Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Fairway Group, J.P. Morgan, Red Robin, Vodafone, More

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Earnings season is winding down and the markets are proving to be volatile so far in 2014. Analysts and investors alike are now trying to adjust their expectations for 2014 to reflect the new trading climate. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of Wall Street analyst research reports each morning for new ideas. Some are stocks to buy and some are stocks to sell. These are this Monday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.

Fairway Group Holdings Corp. (NYSE: FWM) was cut to Underperform from Neutral at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. This is after slew of downgrades on Friday after the CEO left the company with the earnings announcement. Shares hit a new 52-week low.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) was raised to Buy from Hold at Societe Generale. The news is on the heels of new investigation developments that it and six other banks hired Chinese officials’ relatives to help win business in China.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. (NASDAQ: RRGB) is winning from two analyst calls on Monday. The gourmet burger chain was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch, and Raymond James raised its rating to Strong Buy from Outperform. A firm named Longbow Research also started Red Robin with a Buy rating Friday as well.

Vodafone Group PLC (NASDAQ: VOD) was resumed with a Buy rating and $45 price target per ADR at Goldman Sachs, representing an implied upside of 23% from Friday’s close. This call is despite AT&T trying to refute rumors and suggesting that it was not interested in acquiring the company recently.

Other Key Analyst Calls

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.

ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch.

Cheniere Energy (NYSE: LNG) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and with a $50 target price at Credit Suisse.

Energy XXI (Bermuda) Ltd. (NASDAQ: EXXI) was maintained as Buy as way oversold at Canaccord Genuity, but the firm did lower the price target to $36 from $38 after Friday’s 7% drop to $21.44.

FireEye Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE) was started as Outperform at Wells Fargo. What stands out here is that it has earnings this week.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM) was maintained as Buy and with a $50 price target at Sterne Agee, but they lowered its earnings expectations due to lower financial services and higher marketing costs.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $90 at Argus.

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ) was started as Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE: LH) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $98 from $95 at Deutsche Bank.

Legg Mason Inc. (NYSE: LM) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $50 price target at Keefe Bruyette Woods.

Monster Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: MWW) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital Markets, but this is after the post-earnings run up last week.

Rocket Fuel Inc. (NASDAQ: FUEL) was started as Buy with a $69 price target (versus a $50.97 close) at Goldman Sachs.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) was started as Equal Weight at Barclays, while T-Mobile US Inc. (NYSE: TMUS) was raised to Overweight at Barclays.

Statoil ASA (NYSE: STO) has seen its price targets lifted at UBS, HSBC and at Citigroup after earnings late last week. We also saw that Howard Weil upgraded the stock and shares were up 6% on Friday in New York ADR trading.

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