This Week at MANIFEST (11/15/2013)

Movember? Going Grubby?

I’m not sure whether it’s a hunting season thing … or merely an excuse that many men use to take a break from shaving, but Movember is in full swing in many places. Beard Mania was celebrated BIG in Boston during their recent World Series conquest with many of the Red Sox players sporting facial hair that would have made bearded Civil War combatants proud.  The appearance, including some modest twerking with Carrie Underwood, by Duck Dynasty with Willie Robertson and his fam on the Country Music Awards further popularized canning the razor blades and donning the bandana …

But the shaving continues when it comes to the fundamental analysis of our update batch. We continue (with a few notable exceptions cited below) to see that stealthy reduction of long-term forecasts combining with erosion of 2013 and 2014 consensus estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

And to the U.S. veterans who have served, and their incredible contributions to freedom, whether you decide to sport a moustache, beard or both — we say a simple THANK YOU! from the bottom of our hearts. Simply put, YOU ROCK.

Companies of Interest

There’s a smidge more companies on the “Stronger” line this week, but still nothing to write home about. Microsoft (MSFT) finally received a fundamental upgrade and Priceline’s price surge over the last several months (+61.8% over the trailing 12 months) also merited a closer look and a modest boost. But the trimming continues to far outweigh any boosting as the rhinos seem to refuse to Movember with the rest of a stubbly and grubby nation.

Materially Stronger: Microsoft (MSFT) 2, Priceline (PCLN) 3, Zions Bancorp (ZION)

Materially Weaker: Fusion-IO (FIO), Teradata (TDC) 1, Nuance Communications (NUAN), LinkedIn (LNKD)

1 Teradata (TDC) reduced to $65, from $75, on long-term low price forecast. Annualized return drops from 14% to 10.2%.

2 Microsoft (MSFT) raised from $40 to $45 for long-term low price forecast.

3 Priceline (PCLN) raised from $1265 to $1380 for long-term low price forecast.

Market Barometers

The median Value Line low total return forecast (VLLTR) remains unchanged at 3.9% during this week’s update.

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