Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: BlackBerry, Micron, Target, 3D Printers and More

January 10, 2014 by Jon C. Ogg

The first full trading week of 2014 has come along with many key analyst rating changes. Investors also continue to position their portfolios for the year ahead. 24/7 Wall St. reviews many Wall Street analyst research reports each morning of the week to find new investment ideas for our readers. Some of the morning analyst calls cover stocks to buy, but other analyst calls are regarding stocks to sell. These are this Friday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.

BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) seems to keep getting bumped up in valuation as CEO John Chen’s strategy is getting a better reception. Now the stock rating has been raised to Sector Perform from Underperform and the price target was raised to $10 from $6 at RBC Capital Markets.

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) was started as Buy with a $31 price target (versus a $23.24 closing price) at Argus after the recent earnings report sent shares higher. The firm sees multiple growth drivers in the years ahead, but we would warn that shares also recently hit multiyear highs. Sterne Agee reiterated its Buy rating with a $28 price target.

Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $72 price target (versus a $62.69 close) at Goldman Sachs, but be advised that Target just lowered its guidance Friday morning after the analyst call was made. Target also fessed up about more account breaches. The upgrade is based in part on excessive share bashing after the holiday customer hack and a lack of performance on the stock. Target’s 52-week range is $59.72 to $73.50, and the consensus price target is closer to $68.

FBR Capital Markets has raised its respective price targets on 3D printers after the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Stratasys Inc. (NASDAQ: SSYS) was raised to $165 from $155 and was added to FBR’s Top Picks List after positive takeaways from the CES lineup. 3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD) was reiterated as Outperform and its price target was raised to $98 from $85 in the call.

Other key analyst calls were as follows:

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital Markets.

Alliant Techsystems Inc. (NYSE: ATK) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $139 price target (versus a $125.25 close) at Argus.

Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (NASDAQ: AMCC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the price target was cut to $14 from $16 (versus a $11.37 close) on weaker Telco-X-Gene and potential dilution by Sterne Agee.

Barracuda Networks Inc. (NYSE: CUDA) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and shares are down about 8% after the company’s earnings report.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) was downgraded to Neutral from outperform at BNP Paribas.

Emerald Oil Inc. (NYSE: EOX) started as Outperform with a $10 price target (versus a $7.05 close) at Credit Suisse. The firm predicts that Emerald Oil will deliver 87% production growth and 72% DACFPS growth through 2015.

Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight and the price target was raised to $42 from $36 (versus a $35.53 closing price) at Barclays.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen & Co.

Sequenom Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray, but the stock is indicated higher after the company announced its second national coverage agreement for prenatal diagnostic testing services.

Siemens AG (NYSE: SI) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy by Merrill Lynch.

WisdomTree Investments Inc. (NASDAQ: WETF) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

UBS started European drug companies mostly with positive ratings this morning: AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE: AZN), Novartis A.G. (NYSE: NVS) and Roche were all given Buy ratings; GlaxoSmithkline PLC (NYSE: GSK) and Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) were started as Neutral.