From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchJefferies downgraded J2 Global Communications (JCOM
) to hold from buy.
Analyst Youssef Squali says the downgrade is based on valuation and on the risk of stock backdating issues at the company. He says while it's not conclusive given the lack of select data, a review of J2's option grants since 2002 raises prospects for some backdating issues.
He notes second-quarter results reported last week were in line with expectations, and management reiterated guidance for the year.
He has a $28 price target, which reflects a new $4 price hike for new Web customers, and a gradual one for the entire Web based in 2007.