From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchWEDBUSH MORGAN CUTS TARGET FOR URBAN OUTFITTERS
Wedbush Morgan analyst Betty Chen says Urban Outfitters (URBN) indicated flat November same store sales and the potential for further deceleration given the volatility in the environment.
Chen believes that similar to other retailers, the calendar shift impacted the company's November comp sales trends.
She cuts $0.37 fourth quarter EPS view to $0.30 on her reduced comp outlook of -2% vs. +2%; she cites November sales and her belief that early December trends have decelerated further, leading to higher markdowns. She also cuts $1.30 fiscal year 2009 (January) EPS to $1.23, $1.48 fiscal year 2010 EPS to $1.25, and $24 price target to $21. She maintains a buy opinion on the stock.
CITIGROUP UPGRADES BALL CORP. TO BUY FROM HOLD
Citigroup analyst Timothy Thein says he's upgrading both Ball (BLL) and Rexam (REXMF.PK) to buy from hold.
Thein says he's confident recent capacity closures/delays will drive beverage can operating rates to levels high enough (even factoring a down year in 2009 volumes) that support solid pricing/returns as can-makers approach big U.S. contract re-negotiations over the next 12 months.
With 2009 total cash (free cash flow plus dividend) yields exceeding 10% for both names -- in an environment of 3% 10-year U.S. Treasury yields -- he sees the risk/reward as too compelling to ignore.
ROTH CAPITAL DOWNGRADES INFINITY PHARMACEUTICALS TO HOLD
Roth Capital analyst Andrew Vaino notes Infinity Pharmaceuticals (INFI) and partner AstraZeneca (AZN) are in a deal returning full control of Retaspimycin (IPI-504) and IPI-493 to INFI.
Vaino says he has no reason to doubt that INFI sought greater control over the development of this program, but wonders about the advantage to AZN of returning rights to potentially valuable drugs. He says he believed that the notion of using HSP-90 inhibitors to treat cancer has been a "show me story"; he believes the loss of "big pharma validation" from AZN chips away at some of the value associated with this program.
He cuts INFI to hold from buy.