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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alcatel-Lucent, Altera, Intel and More

With earnings season winding down and stocks challenging new all-time highs yet again, investors and traders are starting to position their assets for 2014. Each morning 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of Wall Street research reports looking for new ideas for our readers. Some ideas are for stocks to buy and others end up being stocks to sell. These are this Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.

Alcatel-Lucent S.A. (NYSE: ALU) was reiterated as Hold at Argus. The firm said that it sees slim prospects for a normal “budget flush” fourth quarter and it expects deeper losses in 2013 and 2014 than it had previously modeled. With this stock up almost 200% in 2013, the turnaround bulls might want to consider that the shift plan remains at the beginning stages.

Altera Corp. (NASDAQ: ALTR) was maintained as Buy but was removed from the prized Conviction Buy List at Goldman Sachs. The firm maintained a $39 price target in the call after the analyst day. Sterne Agee simply maintained its Hold rating on Altera.

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) was reiterated Outperform and with a $30 price target at Credit Suisse ahead of this week’s analyst day. Sterne Agee maintained its Neutral rating and $20 price target, so there are two sides to this story and they are very far apart. Intel shares closed at $24.62 on Monday.

Other analyst calls are as follows:

Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) was reiterated as Buy and on the Focus List as its price target was raised to $35 from $33 at Argus.

Clorox Co. (NYSE: CLX) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised by $10 to $105 at Argus.

CST Brands Inc. (NYSE: CST) was reinstated as Underperform with a $29.00 price target (versus a $33.06 close) at Credit Suisse.

Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL) was started as Outperform with an $82.00 price target (versus a $72.86 close) at Credit Suisse.

Great Plains Energy Inc. (NYSE: GXP) was raised to Buy, but up from an Underperform rating, and the price target was raised to $27 from $23 at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: MTN) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and the target price was raised to $81 from $71 at Credit Suisse, versus a $72.33 closing price.

Vipshop Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: VIPS) was started as Overweight at HSBC, and this is the highest price target of all analysts at $126.00.