Getting in Before Sell Side Institutions Follow

by: Stephen Castellano

We have noted on numerous occasions that it is not uncommon for stocks that appear in our model portfolios or our weekly ranking updates to presage major ratings actions by sell side firms. By focusing on key factors such as: 1) Relative Value; 2) Operating Momentum; 3) Analyst Revision Momentum; and 4) Fundamental Quality, we are able to generate solid long-term investment ideas and an impressive short-term model portfolio based on real trade data. Who says you need an account with an expensive broker at an institutional firm to get quality research? See our "Nostradamus Report" on Seeking Alpha for more details.

Below is a non-comprehensive list of sell side actions on stocks that have been in our model portfolios since at least October 31, 2010.

11/19/2010: Albemarle Corp. (NYSE:ALB) -- Jefferies raises price target to $61 from $56, keeping rating at buy.

11/18/2010: LyondellBasell (NYSE:LYB) was named a long Research Tactical Idea at Morgan Stanley.

11/16/2010: TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE:TRW) -- Soleil raised its target to $59 from $54 and maintained a Buy rating."

11/15/2010: Rockwood Holdings Inc (NYSE:ROC) Credit Suisse raises target price to $47 from $40.

11/15/2010: Macy's (NYSE:M) -- The stock was added to Bank of America's / Merrill Lynch's "US 1 List."

11/15/2010: Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) -- RW Baird upgraded Union Pacific to Outperform from Neutral, and raised its price target to $120 from $100.

11/12/2010: American Express (NYSE:AXP) and Freeport McMoran (FCX) were added Ken Heebner's Capital Growth Management Fund. Heebner does not get a copy of our newsletter that we are aware of, but we are glad he sees the wisdom of our moves.

11/12/2010: Williams Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) -- RW initiated with an Outperform rating and $42 price target.

11/11/2010: Williams-Sonoma --

Wells Fargo raised its Q3 estimates for Williams-Sonoma above consensus levels ahead of the company's Q3 results. The firm thinks the company will also beat Q4 consensus estimates and it believes the stock's valuation is favorable. The firm maintains an Outperform rating on the stock.

11/10/2010: Williams-Sonoma -- ThinkEquity upgraded the stock and raised its price target to $40 from $33. Oppenheimer identified WSM as a top pick in the hardlines retail sector.

11/8/2010: Albemarle Corp. -- Zacks upgraded to a Strong Buy.

11/5/2010: American Express Corp. -- Argus upgraded the stock and raised price target to $50. See also our 10/25/10 article on Seeking Alpha, "Why American Express is Finally Worth a Look."

11/5/2010: TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. -- Deutsche Bank raised its target to $57 from $52.

11/3/2010: TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. -- S&P Equity raised its price target raised to $62 from $50.

11/3/2010: Union Pacific Corp -- Deutsche Bank raised price target raised to $102 from $92.

11/2/2010: Fossil Inc. (NASDAQ:FOSL) -- BB&T Capital Markets initiated with a Buy rating.

Disclosure: Currently long all stocks mentioned in this report

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