Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Ford, Green Mountain, Lennar, Twitter and More

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February is proving to be volatile after a down January, and investors and analysts alike are trying to adjust their outlooks for the year. 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 Thursday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus. This is a rare downgrade, and it is based on a weaker 2014 outlook from the company. Argus also said that it cut the 2014 earnings per share estimate to $1.38 from $1.84, which implies an earnings decline of 22% this year. That is based on higher costs and margin compression associated with the retooling of the F-150 platform, which will result in 11 weeks of downtime at certain plants.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) is back in its deal with Coca-Cola, with shares up more than 40% at $112.00. Canaccord Genuity reiterated its Buy rating and raised its price target to $117 from $95 on the news. Green Mountain was raised to Hold from Sell at Stifel Nicolaus.

Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN) is trading up close to 2% at $40.60 after being raised to the prized Conviction Buy List at Goldman Sachs, up from a Neutral rating before. Ryland Group Inc. (NYSE: RYL) was removed from the Conviction Buy List at Goldman Sachs, but the Buy rating was maintained. Goldman Sachs downgraded Meritage Homes Corp. (NYSE: MTH) to Neutral from Buy.

Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) was crushed after earnings and user growth numbers. The stock was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel Nicolaus, downgraded to Underweight from Neutral by the boutique Atlantic Equities, and downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS. Sterne Agee cut the rating to Underperform from Neutral. Wunderlich reiterated its Sell rating.

Other Key Analyst Calls

Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) was raised to Neutral from Underperform and the price target was raised to $47 from $35 at Credit Suisse.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital Markets.

Compass Minerals International Inc. (NYSE: CMP) is the road salt company, and its stock was raised to Neutral from Underperform and the price target was raised to $88 from $68 by Credit Suisse.

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Glu Mobile Inc. (NASDAQ: GLUU) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray.

Level 3 Communications Inc.(NYSE: LVLT) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $41 from $30 at Canaccord Genuity.

Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) was raised to Buy from Hold with a price target of $90 at Argus.

Rocket Fuel Inc. (NASDAQ: FUEL) was reinstated as Outperform with a $70 price target at Credit Suisse.

Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: VECO) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at J.P. Morgan.

Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James. Oppenheimer reiterated a Perform rating but raised its target to $78 from $76, with the note that shares are fully valued.

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