Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Consolidated Edison, Eldorado Gold, ENSCO, Freeport-McMoRan, Las Vegas Sands, Macy’s, Potash and More

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Stocks were indicated marginally higher on Wednesday, but this is after the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen almost 500 points from peak to trough in just four trading sessions. It appears that volatility is back in the market again. Just keep in mind that the bull market is now seven and a half years old, and investors have shown time after time that they will buy any real pullbacks. Investors also still are looking for new ideas to generate income or gains ahead, and also to keep from losing money.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning of the week. The goal is to find new investing and trading ideas. Some analyst research reports cover stocks to buy, and others feature stocks to sell or avoid.

These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Wednesday morning:

Consolidated Edison Inc. (NYSE: ED) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $82 from $80 (versus a $73.23 prior close) at Jefferies. The shares have a 52-week trading range of $60.30 to $81.88 and a consensus analyst price target of $75.32.

Eldorado Gold Corp. (NYSE: EGO) was raised to Buy from Underperform with a $5 price objective (versus a $3.63 close) at Merrill Lynch. The stock has a 52-week range of $1.87 to $5.16 and a consensus price target of $5.76.

ENSCO International PLC (NYSE: ESV) was started as Outperform with a $10 price target (versus a $6.89 close, after a 6.5% drop and hitting a new 52-week low) at Scotia Howard Weil. The 52-week range is $6.67 to $18.93, and the consensus price target is $9.16.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight with a $7 price target (versus a $10.15 close) at Morgan Stanley. The 52-week range is $3.52 to $14.20. The consensus price target is $11.95.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $67 price target (versus a $56.54 close) at Argus. It has a 52-week range of $34.88 to $57.19 and a consensus price target of $52.43.

Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) was raised to Buy from Hold at Citigroup, noting that the high dividend and cost and footprint cuts are paying off. Macy’s closed at $34.68 but was indicated up 2.1% at $35.42 on Wednesday. It has a 52-week range of $29.94 to $57.60.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. (NYSE: POT) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $20 price target (versus a $16.16 close, after a 3.6% drop) at Stifel. The 52-week range is $14.64 to $25.58.

Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades were seen as follows:

At Home Group Inc. (NASDAQ: HOME) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $17 price target (versus a $12.45 close) at Guggenheim.

Atwood Oceanics Inc. (NYSE: ATW) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) was raised to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup.

Coach Inc. (NYSE: COH) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.

Community Health Systems Inc. (NYSE: CYH) was raised to Positive from Neutral with an $18 price target (versus a $10.78 close) at Susquehanna.

F5 Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV) was raised to Outperform from Perform with a $140 price target (versus a $116.84 close) at Oppenheimer.

HSBC Holdings PLC (NYSE: HSBC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS.

Intersil Corp. (NASDAQ: ISIL) is being acquired and the downgrades have started. Deutsche Bank downgraded it to Hold from Buy, and it was cut to Neutral from Buy at B. Riley.

Tuesday’s top analyst calls were in Anthem, D.R. Horton, Intuit, KLA-Tencor, Netflix, Potash Corp., Signet, Xerox and more than a dozen other companies. Monday’s top analyst calls included Colgate-Palmolive, Gilead Sciences, Navistar, Occidental Petroleum, Pandora Media, Wal-Mart and over a dozen more.

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