Top Pre-Market Stock Upgrades/Downgrades May 20, 2013

By Vanessa Han, T3Live May 20, 2013, 9:21 AM 

UPGRADES

J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Maxim – Maxim upgraded J.C. Penney on expectations the company’s strategy changes under new CEO Mike Ullman will drive traffic. The firm said its recent channel checks indicate that store traffic has increased and it raised its price target for shares to $27 from $16.50

priceline.com (NASDAQ:PCLN) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank – Deutsche Bank upgraded priceline.com on expectations the company’s margins will stabilize in the second half of 2013. The firm calls priceline.com one of the best growth stories in Internet and raised its price target for shares to $900 from $715. Deutsche also raised its price target for Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) shares to $86 from $80 and for TripAdvisor shares to $68 from $60. The firm keeps Buy ratings on both of those names

DOWNGRADES

CF Industries (NYSE:CF) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Miller Tabak – Miller Tabak downgraded CF Industries due to valuation. Price target remains $220

SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Nomura – Nomura downgraded SanDisk due to valuation. Price target is $60

Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) downgraded at BMO Capital – As previously reported, BMO Capital downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform. The firm cites valuation, mixed field checks, and deceleration in most key financial metrics for the downgrade. Price target is $54

Dunkin’ Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Longbow

NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at RW Baird – Baird downgraded NetApp following checks that indicate significant pricing concessions, tougher competition, product road-map uncertainty, and valuation. Price target remains $34

Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies – Jefferies downgraded Bed Bath & Beyond on expectations the company’s margins will continue declining due to lower-margin e-commerce sales. The firm lowered its price target for shares to $71 from $76.

Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer – Oppenheimer downgraded Lowe’s citing valuation and lack of upside potential to consensus estimates. The firm keeps a $46 price target for shares

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Keefe Bruyette – Keefe Bruyette downgraded Bank of America with a $13.50 price target citing valuation

NEW COVERAGE

Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS) initiated with a Buy at Canaccord – Target $82

HEADLINES

Yahoo’s (NASDAQ:YHOO) (board approved the $1.1B acquisition of popular blogging service Tumblr Sunday

Directors at Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) have recruited Anadarko (NYSE:APC) senior VP of international and deep-water operations Robert Douglas Lawler to succeed Aubrey McClendon as CEO, WSJ said

GE Capital will pay $6.5B in dividends to parent company GE in 2013, consistent with previously stated goals on capital allocation

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