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24/7 Wall St. Top Analyst Calls of the Week (MTGE, AAPL, AMAT, ABX, BP, CSCO, JPM, C, LNKD, NOK, OPEN, ORCL, RIMM, UAL, VRSN, MHR, OAS)

Each morning we review our top analyst upgrades, downgrades, and initiations from Wall Street research notes.  We then look back over these at the end of the week to more closely review calls which highlight underlying catalysts or developments that go far beyond just a one-day impact.  Many calls turn out to offer keen insight, but some get a failing grade.  These become the top analyst calls of the week.

This last week’s top analyst calls of the week were in the following: American Capital Mortgage Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: MTGE); Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL); Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT); Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: ABX); BP PLC (NYSE: BP); Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO); J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM); LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE: LNKD); Nokia Corporation (NYSE: NOK); OpenTable, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPEN); Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL); Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM); United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL); VeriSign Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN); Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. (AMEX: MHR); and Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE: OAS).

We have outlined the calls and added in color on each, and we also included links to more detail on a few of the calls.

American Capital Mortgage Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: MTGE) is a newly issued REIT that invests in and manages a leveraged portfolio of agency and non-agency mortgage investments.  In short, it is a mortgage-REIT.  Its post-IPO quiet period ended and at $18.47 it has a post-IPO range of $16.40 to $20.00.  Analysts initiated coverage mostly with a positive bias: Buy at Deutsche Bank; Buy at UBS; and Outperform at Wells Fargo.  The cautious call was the “Hold” issued by Citigroup.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) usually gets several reiterations a week, but this last week was a less routine call.  Morgan Stanley now believes that the company is closer than ever to a dividend or large share buyback announcement.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) is in the rough and tough chip cap-ex sector, which is still under pressure.  The recent guidance was not great but the stock trades at a valuation that is low even for a stock that usually trades cheap to the market.  There were two upgrades this week as it was raised to Outperform at Oppenheimer and even raised to Strong Buy by S&P Equity Research.  This one closed down on Friday but the weekly gain was almost 8%.

Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: ABX) is a monster gold player worth over $50 billion.  You do not usually hear the term “Value” with gold any more, but late in the week Barrick was named the value stock of the day by Zacks this last week.  Shares closed up 1.3% at $53.58 on Friday and the 52-week range is $42.50 to $55.95.