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Equity Brief: Ratings Changes for December 19th: DEST, DFRG, DNKN, DRI, EC, EGN, EMCI, EPL


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Copyright © Thomson Reuters 2012. All rights reserved.
2012-12-19 16:20:04 -

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:

Zacks downgraded shares of Destination Maternity Corp (DEST) from an outperform
rating to a neutral rating. Their analysts now have a $23.80 price target on the
stock.

Zacks downgraded shares of Del Frisco's Restaurant Group Inc (DFRG) from an
outperform rating to a neutral rating. Their analysts now have a $16.80 price
target on the stock.

Miller Tabak upgraded shares of Dunkin Brands Group Inc (DNKN) from a hold
rating to a buy rating. Miller Tabak now has a $38.00 price target on the stock,
up previously from $34.00.

Zacks downgraded shares of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI) from a neutral rating
to an underperform rating. Their analysts now have 
a $42.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "Despite having a unique proposition driven by its strong value proposition, menu improvements, excellent unit-level execution with differentiated brands and a balanced portfolio providing stronger diversification in sales and cost synergies, Darden has been facing challenges in the recent times. The latest decline in comps at three of its brands - Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse as well as the failure of promotional offers plagued the company in the second quarter. Stiff competition resulting in higher discounting rates, failure of some promotional offers, probability of higher 2013 SG&A expenses as well as cautious consumer spending will add to the woes. Most importantly, Darden recently slashed its earnings per share guidance for fiscal 2013 to reflect the dilutive effect of the latest Yard House acquisition and the adverse impact from Hurricane Sandy. Hence, we downgrade our recommendation from Neutral to Underperform. " Zacks downgraded shares of Ecopetrol S.A. (EC) from a neutral rating to an underperform rating. Their analysts now have a $56.70 price target on the stock. Wunderlich initiated coverage on shares of Energen (EGN). They issued a buy rating on the stock and set a $56.00 price target. Zacks downgraded shares of EMC Insurance Group Inc (EMCI) from an outperform rating to a neutral rating. Their analysts now have a $25.70 price target on the stock. Global Hunter Securities upgraded shares of Energy Partners, Ltd. (EPL) from an accumulate rating to a buy rating. Global Hunter Securities now has a $28.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $25.00. Societe Generale initiated coverage on shares of EQT Corp. (EQT). They issued a buy rating on the stock and set a $71.00 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#1666399]


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