Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Cisco, Lululemon, Nokia, Peabody, Xerox and More

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It is another earnings season Monday, and analysts and investors are continuing to make adjustments to their 2014 outlook. Last week’s market volatility added another wrench in the machine. 24/7 Wall St. looks over many Wall Street analyst research reports each morning, some of which cover stocks to buy and some of which offer stocks to sell. These are this Monday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was downgraded to Underweight from an already cautious Neutral rating. The cut is based on lower emerging market spending, and the price target was slashed to a very bearish $17 from $21.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Janney Capital Markets. The firm said it was early and wrong on the thesis, and the fair value price target was slashed to $49 from $61 in the call.

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) had its target price lowered at Credit Suisse, but from only 7.25 euro to 7.00 euro (versus a 5.07 euro close). The firm has an Outperform rating and said that it thinks long-term upside potential remains significant here given its view that the sale of handset division will allow Nokia to drive significant value creation from its vast and high-quality patent portfolio.

Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE: BTU) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The firm prefers CONSOL Energy, and it said that it expects another rough quarter for earnings comparisons to last year. Still, the firm believes aspects of the investment thesis are poised to improve and negatives seem well known, so the price target was raised to $20 from $15.

Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform, after Friday’s 4.4% post-earnings drop, at BMO Capital Markets. Xerox even raised its dividend, but the market slide and weak growth metrics weighed on shares.

Other Analyst Calls Worth Noting

Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy by Nomura Securities.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: BCRX) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform by Wells Fargo Securities.

Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) was reiterated Buy and the price target was raised to $355 from $291 at Canaccord Genuity, ahead of new SMNRx data that is expected to be strong.

Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) was reiterated as Buy, but the price target was raised to $24 from $22, at Merrill Lynch.

E-Trade Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: ETFC) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities

Edison International (NYSE: EIX) was raised to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies.

First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (NASDAQ: FNFG) has seen two downgrades after its dismal earnings performance took 12% out of the stock last Friday: Jefferies downgraded it to Hold while KBW downgraded it to Market Perform.

Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU) lost 15% Friday after missing earnings expectations. Its shares were downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James.

MercadoLibre Inc. (NASDAQ: MELI) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral and the price target was cut to $85 at Merrill Lynch, mostly on currency and regulatory risk in Argentina and Venezuela, as well as rival efforts in Brazil.

Mosaic Co. (NYSE: MOS) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays.

MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE: MTG) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform by JMP Securities.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. (NYSE: POT) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

RetailMeNot Inc. (NASDAQ: SALE) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Sarepta Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SRPT) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities, apparently as a valuation concern after running up 40% recently.

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