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Analysts Upgrades And Downgrades: PEP, COL, SWY, HOT, EW, POM, MHS

 July 25, 2011 02:21 PM

Amidst the negative movement of the US stock indexes, several stocks were either upgraded or downgraded by analysts and rating agencies. Some notable stocks are discussed here.

PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) is downgraded to Neutral from Buy by analysts at Goldman Sachs, who cut its price target from $83 to $74. They state that the profit of the North American beverage company slipped due to intensified competition from rival Coca-Cola and a tough macro environment leading to softer-than-expected price realization. Shares of PepsiCo fell 1.90 percent or $1.25 to trade at $64.51.

Rockwell Collins Inc. (NYSE: COL) is upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform by analysts at RBC Capital. The company declared a quarterly dividend of 24 cents per share, payable on September 6, 2011 to shareholders of record on August 15, 2011. Shares fell 0.02 percent or 1 cent to trade at $57.42.

[Related -Coca-Cola Company (KO) Dividend Stock Analysis]

Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY) is downgraded to Sell from Neutral by analysts at Goldman Sachs citing in part accelerating inflationary concerns. The former signed a three-year distribution agreement with United Natural Foods Inc. that is expected to boost annual revenue by 4 percent in fiscal 2012. Shares of Safeway fell 0.72 percent or 15 cents to trade at $20.78.

[Related -United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) Q1 Earnings Preview: Can UNFI Post Another Beat?]

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: HOT) is raised to Outperform from Market Perform by analysts at JMP Securities. They state that the company benefits from having strong brands such as St. Regis, Sheraton and the Luxury Collection. Shares of Starwood Hotels were down 0.19 percent or 11 cents to trade at $57.72.

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW) is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform by analysts at brokerage firm Morgan Keegan as they believe that Edwards' TAVI will be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Shares of Edwards Lifesciences fell 2.96 percent or $2.31 to trade at $75.55.

Pepco Holdings Inc. (NYSE: POM) is reduced to Hold from Buy by analysts at Argus due to valuation concerns. The former warned customers that they may face potential outages in coming days. Shares of Pepco were down 0.26 percent or 5 cents to trade at $19.39.

Medco Health Solutions Inc. (NYSE: MHS) is downgraded to Hold from Buy by analysts at BB&T Capital amidst reports that Express Scripts has entered into an agreement to acquire the former for nearly $29.1 billion. Shares of Medco fell 0.15 percent or 10 cents to trade at $65.86.


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