Investing

Top Analyst Upgrades & Downgrades (AFL, CPLA, COO, HIG, IBM, IFF, LVS, MET, NUE, PAYX, UHS, SHI, KBH, LEN, RYL)

These are some of the top analyst upgrades, downgrades, and initiations seen from Wall Street research calls this Wednesday morning.

AFLAC Inc. (NYSE: AFL) Reiterated Buy and $83 target at BofA/ML.
Capella Education Co. (NASDAQ: CPLA) maintained Underperform and as Bear of the Day at Zacks Investment Research.
The Cooper Companies (NYSE: COO) Reiterated Outperform as Bull of the Day at Zacks Investment Research.
Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG) Reiterated Buy at Argus.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) Reiterated Buy at Argus.
International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (NYSE: IFF) Reiterated Outperform and $70 target at Credit Suisse.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) Cut to Hold at Argus.
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) Reiterated Buy and $54 target at Argus.
Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) Cut to Sell at S&P Equity Research (late-Tuesday call).
Paychex Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) Raised to Hold at S&P Equity Research (late-Tuesday call).
Universal Health Services, Inc. (NYSE: UHS) Reiterated Buy with $55 target at BofA/ML.

In a sector call, BofA/ML is raising estimates on earnings and orders for the first half of 2011 in DR Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI), KB Home (NYSE: KBH), Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN), and Ryland Group Inc. (NYSE: RYL).  The firm maintained Buy ratings on each based on strong entry level buyers being active in the Spring.

You can join our free daily email distribution list to hear more about analyst upgrades and downgrades, top day trader and active trader alerts, dividend trends, news on Buffett and other investment gurus, IPOs, secondary offerings, private equity, and more.

JON C. OGG