Top Analyst Upgrades & Downgrades (BHP, CCL, DLPH, MN, MFRM, MCP, PKD, PCCC, PMT, SHLD, JOE, VRSK)

Source: Jon Ogg
These are some of the top analyst upgrades, downgrades, and initiations seen from Wall Street research calls this Wednesday morning.  As usual for the week between Christmas and New Years, the volume of analyst calls is light but there may be some great hidden gems during this time.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) Cut to Underperform from an already-cautious Neutral rating and named as the “Bear of the Day” by Zacks Investment Research.
Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) maintained Hold (with Long-Term Buy) but cut estimates at Argus.
Delphi Automotive (NYSE: DLPH) Started as Buy at Goldman Sachs.
Manning & Napier, Inc. (NYSE: MN) Started as Neutral at Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Started as Buy at Stifel Nicolaus; Started as Outperform at Wells Fargo.
Mattress Firm Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: MFRM) Started as Buy at UBS.
Molycorp, Inc. (NYSE: MCP) Lowered estimates and target to $39 from J.P. Morgan.
Parker Drilling Company (NYSE: PKD) named as value stock of the day by Zacks Investment Research.
PC Connection, Inc. (NASDAQ: PCCC) named as the aggressive growth stock of the day at Zacks Investment Research.
PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (NYSE: PMT) Maintained Buy and raised target to $19 at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (late Tuesday) after distressed asset purchase.
Sears Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD) Maintained Underperform but cut estimates and cut target to $20.00 at Credit Suisse.
The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE) Upgraded to Outperform from Neutral and named as the “Bull of the Day” by Zacks Investment Research.
Verisk Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSK) Maintained as Outperform but target price is only $40.00 (versus $39.95 share price) by Credit Suisse.

Read Also: Analysts’ Top Biotech Stock Picks for 2012


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