Benzinga's Top Upgrades with Color for May 10, 2012
Listed below are Benzinga's Top Upgrades:
Ladenburg Thalmann said, "The importance of the Zerenex program has substantially increased following yesterday's announcement of the perifosine data. Zerenex's Phase III program is on track to complete in 4Q 2012. The Phase III program consists of two studies: a small efficacy study of 150 patients which has already been successfully completed (with positive final data already announced) and a larger 1-year safety study of approximately 440 patients (the study was initially designed for 350 patients and was over-enrolled). The long-term, 56-week safety and efficacy portion of the Phase III program (conducted under an SPA) is ongoing with enrollment completed in September 2011, trial completion expected in October 2012 with topline data available in 4Q 2012. We currently expect the Company to file Zerenex for approval in the U.S. and Europe by early 2013."
ISI Group said in the report, "The stock has gone sideways YTD, despite 13% earnings growth, and growing FCF that should be more highly valued in a 2% 10 yr treasury world. ISI's Hedge Fund/ Mutual Fund surveys say Consumer Staples merit a 2nd look. HF exposure to Consumer Staples is at early ‘11/ late '06 lows, while Consumer Discretionary exposure reached a record high (Ex 4). We are upgrading COST, and downgrading SPLS (Sell)."
Bank of America said, "We upgrade HIMX from Underperform to Buy and set our PO at US$3.00 (11.0x 2012 P/E) with our long-term fair value now US$3.70 (6% growth, 7% OPM, 10% WACC). Our market and company forecasts drive 2012/13E EPS up 73%/45% to US$0.27 and US$0.30. We prefer HIMX to Novatek (Underperform, NT$91.10) due to (1) valuation at 7.4x vs 14.0x P/E; (2) EPS growth of 350% vs 5%; and (3) growing leverage to smartphones (23% likely to increase to 40% by 1Q13)."
Goldman Sachs Upgrades Marriott Vacations (NYSE: VAC) to Buy:
Goldman Sachs said, "We have become more confident in VAC's story and view it as a solid cash flow producer with an inexpensive valuation. Assuming no capital allocation or acquisitions we believe the company could accumulate $700mn of cash by 2016 or even more including land sales. We think the shares are primed for outperformance as it is currently trading at 5.9X 2013 EV/EBITDA, (excluding value for land/excess inventory), has a free cash flow yield of 12%, and a fundamental story of EBITDA and margin growth."
Benchmark said in the report, "We are upgrading E.W.Scripps (SSP) from Hold to Buy and raising our target price from $10.50 to $11 as the addition of four TV stations recently acquired from McGraw-Hill (MHP-Hold) raised broadcasting to 53% of revenues and 83% of EBITDA vs. 41% and 67% respectively previously. More importantly, the acquisition expands Scripps exposure from 7 to 10 of the top 31 markets and provides potential for significant improvement in growth through increased market share of ad revenues and improved margins, as evidenced in Scripps' recent strong 1Q12 results."
Canaccord Genuity said, "While shares are up 4% YTD, the second best performance amongst the Sr. E&Ps/ Integrateds, shares are down 22% since the end of 2008 as the biggest underperformer vs. peers (Figure 1). It is also down 21% since reaching its high this year on 2/24/2012, which is the second worst in the sector."
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