Akebia Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: AKBA) was started as Buy with a price target of $18 (versus a $7.71 close) at Brean Capital.
Casella Waste Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CWST) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $7.00 price target (versus $5.37 close) at Raymond James.
Crocs Inc. (NASDAQ: CROX) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a $17 price target (up from $13 and versus a $14.54 close) at Piper Jaffray.
Dean Foods Co. (NYSE: DF) was reiterated as Outperform and the valuation range was raised to $21.00 to $22.00 from a prior range of $19.00 to $20.00 (versus a $18.41 close) at Wells Fargo. This is after earnings and guidance were slightly ahead of estimates.
Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK) was reinstated as Neutral at Credit Suisse, but the price target was raised to $86 from a prior $79 (versus a $74.44 close).
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (NYSE: DD), or DuPont, was raised to Neutral from Underperform with a $76 price objective (versus a $69.33 close) at Merrill Lynch.
Euronav N.V. (NYSE: EURN) was started as Outperform with a $20 price target (versus a $13.39 close) at Credit Suisse. The firm expects close to a 6% yield now that its dividend has been reinstated.
Good Times Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ: GTIM) was started as Buy with a fair value estimate of $11.00 (versus a $9.25 close) at Janney Capital Markets. Shares were down over 5% after gapping up to almost $10 on Wednesday after earnings.
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Hi-Crush Partners L.P. (NYSE: HCLP) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the price objective was cut to $35 from $45 at Merrill Lynch.
Illumina Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) was reiterated as Buy with a $245 price objective (versus a $198.23 close) at Merrill Lynch.
Ingersoll-Rand PLC (NYSE: IR) was raised to Overweight from Sector Weight with a $80 price target (versus a $68.12 close) at KeyBanc Capital Markets.
J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) was maintained as Neutral but the loss estimates were narrowed (raised) at Sterne Agee CRT, following a loss that was less bad and guidance that was also less bad than estimates.
Linear Technology Corp. (NASDAQ: LLTC) was raised to Neutral from Underweight with a $48 price target (versus a $46.07 close) at JPMorgan.
Pall Corp. (NYSE: PLL) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform, but the price target was raised to $127 from $108 (versus a $123.89 close) at R.W. Baird. William Blair downgraded it to Market Perform from Outperform.
Spectra Energy Corp. (NYSE: SE) was started as Buy with a fair value estimate of $43.00 (versus a $36.28 close) at Janney Capital Markets. The firm sees upside from DCP, new projects and Western Canada.
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Spectra Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: SEP) was reiterated as Buy at Janney Capital Markets, and the fair value estimate was set at $60. The firm called Spectra the gold standard of MLPs for safety and quality, with a 4.6% distribution that is growing each year.
Superior Energy Services Inc. (NYSE: SPN) was raised to Outperform from Perform and with a $30 price target (versus a $24.27 close) at Oppenheimer.
TECO Energy Inc. (NYSE: TE) was started as Neutral but with a price target of $20 (versus a $18.22 close) at Credit Suisse.
Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) was reiterated as Buy with a $91 price target (versus a $86.93 close) at Sterne Agee CRT.
Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd. (NYSE: TNP) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised to $13 from $9 (versus a $9.00 close) at Credit Suisse.
WABCO Holdings Inc. (NYSE: WBC) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel Nicolaus.
If you missed out on Wednesday’s analyst upgrades and downgrades, they included American Eagle Outfitters, AOL, Boeing, Lululemon Athletica, Microsoft, ResMed and about 20 more companies.
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