Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Corning, Intel, Merck, Micron and More

October 11, 2013 by Jon C. Ogg

Bull and Bear
Source: Jon Ogg
A new earnings season has started, and stocks and bonds are dealing with a likely patch for the government shutdown and the debt ceiling. So which are the stocks to buy and which the stocks to sell? 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of Wall Street analyst research each morning to find new investing ideas for our readers. Some ideas are stocks to buy, and some of the calls end up being stocks to sell or to avoid. These are Friday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $525 fair value target (versus a $435.87 close) by Janney Capital Markets.

Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray.

Diageo PLC (NYSE: DEO) was raised to Outperform from Neutral by BNP Paribas.

Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) was downgraded to Underperform from Hold by Jefferies.

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) was raised to Neutral from Sell by Goldman Sachs.

L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LTD) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.

Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform by Wells Fargo, but its fair value target range was raised to $14 to $17 from $11 to $14.

Pharmacyclics Inc. (NASDAQ: PCYC) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $170 price target (versus a $123.14 close) at Goldman Sachs.

Philips N.V. (NYSE: PHG) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Safeway Co. (NYSE: SWY) was raised to Overweight from Neutral by J.P. Morgan.

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. (NASDAQ: SBGI) was started as Outperform with a $43 price target (versus a $33.04 close) at Credit Suisse.

Spirit Airlines Inc. (NASDAQ: SAVE) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Western Gas Equity Partners L.P. (NYSE: WGP) was started as Outperform with a $43 price target (versus a $36.02 close) at Credit Suisse.

Cowen & Co. is calling for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude to drop to potentially $90 per barrel by the end of the year. The basis is large discounts in North Dakota and Western Canada against WTI, while an imbalance in Cushing is keeping prices higher than where the firm thinks they should be.