Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: First Solar, NII, NRG, Ulta, Under Armour and More

March 20, 2014 by Jon C. Ogg

investor research
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Stocks are adjusting to a period of the post-Fed rate hike timing guidance and tensions¬†with Russia. Investors want to make money on the upside, but they want to avoid the bad stocks in the next sell-off. 24/7 Wall St. looks over dozens of analyst calls from boutique firms to bulge bracket firms each morning. On this hunt for new ideas, some are stocks to buy and some are stocks to sell. These are this Thursday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.

American Homes 4 Rent (NYSE: AMH) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

American Residential Properties Inc. (NYSE: ARPI) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Merrill Lynch.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $742 (versus a $596.50 close) at Sterne Agee. This is $4 shy of the street-high price target.

El Paso Electric Co. (NYSE: EE) was raised to Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) was maintained as Neutral at Credit Suisse, but the price target was more than doubled — to $70 from $33 — in the call. The firm said that its technology road map could dramatically improve solar competitiveness.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (NASDAQ: JBHT) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch.

NextEra Energy Inc. (NYSE: NEE) was downgraded to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman Sachs.

NII Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: NIHD) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo Securities.

NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE: NRG) was raised to Conviction Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus.

Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee, based on valuation. Still, after shares closed at $122, the firm’s three-year price target on the sports apparel stock was established as $170.

Westar Energy Inc. (NYSE: WR) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE: XEL) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.