Equity Brief: Ratings Changes for December 7th: JBLU, JCOM, JPM, KBH, LEN, LOW, MAR, MCD

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:

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of Jetblue Airways Corp (JBLU). They have a $5.50 price target on the stock. Zacks` analyst wrote, "We are maintaining our Neutral recommendation on JetBlue Airways based on impressive third quarter results, initiatives to expand operations, cost-saving steps and beneficial partnerships. For the July-September period, the company surpassed our projections for both earnings and revenue, owing to better operational efficiency. Looking ahead, we expect JetBlue to benefit from its low-cost structure and improving travel demand. Other major positives for the company include ancillary revenue growth opportunities and a robust liquidity profile. However, with these aspects already well reflected in the stock price, we do not see any near-term strong driving catalyst for the company. "

Zacks reiterated its neutral rating on shares of j2 Global (JCOM). They have a $32.00 price target on the stock. Zacks` analyst wrote, "j2 Global reported impressive third-quarter 2012 results with both the top and bottom lines beating the Zacks Consensus Estimates. Record low churn, strong revenue and EBITDA growth along with solid cash position and long-term growth prospects of value-added outsourced messaging services, will drive j2 Global`s earnings higher in the near future. Moreover, exploration of new opportunities for both digital facsimile and voice services, through new acquisitions will further act as tailwinds for the company going forward. However, weaker economic growth has thereby resulted in future tech spending slowdown by business enterprises, which can impact the company`s growth. Currently, the company`s stock is trading near 52-week high. Accordingly, we maintain our long-term Neutral recommendation on j2 Global."

SunTrust initiated coverage on shares of JPMorgan Chase (JPM). They issued a buy rating on the stock and set a $48.00 price target.

Topeka Capital initiated coverage on shares of KB Home (KBH). They issued a hold rating on the stock.

Topeka Capital initiated coverage on shares of Lennar Co. (LEN). They issued a hold rating on the stock and set a $33.00 price target.

Jefferies Group raised their EPS estimates on shares of Lowe`s (LOW). They now have a hold rating and a $32.00 price target on the stock. They previously had issued a positive rating They wrote, "We walked away from the meeting feeling better about certain aspects of the long-term plan (i.e. added labor and less inventory reduction), but were a bit surprised that financial targets were not shaved more in light of a challenging year. Perhaps that should be viewed positively, but misses to high expectations set in the last two years seem to warrant a more conservative view.. SSS expectations are now 4.3% on average for the next 3 years versus recent sub 2% trends. SSS next year are expected to be below the targeted average as initiatives to improve close rates are implemented. The forecast now also includes a macro benefit from housing, which is expected to add 50-100 bps."

Cantor Fitzgerald raised its price target on shares of Marriott (MAR) from $44.00 to $47.00. They have a buy rating on the stock.

Janney Montgomery Scott upgraded shares of McDonald`s (MCD) from a neutral rating to a buy rating.

Needham & Company initiated coverage on shares of Microchip Technology Inc. (MCHP). They issued a buy rating on the stock and set a $37.00 price target.

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Source: Equity Brief via Thomson Reuters ONE

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