Equity Brief: Ratings Changes for November 14th: ABX, ACI, ANTH, AOS, AVEO, BAP, BAX, BIG, BRFS

A number of stocks were upgraded and downgraded by equities research analysts today, as reported by Analyst Ratings Network (http://bit.ly/equitybriefdaily) and Equity Brief:

Argus downgraded shares of Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE: ABX) from a buy rating to a hold rating.

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE: ACI). They have a $7.75 price target on the stock. Zacks` analyst wrote, "Arch Coal Inc. reported mixed results for the third quarter 2012, as the top line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate while the bottom line lagged it. We believe seasonal demand spike in the U.S coal market will improve the company`s operations. The company`s high-quality Leer Mine prospect is expected to be a major contributor going forward. Arch Coal`s successful cost control initiatives during the quarter and reduction of capital spending on low-return units are positive steps towards boosting margins. However, increasing pressure from environmental regulations, adverse weather impacts and unplanned outages will impede the growth rate to a degree. We maintain a Neutral recommendation on the company."

Leerink Swann initiated coverage on shares of Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANTH). They issued an outperform rating on the stock and set a $3.00 price target.

CL King initiated coverage on shares of A.O. Smith (NYSE: AOS). They issued a neutral rating on the stock.

Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on shares of Aveo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AVEO). They issued a sell rating on the stock.

HSBC upgraded shares of Credicorp Ltd. (BAP) from an underweight rating to a neutral rating.

Sanford C. Bernstein initiated coverage on shares of Baxter International Inc. (BAX). They issued an outperform rating on the stock.

Deutsche Bank downgraded shares of Big Lots, Inc. (BIG) from a hold rating to a sell rating. Their analysts now have a $23.00 price target on the stock. They wrote, "The more we study BIG`s consumables segment, the greater our concerns mount - 2 points. First, while we originally thought BIG could shift its closeout mix lower/add coolers (to help drive frequency), we`ve recently learned that b/c closeouts carry a much higher merchandise margin rate (> 40%) vs. low-30`s for replenishment, such a move would considerably alter BIG`s merchandise margin structure. Second, given the proliferation of the $ stores and their own augmentation in consumables, BIG is losing out on trips."

Miller Tabak downgraded shares of BRF Brasil Foods (BRFS) from a buy rating to a hold rating.

Benchmark Co. raised its price target on shares of Ceradyne (CRDN) from $23.00 to $35.00. They have a hold rating on the stock.

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