Top Analyst Downgrades and Stocks to Sell: Allot, Microsoft, Vical and More

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Investors frequently get to see the analyst upgrades and Buy ratings from Wall Street firms. What investors often do not get to see is when analyst downgrade stocks to sell or to avoid. 24/7 Wall St. reviews many fresh research calls each and every day to find great ideas from value stocks to growth stocks to dividend stocks, and we have broken out the negative analyst calls today. These are this Tuesday’s top analyst downgrades and cautious research notes from Wall Street.

Allot Communications Ltd. (NASDAQ: ALLT) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets after shares have fallen 18% in the past week and a half.

Athenahealth Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Cowen & Co.

Cathay General Bancorp (NASDAQ: CATY) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital Markets.

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) was maintained Neutral but that $33 price target was maintained (versus $40.57 closing price) at Credit Suisse. This would effectively be an Underperform rating or Sell rating at other firms with such downside. Credit Suisse said that the market has digested lower earnings and guidance, but the firm is concerned about lack of bookings, competitive loss and negative module gross margins.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel Nicolaus.

Nordic American Tankers Ltd. (NYSE: NAT) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen & Co.

Smith & Nephew PLC (NYSE: SNN) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Citi.

Vical Inc. (NASDAQ: VICL) was effectively cut in half on Monday. Credit Suisse lowered shares to Neutral from Outperform.

The independent research firm Argus made changes to its model portfolio for a pre-September move. Some are being bought and some are being sold.

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