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Equity Brief: Ratings Changes for November 21st: DVN, DY, EPD, EV, EXXI, F, FMER, FRC, GM


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:

Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Devon Energy Co. (NYSE: DVN). They issued an equal weight rating on the stock and set a $56.00 price target. They wrote, "Operational setbacks have significantly hurt DVN's 2013 growth outlook, and we believe its large exposure to weaker pricing for gas, NGLs, and heavy oil will challenge the shares. At 122% of proved NAV, we believe these difficulties are largely discounted. DVN's headwinds are offset by the flexibility of its low leverage position and initial success in scalable emerging plays."

Stifel Nicolaus raised its price target on shares of Dycom Industries, Inc. (NYSE: DY) from $18.00 to $22.00. They have a buy rating on the stock.

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE: EPD). They have a $54.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "We are maintaining our recommendation for Enterprise Products Partners at Neutral following its third quarter results. The partnership registered increased transportation of crude, natural gas and other commodities through its pipelines. A 9% year-over-year drop in total costs and expenses was an added incentive. Based on a broad and vertically integrated asset base, steady cash flow generation ability and financial strength for strategic growth, we believe that Enterprise is well positioned to deliver impressive returns going forward. However, we remain apprehensive about the lower NGL pricing environment. Enterprise also remains vulnerable to macro conditions and unstable oil & gas prices, which in turn could hurt its margins in NGL, natural gas and other businesses. "

Citigroup downgraded shares of Eaton Vance Corp. (NYSE: EV) from a neutral rating to a sell rating. Their analysts now have a $26.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $25.00.

Ladenburg Thalmann initiated coverage on shares of Energy XXI (NASDAQ: EXXI). They issued a buy rating on the stock and set a $42.00 price target.

Standpoint Research downgraded shares of Ford (F) from a buy rating to a hold rating.

Sandler O'Neill upgraded shares of FirstMerit Co. (FMER) from a hold rating to a buy rating. Sandler O'Neill now has a $16.00 price target on the stock.

Jefferies Group upgraded shares of First Republic Bank (FRC) from a hold rating to a buy rating. Jefferies Group now has a $39.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $35.00. They wrote, "We upgrade First Republic to Buy from Hold following the announcement of the Luminous Capital acquisition. The deal brings EPS accretion, compelling crosssell dynamics and improves FRC's revenue mix (stronger fee contribution). At 14x core 2013 EPS, FRC gets a premium to smid-cap peers, but a discount to other growth standouts (SBNY & SIVB at 15x 2013) despite similar EPS trajectories."

Standpoint Research initiated coverage on shares of General Motors (GM). They issued an accumulate rating on the stock and set a $28.00 price target.

Williams Capital upgraded shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (GMCR) from a perform rating to an outperform rating. Williams Capital now has a $40.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $26.00. They wrote, "We are upgrading Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) to an Outperform/Buy rating. We are increasing our price target to $40.00, up from our prior target of $26.00. Our estimates remain unchanged at this time. Our upgrade this morning is due to the announcement of the hiring of Brian Kelley as CEO and President. He will be succeeding Lawrence Blanford on December 3rd. Mr. Blanford will be retiring. . A change of leadership is something we have previously viewed as one of the key actionable themes within consumer investing. We believe that Green Mountain shares will strongly outperform the market in the coming months."

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