Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ): Current Price $80.68
Shares are pulling back after the analyst Michael Weinstein at JPMorgan downgraded the stock from Overweight to Neutral in a note to clients earlier Monday. Weinstein lowered his rating on the firm because he believes that, after appreciating by 30 percent, J&J’s stock overly reflects the improvement in its fundamentals. Shares now trade 8 percent above the value of its assets and 16 percent above the average value of large pharmaceutical firms. Moreover, Johnson & Johnson is likely to report lower than anticipated first quarter revenue because of 1-2 fewer business days during the quarter, and it will probably lower its 2013 earnings per share guidance as a result of currency factors, according to Weinstein, who raised his target on the shares from $77 to $83.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ): Current Price $49.16
Vodafone Group (NASDAQ:VOD) could be drawing near a sale of its hugely valuable 45 percent interest in Verizon Wireless to Verizon Communications, the 55-percent owner of the number-one domestic cell-phone operator, according to a Barron’s report. A huge sale like that could bring over $100 billion, and likely would provide a nice lift to Vodafone shares and a potentially smaller rise to Verizon stock. Shares of the United Kingdom-based Vodafone, now about $28, might rise into the mid $30s, while Verizon, now at $49, could move into the low $50s.
Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ): Current Price $21.75
Hewlett-Packard’s Chief Executive Meg Whitman wants to use a new line of servers to jump-start a multiyear turnaround of a firm that has become a symbol of corporate mismanagement, says Bloomberg. The company revealed last week that Chairman Ray Lane is stepping down while two other directors are resigning, which might allow the computer maker a chance to return from a three-year stretch of falling sales, strategy shifts and management turmoil. Director Ralph Whitworth of Relational Investors will serve as interim chairman while directors search out someone with the “time, energy and ability” to lead the board and keep revival efforts on track, says HP.