Top Pre-Market Upgrades/Downgrades: ABBV, PRU, NBL, GPS, UN, COO, GSS, BBRY, KEY, SWY, RENN

By Vanessa Han, T3Live May 15, 2013, 9:30 AM 

Upgrades

  • AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) initiated with an Outperform at Cowen
  • Prudential (NYSE:PRU) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus – Argus upgraded Prudential following Q1 results citing its clean balance sheet, earnings visibility, and attractive valuation. Price target is $75
  • Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel – Stifel upgraded Noble Energy based on its 2H 2013 exploration portfolio and strong growth from development projects. Price target is $140.
  • Gap (NYSE:GPS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup – Citigroup upgraded Gap citing improved merchandise, inventory control and expectations for continued comp store sales consistency. Citi raised its price target for shares to $48 from $40.
  • Unilever (NYSE:UN) upgraded to Buy from Reduce at Nomura

Downgrades

  • Cooper Companies (NYSE:COO) downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James – Raymond James downgraded Cooper citing Forex headwinds and valuation.
  • Golden Star Resources (NYSE:GSS) downgraded at BMO Capital – As noted earlier, BMO Capital downgraded Golden Star to Underperform from Market Perform. The firm based the downgrade on valuation and problems at the company’s Bogoso mine that the firm doesn’t think will improve.
  • BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY)downgraded at Bernstein – As previously reported, Bernstein downgraded BlackBerry to Market Perform from Outperform. The firm downgraded shares based on valuation, lack of near-term catalysts, and risk the company does not meet high expectations. Price target lowered to $15 from $22
  • KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BTIG – BTIG downgraded KeyCorp due to valuation.
  • Goldman re-instated Safeway (SWY) with a Sell following the spin-off of Blackhawk (HAWK). The firm expects Safeway to be pressured by secular and cyclical headwinds, which is not reflected in shares. Target $21
  • Renren (NYSE:RENN) downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer – Oppenheimer downgraded Renren after the company’s Q2 outlook missed expectations citing a slow ramp-up in SNS advertising and the company’s rising investments

Headlines

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s annual developer conference I/O begins today and run through Friday. Google likely to unveil the next-generation of the Nexus 7 tablet at I/O conference, as well as the new subscription music services. According to The Verge, Google has now signed separate licensing deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment for both YouTube and Google Play, setting the stage for such an announcement.

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