Action Alerts PLUS holding WhiteWave Foods (WWAV) was the subject of a Jefferies downgrade Wednesday morning as analysts at the firm became pessimistic that an alternative bid to Danone's (DANOY) is forthcoming.
The firm downgraded the stock to Hold from Buy less than a week after Danone announced that it would purchase the organic food producer for $56.25 per share. There were recent reports that fellow AAP holding PepsiCo (PEP) was interested in purchasing the company as a way to diversify its beverage business.
"Recent reports have indicated that PEP was interested in WWAV as a way of diversifying its beverage business but ultimately passed on the opportunity on the basis of price. In our view, this supports the notion that WWAV's valuation was largely viewed as full and that other companies may not see the same synergy potential as Danone," Jefferies note said.
Today's action by Jefferies follows a slew of downgrades the company received this week. J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse also both reduced their outlook on WhiteWave to Neutral from Overweight.
Meanwhile, fellow AAP holding Biogen (BIIB) was upgraded today by analysts at Jefferies, who have a Buy rating and $317 price target on the company's stock, which represents potential 25% upside from the stock's previous close.
"Going into what we believe will be a good quarter and given our increasing confidence in their Alzheimer's program potential, we like the upside opportunity in BIIB shares at these levels," Jefferies analysts said in their note today.
The firm does have some questions on Biogen that it expects to be answered once the company releases its quarterly financial results next Thursday. "We believe there will be interest in learning more about the company's view on cash flow deployment, the state of its strategic imperatives, and the company's goforward aspirations following the LINGO failure and the hemophilia spin-off announcement."
Finally, AAP holding Wells Fargo (WFC) announced today that Carrie Tolstedt, the company's head of community banking, will retire at the end of the year. She will be succeeded on July 31 by Mary Mack, who is currently the bank's president and head of its national retail brokerage Wells Fargo Advisors.
Tolstedt has spent 27 years of a 30-year career with Wells Fargo and helped build the company's retail branch network into the nation's largest.