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Equity Brief: Ratings Changes for December 11th: AAP, AIG, AKS, ALGN, AMGN, AMX, ANDE, ANF


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Copyright © Thomson Reuters 2012. All rights reserved.
2012-12-11 16:16:18 -

A number of stocks were upgraded and downgraded by equities research analysts
today, as reported by Analyst Ratings Network ( bit.ly/equitybriefdaily)
and Equity Brief:

Bank of America initiated coverage on shares of Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (AAP).
They issued a neutral rating on the stock and set a $78.00 price target.

UBS AG lowered its price target on shares of American International Group, Inc.
(AIG) from $36.00 to $35.00. They have a neutral rating on the stock.

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of AK Steel Holding Co. (AKS).
They have a $4.25 price target on the stock.

Zacks downgraded shares of Align Tech (ALGN) from an outperform rating to an
underperform rating. Their analysts now have a $23.00 price target on the stock.
Zacks' analyst wrote, "Align's third quarter 
2012 results were dismal with the company reporting revenues and adjusted EPS of $136.5 million and $0.28, both missing the Zacks Consensus Estimates of $140 million and $0.29, respectively. In addition, given the weakness in dental technology sales and the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the company now expects to reach just the low end of its earlier provided fourth quarter 2012 outlook. The news of job cuts and higher management churn, accompanied with the termination of the European distribution contract also add to our concern. These factors led to a downward rally in the stock price that reached its 52-week low last week. We also fail to see any major catalyst that could revive the shares. Accordingly, we downgrade the stock and lower our revenues and EPS estimates for fiscal 2012 and 2013." Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on shares of Align Tech (ALGN). They issued a neutral rating on the stock and set a $28.00 price target. They wrote, "Our proprietary survey of 100 US GPs/Orthodontists supports our long-term view that Align is well positioned to leverage its dominant market share in a significantly underpenetrated space, where we model a 2012-2015 case CAGR of 15%. That said, Align's 3Q miss (first sales miss in five years) and negative 4Q preannouncement, which came with management departures, have introduced near- term uncertainty. From here, we would need to see a reacceleration in growth before we become more positive." Zacks upgraded shares of Amgen, Inc. (AMGN) from a neutral rating to an outperform rating. Zacks now has a $106.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "Amgen's third quarter EPS of $1.66 per share was 23 cents above the Zacks Consensus Estimate and 19.4% above the year-ago period. Higher revenues, cost discipline and a lower share count contributed to the year-over- year increase in earnings. Revenues increased 9.5% to $4,319 million, well above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,199 million. Based on the strong business momentum, Amgen raised its guidance for 2012 again and now expects earnings in the range of $6.50 - $6.60 per share on revenues of $17.2 billion - $17.3 billion. Earlier, the company had guided towards earnings of $6.20 - $6.35 per share on revenues of $16.9 - $17.2 billion. Based on the company's performance so far this year and the upbeat guidance, which should be easily achievable, we are upgrading Amgen to Outperform. " Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of America Movil S.A.B. de C.V. (AMX). They have a $24.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "We maintain our Neutral recommendation on America Movil. The company's third quarter earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and the year-ago results. We remain positive on the company's subscriber growth, strong momentum in wireless data services and the PayTV segment. The company continues to expand its network services and boost data revenue growth through advanced 3G wireless technology and increased smartphone penetration. It also launched fourth- generation (4G) mobile services in Mexico to provide enhanced wireless services. Further, we believe its strong balance sheet will lead to higher shareholder returns in the upcoming quarters. However, we remain concerned over interconnection rate reductions in both Mexico and Brazil, regulatory issues in the pay TV market, and a declining wireline subscriber base. " BB&T upgraded shares of The Andersons, Inc. (ANDE) from a hold rating to a buy rating. BB&T now has a $51.00 price target on the stock. Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on shares of Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF). They issued a neutral rating on the stock. Canaccord Genuity initiated coverage on shares of Approach Resources Inc. (AREX). They issued a buy rating on the stock and set a $32.00 price target. 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 bit.ly/equitybriefdaily Content and Media Contact: newseditor@equitybrief.net This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson Reuters clients. The owner of this announcement warrants that: (i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and (ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein. Source: Equity Brief via Thomson Reuters ONE [HUG#1664136]


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