This last week had some very interesting and influential analyst calls. We compile summaries of many top analyst upgrades, downgrades, and initiations each morning from Wall Street research calls and we then review these at the end of each week. Those calls which stand out the most become the Top Analyst Upgrades & Downgrades of the Week. This was a wild week and ended up being a massive gainer due to the coordinated central banking efforts meant at keeping liquidity in the capital markets in Europe.
The top calls of the week were seen in the following companies: Avalon Rare Metals Inc. (AMEX: AVL); Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-B); Carrizo Oil & Gas (NASDAQ: CRZO); Domino’s Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ); Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD); Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: GT); Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG); Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR); Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ); Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU); Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM); Sina Corporation (NASDAQ: SINA); and Western Digital Corporation (NYSE: WDC).
We have outlined the research summaries here on each, and we have added color or linked to more details on the calls if applicable.
Avalon Rare Metals Inc. (AMEX: AVL) is considered the speculative step child in the field of rare-earth metals. Still, this week came coverage from Citigroup with a “Buy” rating this last Monday. The prior closing price had been $2.63 and the stock ramped mid-week. The high close was $3.34 on Wednesday even though it closed down over 5% on Friday at $3.05. The high close in the week would have given a gain of 27% and the gain for the week was still up 16%. The 52-week range is $2.29 to $10.11, making this a leveraged call with huge upside if things work out at the company.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-B) very rarely shows up in research calls, so it was a surprise when Zacks came out and named Warren Buffett conglomerate as the Bull of the Day with a $91.00 target for the next six-months.
Carrizo Oil & Gas (NASDAQ: CRZO) was only a reiterated Buy rating on Thursday by Canaccord Genuity but the implications offer huge upside if the firm is right. The firm called it a top small cap idea with multiple ways to win and with a “valuation too tepid.” The new $49.00 price target implies upside of 71%.
Domino’s Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) was a cautious call because of valuation, but it may offer insight into how much investors should be willing to pay for the pizza delivery leader. The stock was started as Hold at KeyBanc on Friday, which was also the day that this hit a 5-year high. 24/7 Wall St. originally went out with the “buy the value here” call early in 2011 when shares were under $20.00 and we had already taken this one off the list because of value concerns. Friday’s call may point to more and more peak-values here.