Short Story from Briefing.com

9:02 am Top Pre-Market Analyst Actions

Upgrades:

  • Hortonworks (HDP) was upgraded to Neutral from Negative at Susquehanna following the Q4 results. 
    • Much like the broader market, the stock has had a tough start to 2016; relief comes this morning in the form of a Susquehanna upgrade and better than expected Q4 results, driving the stock +9.2% higher in the premarket
  • Cisco Systems (CSCO) was upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies following the Q2 print.
    • CSCO also raised its dividend and buyback program in addition to the better than expected Q2 results; this movement pushes the stock +5.7% higher in premarket action on light volume

Downgrades:

  • Twitter (TWTR) was downgraded at Topeka Capital Mkts and Pacific Crest following the Q4 results. The former noted MAUs were flat sequentially, with a loss of around 1 million in the U.S. and stagnant user growth remains TWTR's largest challenge.
    • This morning, TWTR trades -6.4% on light volume
  • Flowers Foods (FLO) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sun Trust Rbsn Humphrey following FLO's worse than expected Q4 results. 
    • So far in Feb., FLO is higher +2.2% compared to the -3.7% loss in Jan.; so far this morning, FLO is indicated -9.3% following the worse than expected Q4 print

Others:

  • Expedia (EXPE) target was raised at The Benchmark Company but lowered at RBC Capital Mkts following the Q4 print/ FY16 EBITDA guidance. The latter noted Q4 was a bit light, but that the company gave a solid outlook.
    • Shares on EXPE are higher +9.1% this morning following the results, taking back some of the -22% loss experienced YTD
  • Tesla Motors (TSLA) target was lowered at Credit Suisse, Robert W. Baird, RBC Capital Mkts and JP Morgan following the company's worse than expected Q4 results and FY16 deliveries guidance. Following the results, RBC lowered their 2020 delivery assumption to 355k from 460k, primarily on slower Model 3 ramp.
    • Shares of TSLA have not been immune to the broader market sell-off to start the year; this morning, action takes the auto-manufacturer's shares higher +4.3% on better than feared FY16 guidance

Briefing.com note: This is a select subset of all of the morning's analyst actions, which can be seen on our Upgrades/Downgrades Calendar here

9:01 am Western Alliance Bancorp upgraded to Buy at DA Davidson; tgt $37

DA Davidson upgrades WAL to Buy from Neutral and sets target price at $37. Compared to firm's 49-bank research universe, shares are the 8th worst performer year-todate -- the seven stocks that have declined more so far in 2015 include banks with direct energy exposure, a tech focus, China exposure, or other shareholder issues. As co is broadly clear of these issues, firm thinks the sell-off is unwarranted and represents an attractive buying opportunity.

9:01 am Douglas Emmett downgraded to Sell at Stifel; tgt $23.50

Stifel downgrades DEI to Sell from Hold and sets target price at $23.50 based on 1) a peak pricing acquisition, 2) a resultant net debt/cash EBITDA over 9.0x, 3) NAV dilution, 4) valuation relative to other recently annihilated Gateway City office REITs, 5) lack of a value-add platform. Given co's full valuation and a possible REIT rally in the next quarter, firm would expect co to be a source of capital as investors rotate into more discounted names.

9:01 am Twitter downgraded to Hold from Buy at Topeka Capital Mkts

Topeka Capital Markets downgrades TWTR to Hold from Buy and lowers their tgt to $15 from $35 following earnings. Co reported Q4 revs that were in line and EBITDA and EPS that were ahead of the consensus, while providing a Q1 outlook that was lower than expected on revs but higher than expected for EBITDA. MAUs were flat sequentially, with a loss of around 1 mln in the U.S. and stagnant user growth remains co's largest challenge. Co said users picked up in Jan. to Q3 levels, but that still implies little to no growth. Firm's upgrade in October was based on the thesis that product upgrades led by the new CEO could accelerate user growth and monetization but it appears it will take more time. Until they can see more tangible improvements to products and MAUs, they take rating lower and tgt lower.

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