Earnings season is now in full throttle and analysts and investors alike are still positioning themselves for 2014. Each morning, 24/7 Wall St. looks over many Wall Street analyst research reports on the hunt for new ideas. Some of the reports are about stocks to buy, and some are about stocks to sell. These are this Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.
Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) was just put in as an activist stake by Dan Loeb’s Third Point. On the heels of the news, and after a 6% gain in the stock, Dow’s rating was raised to Neutral from Reduce at SunTrust Robinson Humphreys.
Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) was raised to Market Perform from Underperform and the price target was raised to $25 from $16 at FBR Capital Markets. The price on the stock is now $26.03, and the stock just hit a 52-week high of $26.52 on Tuesday.
Mosaic Co. (NYSE: MOS) was downgraded to Sell from an already cautious Neutral rating at Goldman Sachs. What is interesting is that the price target was raised to $41 from $35 in the call, against a $48.32 closing price.
Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) was downgraded to Outperform from previously being a Top Pick at RBC Capital Markets. Argus had a different take: Relative weakness offers a buying opportunity, so the firm reiterated a Buy rating and $96 price target (versus a $85.00 close). Travelers is often considered the “forgotten DJIA stock.”
Other Key Analyst Calls
Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE) was started as Neutral at Credit Suisse, a day after Moody’s upgraded the ratings of Irish bank’s government-guaranteed debt to Baa3 from Ba1.
CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT) was started as Neutral at Goldman Sachs.
Dollar Tree Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $56 price target at Sterne Agee.
Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) was downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer.
Power Integrations Inc. (NASDAQ: POWI) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform and the price target was put at $66 at Raymond James.
Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) was raised to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer.
Southwest Energy Co. (NYSE: SWN) was raised to Buy from Neutral and given a $48 price target (versus a $40.33 close) at Sterne Agee.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at Pacific Crest.
Xylem Inc. (NYSE: XYL) was started as Outperform at Oppenheimer.