Analysts Upgrades and Downgrades: BBG, SMA, VVUS, LNN
Thursday, December 22, 2021 10:39 AM

As the U.S. market started Thursday’s trading on a positive note, several stocks were either upgraded or downgraded by analysts and rating agencies. Some notable stocks are discussed here.

Analysts at Canaccord Genuity reiterate a Buy rating on Bill Barrett Corp. (NYSE: BBG), with a price target of $65, up from $61. They state that they are reiterating Buy as they believe events over the next few month, including the potential release of Uinta Basin locations/estimated recoveries,2012 operational/financial guidance and DJ/Powder River Basin horizontal well results, should serve as meaningful positive catalysts for the shares. Shares of BBG added 2.95 percent, or $1.02, to trade at $35.54.

Symmetry Medical, Inc. (NYSE: SMA), which designs, develops, and produces implants and related surgical instruments and cases to orthopedic device manufacturers worldwide, is raised to Buy from Neutral by analysts at Northcoast Research with a new price target of $10. SMA said it agreed to purchase the surgical instruments business of Codman & Shurtleff Inc. for $165 million cash, expanding the company's hospital direct business. Shares of SMA gained 2.84 percent, or $0.23, to trade at $8.33.

Vivus Inc. (Nasdaq: VVUS), a leading biopharmaceutical company, is downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform by analysts at Leerink Swann with a price target of $10. They state that VVUS reported the top-line results of topiramate teratogenicity study, which showed a numerically higher oral cleft prevalence rate for children of women who were exposed to topiramate during the first trimester of their pregnancy compared to other cohorts. They believe that over the next several quarters, there are more downside risks than upside potentials. Shares of VVUS slumped 12.98 percent, or $1.35, to trade at $9.07.

Lindsay Corp. (NYSE: LNN), which designs, manufactures, and sells irrigation systems that are primarily used in the agricultural industry to increase or stabilize crop production while conserving water, energy, and labor in the U.S., and internationally, is upgraded to Outperform from Neutral by analysts at Wedbush, with a price target of $65. They state that a stronger backdrop for global agriculture and demands for more efficient irrigation systems helped drive a 68 percent increase in irrigation sales, exceeding their estimates. Though U.S. irrigation sales may be subject to uncertainty, the underlying drivers for FY2012 and beyond remain intact, they add. Given the better than expected results and pullback in shares, they believe the risk/reward tradeoff is sufficiently attractive. Shares of LNN added 2.10 percent, or $1.10, to trade at $53.60.