Analyst Upgrades: Marathon's strong production, ABF's retail jump
Several listed companies were upgraded by analysts last week.
Computer Sciences Corporation (NYSE:CSC)
IT company Computer Sciences Corporation easily beat the market's consensus EPS when it reported its Q2 last week. CSC reported EPS of 0.83, which bested the market's estimate by more than 72% on revenue of USD 3.854M, in line with the market's expectations. The company had excellent results in all of its three business divisions, with growing sales and improving margins. In addition, the company raised guidance for its full year EPS from 2.30 to 2.50.
From all of the company's good news, the IT company's stock target price was upgraded 15.8% from 31.36 to 36.32. Although analysts liked the company's strong performance, many are still on the fence regarding the company's future with 69% of analyst having a 'HOLD' on the stock.
Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO)
Marathon Oil reported its third quarter result last week and although EPS came in as expected, revenue easily beat expectations with USD 4161 against an expected USD 3317, a 25% surprise. The revenue beat came from higher-than-expected production, which averaged 392k boed vs management's previous guidance range of 365-380k boed. The increase in production mainly came from the company's production in shale oil in the US. The company now expects that fourth quarter production will be between 400 and 415k boed.
On the strong production numbers and the increased guidance, analysts bumped up the target price for the stock from 34.63 to 36.31. A full 60% of the analysts on the stock have a buy rating while the remaining 40% have a hold, a pretty bullish sign.
Associated British Foods (LON:ABF)
ABR reported strong preliminary 2012 annual results last week. Group revenue was up 11% from the previous year, and adjusted operating profit was up 17%, although EPS was only up 2%. The biggest factors for the company’s strong result were from high sugar yields and strong growth at its discount retailer Primark.
ABF is up 23% for the year and after the preliminary results, analysts increased their price target for the stock by 4.4%.
Other notables shown below include Air France, which continues to be upgraded and French company Teleperformance, which upgraded its full year guidance on strong revenue growth.
For additional details about these stocks, take a look at Saxo Bank’s Equity Research offering here.
You can read about last week's analyst downgrades in my other article today: Analyst Downgrades: Vestas still blows, JCP turnaround drags on.
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