Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Dollar General, Intel, Twitter, Ulta Salon and More

Stocks have pulled back on tapering concerns, and now investors and traders have to decide how to position their portfolios ahead of 2014. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of Wall Street research reports each morning looking for ideas for our readers. Some of these turn out to be stocks to buy, some are stocks to sell. These are this Friday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.

The dollar store theme remains alive and well, selectively. Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) was raised to the prized Conviction Buy List from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. The sector leader saw its price target raised to $71 from $64 as well. Meanwhile, Sterne Agee downgraded Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO) to Underperform with a price target of $56.

Intel Corp. (INTC) was just raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup, with an upside price target of $28 on the chip and processor giant. After closing at $24.26, its consensus price target is $24.42 and the 52-week high is up at $25.98.

Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) was given yet another call at “less than buy” based on its valuation. Bernstein initiated coverage with a Market Perform rating and a price target of $40 on the social media stock. This price target is actually above the consensus from the last ratings montage we did on Twitter, but the concern remains that the company is valued at 50 times expected revenues.

Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA) is getting crushed by almost 20% after a disappointing earnings report. The stock was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight and the price target was cut to $113 from $129 at Piper Jaffray. Ulta Salon was maintained as Outperform at Credit Suisse, but the price target was cut to $115 from $125.

Other notable calls from this Friday are as follows:

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) was started as Overweight at HSBC.

LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital Markets.

Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. (NYSE: AEM) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets.

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

Intuitive Surgical Inc. (NASDAQ: ISRG) was started as Buy and with a $480 price target at Jefferies.

Telefonica S.A. (NYSE: TEF) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BNP Paribas.

Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE: TYC) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus.

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