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Equity Brief: Ratings Changes for November 23rd: KITD, M, MASI, NU, PH, PQ, RIO, SWKS, T


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 Kit Digital Inc (NASDAQ: KITD) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating.

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of Macy's (NYSE: M). They have a $43.00 price target on the stock.

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of Masimo Corp (NASDAQ: MASI). They have a $22.00 price target on the stock.

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of Northeast Utilities System (NYSE: NU). They have a $40.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "In third-quarter 2012, Northeast Utilities' earnings per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate whereas revenues fell short of it. However, both top- and bottom-line figures were ahead of the year-ago results. Strong performance from the transmission segment due to the merger with NSTAR, boosted results. The merger will allow the company to increase its scale of operations and widen customer base, which will subsequently enable it to achieve earnings growth in the future. However, we are skeptical about stringent regulations, over-reliance on transmission and distribution businesses, and risks associated with delay and cancellation of several important projects. In addition, we expect Northeast's fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 financial results to be negatively affected by Hurricane Sandy. Therefore, we retain our Neutral recommendation on the stock. "

Zacks reiterated its underperform rating on shares of Parker-Hannifin Co. (NYSE: PH). They have a $73.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "We have downgraded our recommendation from Neutral to Underperform on Parker-Hannifin Corporation with a target price of $73. The company reported week financial performance during the first quarter of fiscal 2013 with earnings per share $1.57 in the reported quarter. Margins were extremely weak in Industrial International and Aerospace but also softer in Industrial North America. Cancellation of orders by large OEMs weekend the conditions in North America. Aerospace operating margins were negatively impacted by weaker than anticipated commercial MRO sales and higher R&D expense. The auto, heavy duty truck, distribution, semiconductor and commercial construction markets softened in the quarter. However, it will benefit from global infrastructure given the company's broad industrial exposure, growing international presence and strong competitive position."

Stifel Nicolaus upgraded shares of PetroQuest Energy, Inc. (PQ) from a hold rating to a buy rating.

Exane BNP Paribas reiterated its outperform rating on shares of Rio Tinto (RIO). They have a $67.02 price target on the stock.

Zacks downgraded shares of Skyworks Solutions, Inc. (SWKS) from a neutral rating to an underperform rating. Their analysts now have a $19.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "Skyworks continues to weather the turbulent economic conditions well. The ramp up in mobile computing and ubiquitous connectivity continue to drive growth for Skyworks. Skyworks continues to benefit from strong underlying demand in the mobile Internet market, driven by market share gains and new product launches. However, earnings estimates have declined after the company reported its fourth quarter results. Although the results were marginally ahead of the estimates, guidance was disappointing and margins continue to be under pressure. In addition, the weak economic environment will adversely impact demand at customers (Samsung) leading to a contraction in growth rates. Given the macroeconomic uncertainty, we downgrade our recommendation to Underperform from Neutral."

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of AT&T Inc. (T). They have a $36.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "We retained our Neutral recommendation on AT&T, following its mixed third quarter results. Earnings moved ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate, but revenue fell short of our expectation. Looking ahead, we expect AT&T to reap benefits from strong adoption of smartphones, expansion of LTE networks and U-verse services. The company's foray into cloud computing and hotel WiFi businesses is expected to lead to better revenue and earnings growth. Other positive attributes for the company include a strategic realignment initiative and healthy financial profile. With these aspects already factored into the share price, we believe that there is little room for further upside and expect the stock to trade inline with other group members."

HSBC upgraded shares of Telecom Italia (TI) from an underweight rating to a neutral rating.

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