Friday, March 9, 2007

Morning News and Notes

Procter and Gamble according to numerous press reports has "reiterated" its outlook for March quarter earnings. It says it expects earnings of between 72 and 74 cents a share. 74c is the consensus estimate, so to me that doesn't sounds like a reiteration - sounds like there's downside risk of 2-cents vs consensus estimates in EPS. PG does forecast above consensus top line, however. The best judge will be the market.. so far the stock is unchanged.

TD Ameritrade sees earnings at low end of range.

Among notable analyst comments

  • JP Morgan says Alcoa (AA) has appeal as a takeover candidate. BHP and RIO could be possible buyers. . The firm estimates AA is worth $41 a share.
  • Piper maintains a Market Perform on New Century (NEW). While the firm says downside risk could approach $0, but notes there could be substantial upside IF new can obtain enough financing.
  • WR Hambrecht initiates Apple (AAPL) with a Buy and $110 target. The firm cites a variety of factors for its Buy from iPods, iPhones, desktops, laptops, etc saying Apple has successfully transformed itself from computer only company to full blown consumer electronics powerhouse.
  • Stanford lowered Vongage (VG) price target to $5 following yesterday's ruling, saying shares will likely remain under $5.
  • Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at Pru. The brokerage citing soft industry sales trends will hurt 1st and 2nd quarter results.
  • Citi loves Autozone (AZO) reiterating a buy and a $145 target
  • Following earnings that came in as expected, National Semiconductor (NSM), it gets an upgrade from Think Equity to Accumulate from 'Source of Funds' . Think also thinks that what's good from NSM is also good for Linear Tech (LLTC) and Maxim (MXIM).

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