The new year is here, and analysts are trying to show which stocks to buy and which stocks to sell after a stellar 2013. At the same time, investors have to be wondering how to position their portfolios for 2014 and beyond. 24/7 Wall St. reviews many Wall Street analyst research reports each day to find new investment ideas for our readers. Some analyst calls offer stocks to buy, and some analyst reports turn out to be stocks to sell. These are this Friday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) has reached a fair valuation, according to Oppenheimer. The firm has downgraded the conglomerate’s shares to Perform from Outperform.
Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) was reiterated as Buy with a $12 price target (versus a $11.85 close) at Sterne Agee after it closed the acquisition of Ticket Monster sooner than expected. Groupon was also named as a top pick with a reiterated Outperform rating and $15 target price at a firm called Northland Capital Markets.
Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) may have had a phenomenal 2013, but now analysts are getting mixed, based on valuations. RBC Capital Markets decided to downgrade Micron to Sector Perform after seeing no reason to lift its $19 price target on the stock. RBC also cut 2014 profit expectations by almost 20% due to worries about mobile demand. Sterne Agee came out with a reiteration of its Buy rating and $26 price target. That firm’s call was based on expecting a solid November quarter, continuing 2014 Inotera-Yen, and on mobile DRAM tailwinds all helping it out. Credit Suisse also said it expected Micron to beat the street estimates on earnings.
Sirius XM Satellite Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) was raised to Overweight and the price target was raised to $4.50 from $3.90 (versus a $3.50 close) at Evercore Partners. The call is after shares have fallen 15% over the past quarter and also on the belief that the company’s telematics business is not being valued properly for its growth opportunities in 2014 and beyond.
Other key analyst research reports were seen in the following:
Automatic Data Processing Inc. (NASDAQ: ADP) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $88 from $80 at Argus. The call is after a dividend move and based on earnings achievability.
BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) was maintained as Underperform, but the price target was raised to $6 from $5 in the call, at RBC Capital Markets.
EnerNOC Inc. (NASDAQ: ENOC) was reiterated as Buy and with a $30 price target at Canaccord Genuity. That is nearly double the $16.98 closing bell price, and the call was based on being a favorite for 2014 and an urgency to execute on energy data offering big upside.
Federated Investors Inc. (NYSE: FII) was started as Buy with a price target of $33 (versus a $28.28 closing bell price) at Argus.
Infosys Ltd. (NASDAQ: INFY) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC.
IPC The Hospitalist Company Inc. (NASDAQ: IPCM) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform, but the price target was raised to $58 from $54 (versus a $58.50 close), at Credit Suisse.
Joy Global Inc. (NYSE: JOY) was downgraded from an already cautious Neutral rating to Sell at Goldman Sachs. The price target of $52 compares to a closing bell price of $56.36.
Xencor Inc. (NASDAQ: XNCR) was started as Outperform with a $14 price target at Credit Suisse.
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $49 from $40 (versus a $39.59 close and a $41.05 multiyear high) at Stifel Nicolaus.
Citigroup has raised some select power generation stocks to start out 2014. DTE Energy Co. (NYSE: DTE), PPL Corp. (NYSE: PPL), Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (NYSE: PEG) and Westar Energy Inc. (NYSE: WR) were all raised to Buy from Neutral.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch has named its top 10 EMEA picks (Europe, Mid-East, Africa) as its short-term stock recommendations for the first quarter of 2014. It turns out that most of these are also key ADRs that trade in New York.