Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alcatel-Lucent, Broadcom, Groupon, Nokia, Twitter and More

Stocks are challenging new highs going into year-end, and investors have to consider how to best position themselves for 2014. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of Wall Street analyst reports each morning to find new investment and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these reports are stocks to buy, while some are stocks to sell. These are this Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.

Alcatel-Lucent S.A. (NYSE: ALU) was raised to Buy from Neutral by Citigroup. Where this gets interesting is that the €5 price target implies upside of almost 50%. Based on the ADR close of $5.51 in New York, that translates to a price target without any euro-to-dollar currency conversions of close to $6.75. This stock has traded in a 52-week range of $1.10 to $4.59.

Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ: BRCM) was reiterated as Buy with a $33 price target (versus a $28.51 close) at Argus. The firm said that sales will be flat to fractionally down year-over-year and down about 6% sequentially, based upon its latest guidance. Broadcom was also reiterated as Buy at Canaccord Genuity, with that firm saying that the company is delivering on LTE with turnkey design wins.

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo Securities. The firm raised the price target range to $13 to $14 from $5 to $6 in the call. Groupon shares are indicated up at $10.40, versus a $10.04 closing bell price, and note that the consensus analyst price target is $11.76, and the street high price target for the stock is $16.

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) was started with a Buy rating in Europe by Citigroup. The price target of €7 implies upside of about 21% for the ADRs trading in New York. Nokia’s ADRs closed at $7.92, so that implied and converted price target on a snapshot basis without currency conversions ahead would imply a price target of almost $9.60. Nokia shares have traded in a 52-week range of $3.02 to $8.18. The firm’s belief is that the post-device sale to Microsoft leaves an infrastructure company with stable and improving fundamentals with profits and cash flow.

Other calls worth noting on Wednesday were as follows:

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) was started as Neutral at Citigroup.

FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) was raised to Neutral from Sell with a price target of $33 at Goldman Sachs.

DENTSPLY International Inc. (NASDAQ: XRAY) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE: LH) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a new $91 price target (versus a $99.15 close) at Canaccord Genuity.

Moody’s Corp. (NYSE: MCO) was started as Outperform with an $87 price target (versus a $73.09 close) at Credit Suisse.

Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. (NYSE: NSM) was started as Neutral with a $45 price target (versus a $41.72 close) at Sterne Agee.

Owens-Illinois Inc. (NYSE: OI) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Radware Ltd. (NASDAQ: RDWR) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo Securities, and the price target range was lifted to $20 to $22 from $14 to $17 in the call.

Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL) saw its estimates raised and the price target was raised to $28 from $25 (versus a $33.34 close), but the homebuilder was maintained as Underperform at Sterne Agee.

Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) was started as Neutral at Macquarie after the social media-news giant closed up at $51.99 on Tuesday.

We have tracked more than a dozen research changes to the Goldman Sachs Conviction Buy List for its top values in 2014, many of which come with price targets that are at the street high targets from all analysts on Wall Street.

Piper Jaffray has identified eight U.S. technology giants that China considers a security threat.

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

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