of new and incremental business to be launched from 2012 to 2014 is valued at $1.1 billion. However, weak SUV demand, high commodity costs and pricing pressure by OEMs remain causes for concern. The company saw a significant 86% fall in profits in the third quarter of 2012 to $0.07 per share and missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by $0.27. We, therefore, maintain our Neutral recommendation on the shares of the company and set a target price of $10.00."

Jefferies Group upgraded shares of American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc (AXL) from an underperform rating to a hold rating. Jefferies Group now has a $9.00 price target on the stock.

Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on shares of Baxter International Inc. (BAX). They issued a hold rating on the stock.

Stay on top of analysts' coverage with Analyst Ratings Network's free daily email newsletter that provides a concise list of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and initiations. Register at http://bit.ly/equitybriefdaily

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