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Updated 2-June-11

Upgrades

Company

Ticker

Brokerage Firm

Ratings Change

Price Target

H.J. Heinz Co.

HNZ

UBS

Neutral » Buy

$62

Affymetrix Inc.

AFFX

RW Baird

Neutral » Outperform

$11

Energy L.P.

NRGY

RW Baird

Neutral » Outperform

$42

Sirius XM Radio

SIRI

Zacks

Neutral » Outperform

$2.50

HJ Heinz Company delivered a strong ending to its fiscal year with terrific fourth quarter earnings. The food maker continued its impressive gains in sales and earnings, announced a dividend increase, and raised guidance. The stock also hit new highs. The company grew EPS by 15% to 69 cents from 60 cents in the year ago quarter. This includes 2 cents-per-share costs of closing the deal for a stake in the Brazilian food maker which makes, among other products, Quero ketchup. Operating income was up 12.2% for Heinz, to $387 million. Net income rose from $192.4 million in the year ago quarter to $223.9 million in this year's fiscal fourth quarter. Sales grew 6% to $2.89 billion.

Affymetrix on Wednesday named Frank Witney president and CEO. Santa Clara-based Affymetrix said Witney has 30 years of experience in the life science research products and diagnostic and analytical instrument industry and worked in senior leadership positions at Dionex, Panomics, Affymetri and Bio-Rad. Witney, who will also join the company’s board of directors, succeeds Kevin M. King who has resigned as Affymetrix’s president and chief executive officer to pursue other interests.

According to Jonathan Novinski of Seeking Alpha, Energy LP was down 4.6% yesterday in very heavy volume. This is because the stock did a secondary offering of 9,000,000 units. NRGY has a nice yield, but the chart is not too great and the earnings aren’t as good as stocks like Crestwood Midstream Partners (CMLP). Jonathan says he would much rather have CMLP then NRGY.

We upgrade our recommendation on Sirius XM Radio Inc. to Outperform based on better business visibility of the company. SIRIUS XM was able to turn around in 2010 after facing a bankruptcy threat in the recessionary period of 2009. An improving U.S. auto sector and a rise in consumer spending will sustain Sirius XM’s near-term growth. Management maintained its full-year 2011 revenue target while raising its free cash flow estimate. We believe upcoming SIRIUS XM 2.0 product will help the company to increase its subscriber base. Moreover, the company will get pricing flexibility from the fourth quarter of 2011, after the completion of stipulated FCC regulatory period.

Downgrades

Company

Ticker

Brokerage Firm

Ratings Change

Price Target

Ameristar Casinos Inc.

ASCA

Goldman Sachs

Neutral» Sell

$20

Zumiez Inc.

ZUMZ

Janney Capital

Buy» Neutral

$33

AstraZeneca PLC

AZN

Jefferies

Hold » Underperform

Sempra Energy

SRE

JP Morgan

Neutral» Overweight

$58

General Mills Inc.

GIS

UBS

Buy» Neutral

$41

Goldman downgraded Ameristar Casinos based on valuation, weakening fundamentals, and lack of catalysts. Price target remains $20. Over the last 30 days Ameristar Casinos' current year EPS consensus has increased by 50.44% (from $1.13 to $1.7), while price only increased by 22.91% (from $18.68 to $22.96). The stock is currently trading 8.95% above its SMA20, 20.94% above its SMA50, and 32.79% above its SMA200.

Zumiez Inc. reported Wednesday that revenue at its stores open at least a year rose 7.8% in May, more than expected. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a 7.5% increase from the sports retailer. That is a key measure of a retailer's performance because it excludes recently opened or closed stores. Total revenue for all Zumiez stores for the four weeks ended May 28 increased 14.9% to $30.3 million.

The recent rise in these shares for AstraZeneca suggests that the market is starting to agree with this viewpoint. With life expectancies increasing and healthcare expenditures continuing to rise across the globe, the demand drivers remain strong for the pharmaceutical industry. However, AstraZeneca has had a difficult time recently, having been hit by a flurry of patent expires and a disappointing pipeline. This has taken its toll on the share price, and the drugmaker currently stands at a P/E ratio of 7.6.

I think this is cheap as chips, because I expect AstraZeneca to continue to throw itself into innovating. The company has recently placed a greater emphasis on biologics, and I expect this strategic shift to drive future long-term growth for this company.

JPMorgan resumed coverage on Sempra with a Neutral rating from an Overweight rating. The firm downgraded shares based on continued regulatory risk in California. Price target lowered to $5.

General Mills launched several new products, including Wheaties Fuel and Chocolate Cheerios. And as a result, General Mills was able to outperform its peers in that category; whereas, for instance, Kellogg and Ralcorp, which is a leading private label player in the space as well as the owner of the Post brand, struggled. So we have seen that innovation that resonates with consumers is winning at the shelf. That said, consumers aren't willing to pay up for innovation if they don't believe that there is an added value to the product.

Coverage Initiated

Company

Ticker

Brokerage Firm

Ratings Change

Price Target

Incyte Corp.

INCY

Goldman Sachs

Neutral

$20

Dendreon Corp.

DNDN

Goldman Sachs

Buy

$50

Urstadt Biddle Properties

UBA

Keefe Bruyette

Market Perform

$20

STI Inc.

STIR

Keefe Bruyette

Outperform

$14

Mechel OAO ADS

MTL

UBS

Buy

$45

Idenix Pharma

IDIX

Brean Murray

Sell

$3

Incyte Corporation focuses on the discovery and development of proprietary small molecule drugs for hematologic and oncology indications, and for chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Its product pipeline includes INCB18424, which is in Phase III clinical trial for myelofibrosis; Phase II trial for polycythemia vera/essential thrombocythemia; Phase I/II trial to treat other hematologic tumors; and Phase IIb trail for the treatment of psoriasis.

On June 30 Dendreon should hear from the FDA on its plans to expand production of prostate cancer vaccine Provenge to a plant in Orange County, California. June is a busy month for U.S. Food and Drug Administration decisions on experimental medicines. Several companies are taking another stab at getting their products approved after initial rejections.

Urstadt Biddle Properties Inc. was recently ranked among the top 10 stocks that were purchased by insiders. Charles Urstadt bought 100,000 shares on May 20 2011, at prices between $18.41 and $18.41, for a total cost of $1,841,000. About the company: Urstadt Biddle Properties is a real estate investment trust. The company is engaged in the acquisition, ownership and management of commercial real estate, primarily neighborhood and community shopping centers in the northeastern United States. The company also owns office and retail buildings and industrial properties.

STAG Industrial, Inc. announced that it has changed the ticker symbol of its shares on the New York Stock Exchange from "STIR" to “STAG” effective at the start of trading on Monday, June 13, 2011. In making this change, the company aligns its ticker symbol with the name that is consistent with its industry recognition. The company’s Chairman and CEO Benjamin S. Butcher commented: "We are delighted to have obtained the rights to our new ticker symbol, STAG. This easily identifiable symbol carries on the tradition of our predecessor company and reflects accurately the name of our organization. Our tenants, vendors and investing public know us as STAG and now our ticker symbol will reflect that as well."

Mechel OAO, through its subsidiaries, operates as a mining and steel company in the Russian Federation and internationally. The company operates in four segments: Mining, Steel, Ferroalloys and Power. The Mining segment produces coking and steam coal, as well as iron ore and iron ore concentrate. This segment operates four open pit mines and three underground coal mines in the Kuznetsky Basin, near the city of Mezhdurechensk in southwestern Siberia; two open pit mines and one underground mine in the Sakha Republic in eastern Siberia, as well as holds the license rights to mine the undeveloped Elga coal deposit; four mining complexes in West Virginia in the United States; and Korshunovsk, Rudnogorsk, and Tatianinsk open pit iron ore mines in the Irkutsk region in central Siberia.

Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced recently that Idenix management will present a corporate overview at the Jefferies 2011 Global Healthcare Conference on June 9, 2011 at4:00 p.m. ET in New York City. The live and archived webcast of the company presentation can be accessed under "Calendar of Events" in the Idenix Investor Center at www.idenix.com. Please log in approximately 5-10 minutes before the event to ensure a timely connection. The archived replay will be available on the Idenix website for two weeks following the conference.

Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of drugs for the treatment of human viral diseases. Idenix's current focus is on the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. For further information about Idenix, please click here.

Source: Upgrades, Downgrades and Initiations for Thursday