Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alcoa, Apple, Gap, GE, 3D Systems and More

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Earnings season and 2014 are both well underway, and investors are still positioning their portfolios for 2014. Each morning, 24/7 Wall St. looks over many Wall Street analyst research reports on the hunt for fresh ideas for stocks to buy and for stocks to sell. These are this Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades, and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.

Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) is one we recently showed why it keeps rising and rising. Now we have J.P. Morgan raising it to Overweight from Neutral, but the standout call here is that the price target went up to $15 from $9. This is the highest price target on the street now.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was downgraded to Hold from Buy, but the price target was maintained at $575 per share, at Societe Generale.

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) was raised to Buy from Underperform and the price target was raised to $44 from $38 at Sterne Agee. The analysts believe that Gap has little risk of missing numbers in 2014 and 2015, and its price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio being the lowest in the group has little risk of further contraction. Barron’s reported over the weekend that Gap could be undervalued to the point that it could rise 30% or so.

General Electric Co. (NYS: GE) was reiterated as Buy at Argus after the conglomerate’s earnings report. The firm has one of the highest price targets on the street with a $31 fair value. The firm liked the one-point gain in Industrial segment operating margins (to 18.3%) and liked that orders rose 8% to $30.7 billion. The price target implies a multiple of 17.7 times its 2014 per-share earnings estimate and a potential return of 20%, including the dividend.

3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse, based largely on a valuation divergence in the 3D printing sector.

Other Key Analyst Calls

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) was raised to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) was maintained Outperform at Credit Suisse, but the prior $1,200 price target was raised to $1,450. The call was based on its ability to sustain mid-teens revenue growth over the next few years. This appears to be the highest price target of all Wall Street analysts.

Hain Celestial Group Inc. (NASDAQ: HAIN) was maintained at Buy and the price target was raised to $108 from $93 at Canaccord Genuity. The stock was also started as Market Perform at Wells Fargo, with a fair value range of $97 to $99.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) was reiterated as Underperform and the price target was lowered to $43 from $47 at Sterne Agee.

Marriott International Inc. (NYSE: MAR) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.

Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.

Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised to $108 from $105 at Credit Suisse. It was also reiterated as Buy with a $110 price target at Sterne Agee.

SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ: SCTY) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at J.P. Morgan.

The TJX Companies Inc. (NYSE: TJX) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $66 price target at Sterne Agee.

TIBCO Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TIBX) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $25 price target at Wedbush Morgan.

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