Stock Picks: Boston Private, Live Nation, Sprint Nextel, ValueClick

Wall Street analysts offer buy, sell, or hold opinions on stocks in the news on June 28

Boston Private Financial Holdings: Keefe, Bruyette & Woods equity analyst Christopher McGratty raised a rating on shares of Boston Private Financial Holdings (BPFH), the owner of Boston Private Bank & Trust, to outperform from neutral on June 28. He maintained an $8.50 price target on the shares.

In a brief note, McGratty said he believed a sell-off in the shares since the release of the company's first-quarter earnings on Apr. 28 "provides an attractive entry point to return to an overweight position" on the shares.

"We remain constructive on recent capital and credit trends and believe recent TARP repayment and the sooner-than-expected return to profitability are likely to serve as near-term catalysts for the shares."

On June 21, the company offered 4.1 million common shares at $6.10 per share, for gross proceeds of $25 million, and said it had redeemed the remaining $104 million of its Series C Preferred Stock issued to the U.S. Treasury pursuant to the TARP Capital Purchase Program. The company said the redemption will result in annualized savings of $5.2 million, or 8¢ per share, due to the elimination of the preferred dividends.

Live Nation Entertainment: Miller Tabak equity analyst David Joyce reiterated a buy rating on shares of Live Nation Entertainment (LYV), the largest concert promoter, on June 28. He lowered a 12-month price target on the shares to $15, from $18, and a long-term target to $19 from $21.

In a note, Joyce said he had previously noted the potential economic effects on the company of postponements of 2010 tours by U2 and Christina Aguilera, which, "while hitting 2Q10, could be partially offset by new tour announcements for [the third quarter and beyond] and additional dates for current tours." He noted other tour postponements by Simon & Garfunkel and John Mayer.

The analyst lowered a 2010 pro forma adjusted operating income estimate to $418.7 million, from $465.1 million.

"We reiterate our viewpoint, however, that we believe the headlines have overly punished LYV shares … and there is still significant upside potential in the shares from here," the analyst wrote.

Sprint Nextel: Standard & Poor's equity analyst James Moorman reiterated a buy rating on shares of Sprint Nextel (S) on June 28. He maintained a price target of $6 on the shares.

On June 28, Sprint launched 4G wireless service in Richmond, Va., Salt Lake City, and St. Louis. The company's 4G service is now available in 36 markets across the country, Sprint said in a statement.

In a posting on the S&P MarketScope service, Moorman noted that Sprint also announced plans for the addition of its second 4G phone, the Samsung Epic 4G, to its smartphone portfolio.

"We believe that now having multiple smartphones on its 4G platform is an important step and could result in a competitive advantage," Moorman said.

ValueClick: UBS Securities equity analyst Brian Fitzgerald maintained a neutral rating on shares of Internet advertising company ValueClick (VCLK) on June 28. He raised a price target on the shares to $12 from $10.

In a note, Fitzgerald said his recent research "suggests U.S. display advertising trends remain strong, and we expect ValueClick to benefit from this rising tide." He said he sees the trend toward performance-based display advertising as an additional positive for the company, given its exposure to that category.

He said the company's Commission Junction unit remained the top provider of affiliate marketing programs among online retailers in the 2010 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

"We expect VCLK's comparison shopping business to remain pressured as Google continues to drive additional traffic to its own Product Search site," the analyst wrote.

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