9:00 am Baidu.com upgraded to Buy from Hold at T.H. Capital; tgt $239
T.H. Capital upgrades BIDU to Buy from Hold and sets target price at $239 noting beyond co's mixed 1Q15 result and soft 2Q15 guidance, firm believes its search business has significant potential to resume high growth toward 2H2015 driven by its new mobile initiatives, mainly its distance proximity bidding, which allows businesses to conduct search marketing in a locally defined territory. Co plans to introduce it to the market in 2Q15. Firm believes it has the potential to capture customers' needs for location based services and to become a new engine for the company's future growth. As for its earnings, the weakness in 1H15 can be a result of seasonality and business transition. Firm believes co's continuous efforts in mobile initiatives may ultimately position the company to resume past growth.
8:59 am SolarCity downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Robert W. Baird; tgt to $65 from $76
Robert W. Baird downgrades SCTY to Neutral from Outperform and lowers their tgt to $65 from $76 noting although co remains a leader in the U.S. residential market, co will soon introduce "levered retained value," which will be optically negative, and firm believes the current regulatory env't creates market and headline risk. Firm believes co likely exceeded its Q1 deployment guidance, although 2015 will be 2H weighted and co's shifting mix should impact margin over time. Firm is moving to the sidelines.
8:59 am Madison Square Garden upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel
Stifel upgrades MSG to Buy from Hold and sets target price at $100 noting they move comes amid commentary from 3Q15's earnings call which firm views as more positive toward valuation post the spin. Firm also views, though not driving the rating change, the commentary that RSN subscriber erosion did not accelerate as positive.
8:59 am LinkedIn upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus; tgt $280
Argus upgrades LNKD to Buy from Hold and sets target price at $280 noting they sales force transition may have been mgmt's first significant mistake, but in firm's view, the move also positions the company for future growth, perhaps just not as much as previously expected in 2015. In addition, firm sees co's FX woes as transitory, and note that currency issues have hurt nearly all U.S.-based companies in our coverage group. The return on the pending lynda.com acquisition is admittedly a question mark, but the NT dilution from the mandated writedown of deferred rev was pretty much expected. Momentum investors will likely abandon co in droves in the wake of the guidance cut, and the shares may fall further; however, firm would rather be early with their upgrade than late to the party.
8:58 am BCE Inc upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital Mkts; tgt raised to $57
RBC Capital Mkts upgrades BCE to Outperform from Sector Perform and raises their tgt to $57 from $54 noting they believe the risk profile of co has improved considerably over the past two quarters reflecting the inflection point on renewed wireline growth, greater NT capex visibility and a reasonable Bell Margin margin "reset". Firm believes co could meet the upper-end of the 2015 EBITDA guidance range and believe 2016 consensus ests are conservative. Following the recent pullback in the stock (-8% since February), firm sees current levels as an attractive entry point.
- Consumer Discretionary