Markets & Finance

Analyst Actions: Netflix, Dendreon, J.B. Hunt


What Wall Street analysts are saying about selected stocks in the news Tuesday

Netflix (NFLX)

Wedbush downgrades to hold from buy

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter downgraded Netflix Tuesday, saying the online movie rental company's shares have reached their full value. The analyst cut his rating to hold from buy and kept his target price at 48.

"We acknowledge that this downgrade may appear 'early' in light of the company's recent spectacular results, and improving fundamentals," the analyst wrote in a note to investors. But he added that the company's shares fully reflect its positive guidance, "as well as better performance in the future."

Netflix said in January it expects first-quarter earnings of 25 cents to 33 cents per share on revenue ranging from $387 million to $393 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect a profit of 31 cents per share on sales of $390.3 million.

Pachter expects the quarter's results to come in above the company's guidance. He also said he continues to expects streaming to drive new customers to Netflix and limit the turnover of existing subscribers.

Los Gatos, Calif.-based Netflix is expected to report earnings after market close on April 23.

Dendreon (DNDN)

Merriman Curhan upgrades to neutral from sell

Merriman Curhan analyst Joe Pantginis says the positive outcome in the Provenge study in advanced prostate cancer is a great outcome for Dendreon and important for the cancer immunotherapy space.

Pantginis says two key factors he needs to get visibility on are: ability to deliver Provenge through efficient manufacturing and pricing. While Provenge should be approved for advanced prostate cancer, the key upside potential could come from off label in earlier stage patients.

The analyst upgraded Dendreon to neutral from sell. He has a $18-$19 price target on the stock.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services (JBHT)

Morgan Keegan keeps outperform opinion

Morgan Keegan analyst Chaz G. Jones says J.B. Hunt's first quarter EPS of $0.24 was in line with his estimate and above the $0.22 consensus forecast. Jones trimmed his $1.38 2009 EPS view to $1.35 and $1.69 for 2010 to $1.62 to reflect weaker pricing trends and continued weakness in freight volumes, offset partially by lower interest expense.

Jones notes, however, while the near-term outlook is cloudy, the company's intermodal and dedicated franchises give it a competitive advantage longer-term, and he believes that the company has EPS power above $2.00 in more normalized economy. Given that and valuation, he kept an outperform opinion on the stock.


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