24/7 Wall St. Top Analyst Calls of the Week (AIG, ACM, ARMH, BBBY, BRK-A, BSX, CSCO, KO, CREE, FSLR, AWAY, ERIC, MHR, SLM)
Each morning of the week we pull the top analyst upgrades, downgrades, and initiations from Wall Street research reports. It turns out that some research calls were far more important or far more impacting than others and many have ramifications that will last for quite some time. These make “The Analyst Calls of the Week.” This week’s top research calls were in the following: American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG); AECOM Technology Corp. (NYSE: ACM); ARM Holdings plc (NASDAQ: ARMH); Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY); Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A); Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX); Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO); The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO); Cree Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE); First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR); HomeAway, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWAY); LM Ericsson Telephone Co. (NASDAQ: ERIC); ; Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. (NYSE: MHR); and SLM Corporation (NYSE: SLM).
We have highlighted the calls individually with the rating and target, along with an implied impact. Color has also been added if applicable.
American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) could use all the friends it can get. One of the most hated companies in America was Raised to Market Perform at KBW on Tuesday and the call actually helped it close higher on the week from when it was made. Shares went from $22.58 to close out the week at $23.13, even if this was down from $25.10 the prior Friday.
AECOM Technology Corp. (NYSE: ACM) will not sound like much because it was just Reiterated as a Buy rating at Argus on Tuesday. It was the $33 price target objective that implies some 60% upside or so. It turns out that the consensus target is still above $32.00 and the trick here is understanding the upside when so much core infrastructure business is at risk in the age of austerity.
ARM Holdings plc (NASDAQ: ARMH) rallied on Friday even though the ADR was cut from Buy down all the way to Underperform at BofA/Merrill Lynch. This company has grown massively with the smartphone and mobile web explosion and BofA sees the competition coming on strong now. What is so interesting is that Goldman Sachs added the mobile chip and processor outfit to the prized Conviction Buy List at the same time. At $25.65, the 52-week range is $14.16 to $32.18.
Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) is one that you rarely get big pullback buying opportunities because its customer base buys the housing needs there whether times are good or bad. On Friday this retailer was raised to Outperform from Perform by Oppenheimer and the price target was raised from $59 to $63 in the call. Shares had briefly dipped under $53 during the peak selling this week and the 52-week range is $26.50 to $57.90. The call seems late, but the highlight is that you rarely get big opportunities here in Bed Bath & Beyond.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) does not have much of an analyst following for its size due to so many moving parts and due to a lock-down of information to the outside. So when you see two big research calls you have to wonder. Mr. Buffett and friends saw Berkshire Raised to Outperform at Keefe Bruyette & Woods and also was Raised to Overweight by Barclays. Very rare to see two in a week.
Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) needs all the research help it can get. The turnaround medical devices company was Raised to Outperform on Tuesday by Zacks, but more important was the additional “Bull of the Day” assignment along with it. Shares were at $6.00 before the call and the stock closed out the week at $6.41 for nearly a 7% gain.