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Benzinga's Top Downgrades With Color for April 30, 2012


Listen below are today's Top Downgrades at Benzinga:

Ladenburg Thalmann Downgrades Heckmann (NYSE: HEK) to Sell:

Ladenburg Thalmann said, "We believe our previous investment thesis is impaired, and prior valuations are unlikely to be realized over the foreseeable time horizon. Data suggests strong possibility of further disappointing results, and shares should be avoided pending better visibility into the earnings power of existing assets, in our view."

Deutsche Bank Downgrades Verifone (NYSE: PAY) to Sell:

Deutsche Bank said, "After further analyzing PAY's organic growth, we believe the 11.8% organic growth stated on the 1Q12 earnings call significantly exaggerates the "true" flat 1Q12 organic growth. In our view, organic growth is being inflated through acquisitions. Additionally, we believe the likelihood of a strong EMV upgrade cycle has been overstated and mobile payments bring significant risk to the model. Given poor financial disclosures, lower true organic growth, future business risks and rich valuation, we are no longer comfortable recommending investors hold PAY shares."

Miller Tabak Downgrades Mead Johnson (NYSE: MJN) to Neutral:

Miller Tabak said, "Contrary to the strength in MJN's emerging markets business, the North America/Europe segment contracted by about 12% on a year/year basis due to declining birth rates related to the ongoing impact of the recession, as well as to a loss of some market share related to the temporary recall of MJN's product, Enfamil Newborn, following unfounded media reports of alleged Cronobacter contamination last December. Other highlights from the quarter include the acquisition of an 80% equity interest in SanCor Bebe, the leading pediatric nutrition brand in Argentina, for approximately $196 million."

Jefferies & Company Downgrades PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) to Hold:

Jefferies said, "Following a recent update of our forecast model for natural gas and power prices we are assuming a lower contribution from the company's Supply (unregulated) business. The reduced contribution from PPL Supply makes the stock look more in-line with its peers and currently trades at a group average multiple."

Bank of America Downgrades Arkansas Best (NASDAQ: ABFS) to Underperform:

Bank of America said, "While we recognize a downgrade after news is less than ideal, ABF's freight decline was well beyond targets, pricing did not meet our targets, and its move to continue spending on investments has us concerned about the pace of its rebound. It noted volumes are running down a further 9% per day in April-to-date after falling 11% in 1Q, well beyond our prior target."

Oppenheimer Downgrades Citizens Republic Bancorp (NASDAQ: CRBC) to Perform:

Oppenheimer commented in the report, "Citizens Republic has climbed out of the deep hole resulting from the real estate heavy acquisition of Republic Bank in '06 and the recessionary environment in Michigan. Profitability has returned and should continue. Issues with regulators have been resolved. Restoring the $300M DTA will boost tangible book value by ~$7.60/sh and was the big catalyst behind our recent positive view on CRBC. With the stock up 95% over the past year, we have decided to lower our rating to Perform and rescind our $15 price target. Citizens still holds $300M of TARP, making it difficult for us to raise our price target much above the current price."

See all of Benzinga's Analyst Ratings news here.

Posted-In: Deutsche Bank Jefferies & Company Ladenburg Thalmann Miller Tabak OppenheimerAnalyst Color Downgrades Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga


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