Opinions from analysts around Wall Street on Friday
From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchNEEDHAM CUTS AUTODESK TO BUY FROM STRONG BUY
Needham analyst Richard Davis says he downgrades Autodesk (ADSK) based on valuation. He says Autodesk reported impressive results and management inched up its opinion of calendar 2008 outlook. He says contributions from both 3D sales and emerging economies were Autodesk quarterly records (respectively 24% and 17% of total quarterly revenues). He expects this trend to continue through fiscal year 2009 (January).
Davis says for the past 16 months, he has been imploring investors to understand that Autodesk is a well-positioned, predictable 14%-16% and 17%-20% organic and EPS grower. He notes that Autodesk has delivered at least as well as expected. However, the stock's discount to comparable firms has closed. He sees $1.91 fiscal year 2008 EPS, $2.23 fiscal year 2009. He has a $56 price target.
CITIGROUP CUTS THE9 LIMITED TO HOLD FROM BUY
Citigroup analyst Jason Brueschke says, by some measures, namely The9 Limited's (NCTY) pipeline and the continued popularity of World of Warcraft (WoW), the company is hugely successful. By other measures, however, namely profitability and its ability to meet Street estimates, NCTY is struggling.
The analyst says in the end, the latter matters more to the stock, and because he doesn't see material change on the horizon, he's compelled to downgrade NCTY and slash his price target, to $35 from $55.
What would make him more positive? News that NCTY has renewed the WoW license and will bring Wrath of the Lich King to China in the next 4 to 5 quarters.
JMP SECURITIES SAYS CHORDIANT SOFTWARE'S FISCAL YEAR 2008 COULD BE TOUGH
JMP Securities analyst Patrick Walravens says he's relatively cautious on Chordiant Software (CHRD) given its exposure to the financial services sector. He notes non-GAAP EPS of $0.18 was $0.01 better than the consensus estimate, but the company missed revenue and bookings targets for the fourth quarter.
Walravens reduces his $0.76 fiscal year 2008 (September) non-GAAP EPS estimate to $0.74, and sets fiscal year 2009 non-GAAP EPS estimate of $0.86, vs. consensus of $0.88.
He notes the stock traded down 9% in after-market; at after-market price of $10.50, CHRD trading at only 12 times calendar year 20o8 EPS and has $2.61 per share in cash. He says that while the valuation appears compelling, he cautions investors that fiscal year 2008 could be a tough year for CHRD if financial services companies remain under pressure. He keeps market perform opinion on the stock.