Equity Brief: Ratings Changes for December 7th: BAC, BBBY, BHP, BIDU, BRLI, C, CMN, COF

Fri Dec 7, 2012 10:06am EST

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A number of stocks were upgraded and downgraded by equities research analysts today, as reported by Analyst Ratings Network (http://bit.ly/equitybriefdaily) and Equity Brief:

SunTrust initiated coverage on shares of Bank of America (BAC). They issued a neutral rating on the stock and set a $11.00 price target.

Jefferies Group lowered its price target on shares of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY) from $78.00 to $72.00. They have a buy rating on the stock. They wrote, "Expectations are washed out after two disappointing releases, but our checks suggest solid sales trends against easier compares, and we are increasingly confident in the ability to post a 3%-4% comp in 4Q. The Cost Plus acquisition creates opportunities to increase productivity next year and management's proven ability to drive efficiency should enhance the business's earnings profile. This is an excellent play on the housing cycle."

Standpoint Research initiated coverage on shares of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY). They issued a buy rating on the stock and set a $70.00 price target.

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of BHP Billiton (BHP). They have a $76.00 price target on the stock. Zacks' analyst wrote, "We are optimistic about BHP Billiton given the rapid industrialization in the emerging markets. The company is expected to grow, driven by its investment and divestiture plans and project pipeline. Moreover, the company's commitment towards returning shareholder values also enhances our outlook on the stock. The company saw a ramp up of production in the quarter ended September 30, 2012. The growth was driven by aluminium products and base metals. However, the diamonds and manganese alloy production faced a decline. Also, worldwide upsurge in oil prices, rising core inflation in the emerging markets as well as mining disruptions raise our concerns. Labor crises, mining cost as well as equipment supply uncertainty are also headwinds. Moreover, price and currency fluctuations add to the woe. Thus, we prefer to remain on the sidelines on BHP."

JG Capital initiated coverage on shares of Baidu.com, Inc. (BIDU). They issued an overweight rating on the stock. They wrote, "Baidu, Inc. (BIDU) is the most popular Chinese language Internet search provider and is also the most visited Chinese website with a market share of 79% in Q2 FY12 and active customers of over 390,000. Baidu has the best search technology in China, which is difficult to replicate because of the intricacies of the Chinese language. Baidu is more advanced in China than Yahoo (YHOO; N/R) and Google (GOOG; N/R). For example, GOOG tried to localize its service, but failed to adapt to the China business culture and decided to pull out of China in 2010. After GOOG left China, BIDU successfully established itself as the #1 player in the China search market."

Macquarie downgraded shares of Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. (BRLI) from a neutral rating to an underperform rating. Their analysts now have a $25.00 price target on the stock.

SunTrust initiated coverage on shares of Citigroup (C). They issued a buy rating on the stock and set a $43.00 price target.

Needham & Company raised its price target on shares of Cantel Medical (CMN) from $28.00 to $33.00. They have a strong-buy rating on the stock.

Janney Montgomery Scott initiated coverage on shares of Capital One (COF). They issued a buy rating on the stock.

BB&T initiated coverage on shares of 3D Systems Co. (DDD). They issued a buy rating on the stock and set a $60.00 price target.

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