Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Apple, 3D Systems, Celgene, Goldman, Geron and More

Stocks are looking for direction after the first week of a sell-off on the heels of eight weeks of a rally. At the same time, investors are getting ready for year-end and positioning themselves for 2014, with the stock market close to all-time highs. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of Wall Street analyst reports each morning, looking for new ideas for our readers. Some turn out to be stocks to buy, some are stocks to sell. These are this Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was maintained Neutral at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, but the firm raised the price target to $600 from $530 in the same call. The team feels that the China Mobile expectations are too high. The team said it sees less than 10 million units incrementally added in sales, versus 20 million to 30 million units being projected at other firms. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank has Apple listed as a top tech stock to buy for 2014.

3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD) is the feature 3D printing stock on Tuesday. Deutsche Bank is out with a positive view on the 3D printing craze stocks. We have seen 3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD) started with a Buy rating with a $95 price target (versus a $75.95 close) one day after Pacific Crest also started it with a Buy rating and a $96 price target. Deutsche Bank issued a new Buy rating on Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) on Tuesday, versus a Sector Perform rating from Pacific Crest on Monday. Deutsche Bank also issued a new Hold rating on ExOne Co. (NASDAQ: XONE) on Tuesday, versus a Sector Perform rating from Pacific Crest on Monday.

Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised all the way up to $210 from $165 at Credit Suisse. The firm raised its 2017 total sales estimate to $13 billion from $11 billion and raised its EPS to $16.00 from $13.57.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) was started at Outperform and with a $185 price target (versus a $167.67 close) at Credit Suisse. The firm started many other financial stocks as Neutral and Outperform, but the Outperform stocks had limited upside and the Neutral stocks in many cases had lower price targets than the share price.

Geron Corp. (NASDAQ: GERN) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $10 price target (versus a $5.52 close) at Needham & Co. The call is on the heels of a positive bone marrow drug study that was announced last week.

Other calls worth noting on Tuesday were as follows:

Parker Hannifin Corp. (NYSE: PH) was raised to Buy from Hold with a price target of $139 (versus a $120.79 close) at Argus.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE: RDS-A) was raised to Neutral from Underweight at J.P. Morgan.

Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) was downgraded to Underperform all the way from Buy and the price target was slashed to $55 from $64 at Merrill Lynch. The downgrade was based on a light organic growth outlook, costs of its Invigorate study and a changing deal strategy. The firm said that Celgene’s valuation is modestly above historical averages and it sees potential downside.

Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ: RMBS) was started with a Buy rating and $13 price target (versus a $8.53 close and $9.60 indication) at Jefferies. This news is on the heels of Rambus signing a licensing pact in which its architecture will be used by Micron Tech for up to $10 million per quarter.

United Rentals Inc. (NYSE: URI) was added to the Top Pick list from a prior Outperform rating at RBC Capital Markets.

Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $15 from $13 (versus a $11.44 close) at Argus after the firm’s credit ratings were raised from the bond offering and as Argus now expects better margins going forward.

Sterne Agee lowered earnings estimates on Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) and Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) due to short-term issues, but the firm did at least reiterate its Buy ratings on each.

We have tracked more than a dozen research changes to the Goldman Sachs Conviction Buy List for its top values in 2014. Many of these price targets are street-high targets from all analysts on Wall Street.

Deutsche Bank has issued five top tech stocks to buy for 2014, plus two you should sell now.

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