Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Facebook, Manitowoc, Rio Tinto, Zynga and More

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February is already here, and earnings season and the market sell-off have helped to create a very different landscape for investors in 2014. Investors are figuring out how to adjust their expectations for 2014 as potentially a down year from the “January Barometer.” 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of Wall Street analyst research reports each morning, looking for new ideas on stocks to buy and stocks to sell. These are this Monday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $73 from $63 at Argus. This comes on the heels of last week’s strong earnings reaction taking the social media giant to an all-time high, as well as coming on the heels of multiple target price upgrades from analysts as well.

Manitowoc Co. Inc. (NYSE: MTW) saw its price target raised to $33 from $29 and it was reiterated as Buy at Stifel Nicolaus. J.P. Morgan also raised its target price to $26 from $24, and Baird raised its target price to $34.

Rio Tinto PLC (NYSE: RIO) was maintained as Outperform but added to the Focus List at Credit Suisse. The firm is calling for a stronger dividend hike, higher upside and better results from cost cutting measures.

Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) was downgraded to Underperform from an already cautious Neutral rating at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The firm said a lot of execution is already priced into the stock, and it believes there is downside risk for 2014 guidance. Based on a premium over traditional game makers, the firm has a $3.80 price target, versus a $4.40 close.

Other Analyst Calls Worth Noting

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform and the price target was cut to $18 from $20 at RBC Capital Markets.

Eaton Vance Corp. (NYSE: EV) was downgraded to Sell from an already cautious Neutral rating and the price target was slashed to $33 from $45 at Goldman Sachs.

KLA-Tencor Corp. (NASDAQ: KLAC) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform and the price target was cut to $65 from $68 at RBC Capital Markets.

Lam Research Corp. (NASDAQ: LRCX) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform and the price target was cut to $57 from $62 at RBC Capital Markets.

NVIDIA Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) was raised to Neutral from Negative at Susquehanna.

NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) was raised to Overweight from Neutral and the price target was raised to $52 from $38 (versus a $42.34 close) at Piper Jaffray.

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo. Argus maintained a Hold rating and said that its own fair value calculation was $86 per share, short of the $92.59 closing price.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE: RDS-A) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at HSBC.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) was reiterated as Buy and with a $90 price target (versus a $75.02 close) at Merrill Lynch. This is listed as its favorite defensive stock despite lower guidance.

Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ: WFM) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a $61 price target (versus a $52.26 close) at Piper Jaffray.

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