Earnings season is peaking and analysts are making many ratings adjustments in their 2014 outlooks. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of Wall Street analyst research reports each morning. Some cover stocks to buy, while others cover stocks to sell. These are this Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.
American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) was upgraded to Neutral from Underperform by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. While the price target is $34, the firm raised the 2014 earnings estimate handily — up to $4.00 per share from $2.70 per share. American Airlines was also raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $38 price target at Raymond James. American shares closed at $31.96 on Tuesday, but shares are indicated up 8% at a new post-merger high of $32.80.
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) is trading up 4% around the $26 level after earnings. The video game maker was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price target was raised to $36 from $29 at Merrill Lynch. The upgrade was based on the upcoming Titanfall launch and on industry growth in the next year. EA was maintained as Buy with a $29 price target at Sterne Agee.
Teradata Corp. (NYSE: TDC) downgraded to Sell from an already cautious Neutral rating, and the price target was cut to $36 from $48, by Goldman Sachs. Shares are indicated down more than $1 from the $43.90 closing price, and the 52-week range is $39.16 to $68.12.
VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) was raised to Strong Buy from Outperform and the price target was raised to $109 at Raymond James. Sterne Agee maintained its Neutral rating.VMware shares are still trading down 1% after earnings, although this stock was down as much as 5% after earnings in Tuesday evening trading.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse, and the price target was raised to $87 from $80, versus a $74.67 close. The firm believes that Walmart will start taking steps to reset its position in the retail industry, with McMillon’s experience making him instrumental in this shift.
Other Analyst Calls Worth Noting
Aeropostale Inc. (NYSE: ARO) was raised to Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs, and the price target was set at $7, versus a $7.18 close.
Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE: BX) was started with a Buy rating at Deutsche Bank
Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. (NASDAQ: CRZO) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse, and the price target was raised to $45 from $37, versus a $43.40 close.
Digital Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE: DLR) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral by Macquarie. What stands out here is a $43 price target, versus the $52.12 close, as well as a 6% yield.
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) saw its estimates cut and the price target cut to $18 from $19 at Sterne Agee, even though the firm maintained its Buy rating.
Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE: ITW) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform and the price target was raised to $100 from $88 at BMO Capital Markets.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) was reiterated as Buy, and its target price of $35 was maintained as well, at Argus. A focus on the new breast cancer treatment and being a value against peers are the drivers here.
Koninklijke Philips N.V. (NYSE: PHG) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays.
Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SBH) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo, which is just a day after Sterne Agee upgraded the stock. The analyst trend has been cautious until this week.
VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at HSBC.