Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC) had a huge week after securing Warren Buffett as an investor and on news that it was set to sell half its stake in China Construction Bank as another stealth capital raise. Here is what was odd. On a day that a crazy rumor was out there that BofA might be taken over by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), J.P. Morgan’s credit analysis team actually raised their ratings on the Bank of America credit calling the selling way overdone on the downside. BofA’s equity research team repaid the favor the day before Buffett’s investment by downgrading estimates and targets of rival money center banks.
Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: BSX) can use all the help it can get usually. This one was reiterated as a “Buy” rating at Zacks Investment Research, but more important is that it was the Value Stock of the Day even though Morgan Keegan cut the rating to a “Market Perform” rating on the same day. Shares were around $6.35 on Friday afternoon and the 52-week range is $5.04 to $7.96. Literally finding anything bullish about Boston Scientific is worth noting these days.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) was a strange call this week. S&P removed its sell rating after literally a few days, due to the price target objective being hit. Then on Wednesday came a new coverage call from Robert W. Baird with an ‘Outperform’ rating on the stock.
Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI) had a rough week and the call did not really go in favor of the analyst yet. The Lupus drug company was initiated with a “Buy” rating at Brean Murray. More important is the $22.00 price target when you consider that shares are under $13.00. This one has lost its mojo but at least one big bull is still there with a 52-week trading range of $11.84 to $30.48.
Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) has been battered and beaten as a networking equipment stock that lost its way. Shares were under $21.00 on Friday and the 52-week trading range is $19.63 to $45.01. This stock was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Morgan Keegan and the price target objective was $27.00. This one is on sale now and this call is still well under the consensus price target above $30.00.
NASDAQ OMX Group (NASDAQ: NDAQ) is believed to not be in as much trouble over any financial transaction tax proposals in Europe. UBS decided on Thursday to raise the rating to “Buy” at UBS. Shares were around $22.65 late on Friday and the 52-week range is $17.81 to $29.71. The report called the electronic exchange a deep discount at great valuations and even noted that it had a defensive nature that would hold up well in a downturn. That logic may seem flawed but the call was a day after Raymond James raised the rating to “Strong Buy” on at least some of the same logic.
Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM) is one of the gold miners that is driving the sector and it has the best dividend of its peers as well. This last Monday it was Raised to Buy from Hold at Citigroup. More importantly, Citi raised the price target to $80 from $55 for a huge gain in the outlook. Everyone knows that gold has to stabilize and/or remain high, but the earnings growth here should be massive considering the higher prices locked in. RBC also raised its rating up to “Sector Perform” later in the week on Thursday due to increased earnings power.
Pandora Media, Inc. (NYSE: P) managed to do better than expected on earnings as it grew members. It also is not losing as much per customer some thought. Bank of America Merrill Lynch reiterated its “Buy” rating on Friday but raised the target to an above-consensus target at $19.00 now. Shares were around $13.50 late on Friday and that leaves plenty of upside if even the consensus price target of $17.44 is hit.
Priceline.com Incorporated (NASDAQ: PCLN) is one that had been on a major move this year. Any analyst upgrade or initiation may seem late to the party now. Still, Credit Suisse started new coverage on Tuesday with an Outperform rating. More important is that $720.00 price target. Shares were right around $500.00 late on Friday and the stock was around $450.00 when that positive call was made. That is a 10% gain in the week with a lot of perceived upside left (still over 40%) if it makes it anywhere close to the target. Keep in mind that this was under $100 as recently as mid-2009.