Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Hartford, Intel, Lululemon, 3D Systems, Sirius and More

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We are now in the second full trading week of 2014, and analysts are making many key changes to their lists of stocks for 2014. Investors are also continuing to position themselves for the year ahead. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of Wall Street analyst research reports each morning. Some turn out to be about stocks to buy, others about stocks to sell. These are this Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG) was named the top sector pick in insurance at Sterne Agee ahead of earnings season. The price target was raised to $42 from $40, representing potential upside of about 21%. The firm sees core operations continuing to perform handily.

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at J.P. Morgan ahead of this week’s earnings report. What really stands out here is that J.P. Morgan raised the price target to $29 from $20 in the call.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) was maintained as a Buy, but the price target was dropped to $73 from $82, at Canaccord Genuity. The firm has noted that January traffic has tumbled, but spring of 2014 looks like it will normalize. The firm lowered earnings expectations as part of its price target cut.

3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD) was started as Outperform with a $118 price target, and Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) was started as Outperform with a $175 price target, at RBC Capital Markets late on Monday. The belief is on 24% compounded annual revenue increases for the industry through 2021, with consumer printing revenue expected to double through 2017. Be advised that the short sellers have had to flee these shares too.

Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays, with a 44 price target. Unfortunately, the firm feels the same way we do — shareholders are not getting enough in a buyout, but they might not be able to prevent the takeover.

Other Key Analyst Calls

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: BRCD) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at J.P. Morgan.

Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays.

Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital Markets.

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) was raised Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer, although we would remind readers that this is after Monday’s news of activist investors getting involved.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Pan American Silver Corp. (NASDAQ: PAAS) was raised to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform by Raymond James.

YRC Worldwide Inc. (NASDAQ: YRCW) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T Capital Markets.

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