08:58 am Nordson downgraded to Perform at Oppenheimer: . Oppenheimer downgrades NDSN to Perform from Outperform, as it believes the near-term outlook warrants a correction, and anticipate lack of medium-term catalysts. FY3Q EPS guidance for $1.00-1.09 compares to $1.15 consensus, with operating margin guidance for 24% at the midpoint, which would reflect down about 300 bps y-o-y. Prior outlook had suggested opportunity for flat full-year margins (including acquisitions) if similar organic growth as FY12 (indicated as probable). Opco now expects 250-300 bps OM contraction reflecting lower volumes, and (in its view) a potentially protracted time horizon of material ADS OM dilution from recent deals.
08:57 am Sherwin-Williams upgraded to Outperform at Robert W. Baird; tgt raised to $205: . Robert W. Baird upgrades SHW to Outperform from Neutral and raises its tgt to $205 from $180. Post yesterday's analyst meeting, firm believes that the stars are aligned for a multi-year period of earnings outperformance. Given firm's view that SHW will likely continue to benefit from a favorable fundamental mosaic spanning: 1) demand (U.S. housing), 2) costs (TiO2), and 3) an acquisition-related earnings catalyst (Comex), it has increased conviction in its $13-$15 normalized EPS range (towards the higher end).
08:57 am LKQ initiated with a Buy at Stifel; tgt $33: . Stifel initiates LKQ with a Buy and price target of $33. Firm believes there are many verticals in the automotive aftermarket undergoing (long overdue) consolidation. As one of the largest global distributors of automotive aftermarket parts, firm believes LKQ has identified and will continue to successfully execute its roll-up strategy in the U.S., the U.K. and throughout Western Europe. Firm also believes the recent spate of LKQ transactions will drive significant operating leverage in the short to medium term.
08:57 am Polypore Intl initiated with a Neutral at Ascendiant Capital Markets; tgt $45.50: . Ascendiant initiates PPO with a Neutral and tgt of $45.50. PPO's ability to innovate and penetrate new applications/markets using its proprietary polymer-based microporous membranes and separators is its core sustainable advantage. Its value proposition is adding precision porosity to polymers and creating new products and opening new end markets. PPO is a derivative play on the burgeoning consumerism in emerging markets since its unit volumes are heavily tied to growth in per capita vehicle penetration and consumer electronics devices, which are becoming more affordable for middle class consumers in China, India, S. Korea and Thailand.
08:57 am Saks downgraded to Hold at Argus: . Argus downgrades SKS to Hold from Buy. Shares reached firm's $16 price objective in intraday trading on May 22, helped by media reports that Saks had hired Goldman Sachs to explore strategic alternatives, including a sale. The news led many market participants to recognize the value firm have seen in the co's real estate and merchandising initiatives. It is very difficult for us to assess the probability or terms of a transaction, but with the shares trading near its fundamental price objective, firm believes that the potential rewards and risks are balanced.