This has to be one of the more amusing upgrades I have ever come across. Countrywide Financial (CFC) Ups from 1 STAR (strong sell) to 2 STARS (sell) Analyst: Stuart Plesser Countrywide's shares have fallen over 10% year-to-date, in our view leaving only modest downside potential. We are concerned about Countrywide's exposure to the subprime market and the possibility of loans being put back to Countrywide due to higher default rates. We also believe that Countrywide's gain-on-sale margin will fall due to a widening of credit spreads in the securitization market. Finally, we remain cautious about Countrywide's option ARM loans, which comprise over 40% of loans held. We are lowering our target price by $2 to $36, 8.2 times our 2007 EPS estimate of $4.37, a discount to Countrywide's historical average. FWIW I am heavily short.