This last week had some key analyst calls that either stood out from the pack, showed some key insight, or which moved shares more than just a garden variety upgrade or downgrade. The top calls were stacked more toward the end of the week because the trading patterns were weak. While there are more than five stocks covered here, the top research calls after going through the week’s upgrades and downgrades were seen in the following: Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NYSE: NLY); Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL); Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC); Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C); Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL); and SIRIUS XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI).
Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NYSE: NLY) is one of the huge dividend payers in mortgage REITs and the company has been the king of making money on mortgages in a tough climate. There may be some concern on valuations after Stifel Nicolaus decided to cut its “Buy” rating down to “Hold” late in the week. The cut only took out 0.17% from the stock and the $17.88 price compares to a 52-week range of $14.09 to $18.75.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) may have debuted its iPad2 but the estimates went up again this last week as a result. We covered this one mid-week, showing that Gabelli & Co. put a private market value of $555 on the stock.
Goldman Sachs gave a two-in-one call on Friday that may help set a highly mediocre tone for both Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC) and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C). Goldman cut both to “Neutral” from “Buy.” The expectation is not dismal, but it is looking for unexciting earnings even if improvements continue. BofA closed down 1.05% at $14.12 and Citi closed down 3% at $4.54 on the news Friday.
Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL) took a pretty hard hit on Friday by 11.5% to $16.13 versus a 52-week range of $13.87 to $22.87. Still, several analysts remained bullish:
- FBR reiterated Outperform but cut the target to $23 from $25;
- Stifel Nicolaus maintained a Buy but cut the target to $26 from $28;
- Janney reiterated Buy with $27 target.
Zacks Investment Research pointed out SIRIUS XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) Friday evening as a “Neutral” rating and brings up some concerns that could mount next week if the market remains rocky. The firm noted that SIRIUS XM is fairly valued with a limited scope for any above market gain in the near-term. At $1.81, its 52-week range is $0.79 to $1.88 and shares have petered out here at the $1.80+ level since mid-February.
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JON C. OGG