Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Twitter, Atmel, Gogo, Hologic, Vodafone and More

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Earnings season may be winding down and the stock market may be close to all-time highs, but now traders and investors alike have to be considering how to position their portfolios and holdings for 2014. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of research report summaries from Wall Street analysts each morning. The aim is to find new ideas for our readers, and often find calls for stocks to buy and stocks to sell. These are this Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.

Atmel Corp. (NASDAQ: ATML) was started as Outperform with a $10 price target at Oppenheimer. This is against a $7.09 closing price and 52-week range of $4.37 to $8.40. Atmel’s $10 price target matches the street’s highest target and compares to a consensus price target of $8.62. This stock also has been identified as having recent insider selling.

Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOGO) rose substantially, by about 29% to $24.15, after its earnings and raised guidance this week. Now we have a downgrade to Neutral from Buy at UBS, based on valuation at the adjusted higher price. This downgrade comes at a post-IPO high, with a market cap of just over $2 billion.

Hologic Inc. (NASDAQ: HOLX) is down well over 10% in early trading indications after it announced a loss and a $250 million stock buyback plan. The stock was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord Genuity, and it was also downgraded to a Sector Perform rating from Outperform by RBC Capital Markets.

Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) was started with a Neutral rating at Susquehanna and also at R.W. Baird. This is on the heels of Monday’s Neutral rating from Sterne Agee, but the difference is that Sterne Agee had downside price target valuations. It seems that all of the analysts like Twitter as a business concept, but paying 50 times sales is just too much for guys with CFA designations to justify telling clients to buy.

Vodafone Group PLC (NASDAQ: VOD) was given a Sell rating at Societe Generale and a downside price target in the local markets, which implies a downside of more than 40%, based on deteriorating business conditions in Europe. With AT&T supposedly interested, this poses an interesting take after its earnings. Shares are indicated up 1% after earnings.

Other notable analyst upgrades, downgrades, initiations and commentary are in the following stocks:

Becton Dickinson & Co. (NYSE: BDX) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $125 from $115 (versus a $108.00 close) at Argus.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: BCRX) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Clean Harbors Inc. (NYSE: CLH) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with lowered estimates and a much more complicated story than before, according to Credit Suisse.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy, based on valuation, at UBS.

CrossTex Energy L.P. (NASDAQ: XTEX) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets.

Embraer S.A. (NYSE: ERJ) was raised to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup.

Emulex Corp. (NYSE: ELX) was raised to Overweight from Neutral and the price target was raised to $9 from $8 (versus a $7.54 close) at Piper Jaffray.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen, but the firm raised the price target substantially to $136 from $117 in the call, compared to a $132.52 closing price.

Hain Celestial Group Inc. (NASDAQ: HAIN) was reiterated as Buy and the target price was raised from $93 to $98 at Argus, but the firm also points out that shares have tripled since it first issued its Buy rating.

Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) was reinitiated as Buy with an $80 price target (versus a $67.62 close) at Jefferies.

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) was raised to Buy with a $40 price target (versus a $31.20 closing price) from Neutral at Citigroup.

Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie.