Top Pre-Market Stocks Upgrades/Downgrades May 22, 2013

By Vanessa Han, T3Live May 22, 2013, 9:15 AM 

UPGRADES

Chesapeake (NYSE:CHK) upgraded to Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna – Susquehanna upgraded Chesapeake based on increased oil and gas forecasts and re-branding initiatives by new CEO Doug Lawler. Price target raised to $26 from $23

Cree (NASDAQ:CREE) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee

Bristol-Myers (NYSE:BMY) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup – Citigroup upgraded Bristol-Myers citing the long-term potential of the company’s immunotheraphy revenue. The firm raised its price target for shares to $55 from $33

DOWNGRADES

EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Societe Generale – Societe Generale downgraded EQT Corporation due to balanced risk/reward

SodaStream (NASDAQ:SODA) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan – JPMorgan downgraded SodaStream due to valuation

Caesar’s Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse

Dick’s Sporting (NYSE:DKS) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital

NEW COVERAGE

Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital – Target $65

PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital – Target $92

Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) initiated with a Market Perform at BMO Capital – Target $45

HEADLINES

Sony (NYSE:SNE) to take Loeb’s spinoff plan to its board. “The proposal from Third Point, Dan Loeb is something that we should discuss thoroughly at a board meeting and then we’ll decide Sony’s stance,” Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai said in a briefing Wednesday to lay out his strategic vision for the company.

NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) said Tuesday evening it has more than doubled its buyback authorization to $3B (with plans to buy aggressively), initiated a $0.15/share dividend (with plans to increase it), and is planning to cut ~900 jobs

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) unveiled the Xbox One Tuesday, a 3rd-gen console it pitches as “the ultimate all-in-one entertainment system.” The device has a rectangular, set-top box-like shape, a slightly bigger controller, a revamped Xbox Live UI, improved app/game loading and switching times, and fresh voice/gesture controls. AMD is widely believed to provide an integrated CPU/GPU for the system.

Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) missed analysts’ Q1 consensus estimates on both the top and bottom line as sales fell 0.5% Y/Y and comps decreased 0.7% during the quarter.

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