Opinions from analysts around Wall Street on Tuesday
From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchTHINKEQUITY UPGRADES APPLE TO BUY
ThinkEquity analyst Darren Aftahi says Apple's (AAPL) new product rollout powered a solid fourth quarter. He notes, even excluding a 1-time tax benefit, EPS grew a robust 50% year-over-year. He believes, with a refresh of its Mac and iPod lineups and three new carriers set to debut iPhone in Europe in November, Apple will continue to outpace the industry in growth heading into the holiday season.
Aftahi ups $4.54 fiscal year 2008 (September) EPS estimate to $5.33, $4.81 fiscal year 2009 to $5.97. He says by carrying forward Apple's current calendar year 2007 p-e of 40 to his calendar year 2008 EPS estimate of $5.69, he arrives at a fair value of $227, or 30% upside, making shares a buy, vs. his former rating of accumulate.
JEFFERIES CUTS TEXAS INSTRUMENTS TO HOLD FROM BUY
Texas Instruments (TXN) posts $0.52 (including a $0.02 gain) third quarter EPS. It sees $0.48-$0.54 fourth quarter EPS.
Jefferies analyst John Lau says Texas Instruments is still one of the best semiconductor companies in the world with strength in the analog and wireless segments. However, with worse-than-expected share losses in the wireless segment, he believes that the company's fundamentals are weakening.
Lau cuts $1.80 2007 EPS estimate to $1.78, and his $14.2 billion revenue estimate to $13.8 billion. He cuts $43 target price to $37.
BAIRD DOWNGRADES HUB GROUP
Hub Group (HUBG) reported third quarter results and issued disappointing guidance. Baird analyst Jon Langenfeld says he's downgrading Hub Group to neutral from outperform, as the third quarter shows strains of domestic freight recession. He says, while $0.42 third quarter EPS beat his and consensus estimate of $0.40, tax rate and bonus reversals added $0.04 to bottom line.
Langenfeld says he downgrades due to the difficult external environment, which limits near-term growth; growing pricing pressure within the domestic freight environment; and few near-term catalysts for Hub Group, given the continuing domestic freight recession, lack of acquisition activity, and internal organizational restructuring.
He cuts $0.40 fourth quarter EPS estimate to $0.36, $1.44 for 2007 to $1.42, and $1.63 for 2008 to $1.50.