Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL): According to Jefferies, its global analysis of smartphone markets show that it is likely that profits for Apple’s iPhone peaked during 2012, causing the firm to think that most worldwide smartphone growth going forward will come at prices lower than $200 per phone, which indicates that a low-cost iPhone at $350 to $450 may not be cheap enough. Jefferies believes that htere is risk to 2014 earnings estimates for Apple, already 20 percent below consensus expectations. The firm keeps a Hold rating and a $420 price target on the shares. Goldman decided to reduce its rating on the U.S. Technology Hardware sector because of a more bearish view on PC trends. The analyst stated that end demand is weakening and data points indicate a more difficult near-term environment. The firm decided to reduce its 2013 PC forecast to 3.8 percent from .5 percent, and it removed Apple from its Conviction Buy list and downgraded Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) to Sell from Neutral.
Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET): According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the CMS issued its final 2014 Medicare Advantage rates which included a doc fix resulting in rates that are about 5.5 percent better than the original announcement. The firm stated that Health Net (NYSE:HNT) comes out ahead with the best rates and Cigna’s (NYSE:CI) were the worst.
Bill Barrett Corp. (NYSE:BBG): The company’s price target has been increased by Wunderlich due to improved confidence in the company’s Niobrara oil properties. The firm reiterates its Buy rating on the stock.
Cree Inc. (NASDAQ:CREE): Jefferies that the company’s shares are expensive on all metrics and are pricing in nearly perfect execution. The firm reiterates its Underperform rating and $32 price target on the stock, as it believestaht expectations for the company will drop. On LED peer Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI), Jefferies has stated that it is waiting for pullbacks to get into the name, and it reiterates its Hold rating on the stock.
Dollar Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:DLLR): The company has been removed from FBR Capital’s Top Picks list, but the firm believes that the stock is oversold after yesterday’s pullback. The firm still believes that DFC Global will be a long-term beneficiary of regulatory reform in the U.K. The firm keeps its Outperform rating on the stock, although it has reduced its price target for shares to $17 from $23.
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