Earnings season is winding down, the markets are trying to get past a rough start to 2014, and analysts and investors alike are trying to adjust their expectations for the year ahead. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of Wall Street analyst research reports each morning for new ides. Some calls cover stocks to buy, other calls cover stocks to sell. These are this Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.
Alcatel-Lucent S.A. (NYSE: ALU) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight by Morgan Stanley. Shares were down almost 4% in local trading in Paris on this downgrade, but New York ADRs were down closer to 5% in early trading indications.
CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) always remains a controversial stock due to its super-high yield of 7.5% or so. The stock was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie on Tuesday. Another boost is that the price target was raised to $33 from $31, after closing at $28.93 on Monday. Fitch Ratings also affirmed its BB+ rating with a Stable outlook late on Monday.
Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was maintained with a Buy rating at Sterne Agee, just a day ahead of earnings. The firm also kept the $25 price target, but further said that there is downside protection to $21 based on eight-times adjusted 2015 earnings. We also gave our own preview for Cisco earnings for Wednesday.
FireEye Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE) was reiterated Buy and the price target was raised to $85 at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. FireEye was up more than 8% on Monday after an analyst initiation from Wells Fargo, with an Outperform rating and fair value target of $83 to $87 ahead of earnings.
Infoblox Inc. (NYSE: BLOX) is getting slaughtered after earnings because it lowered its second-quarter and annual guidance. Sterne Agee cut the rating to Neutral from Buy and slashed the price target to $20 from $47. Needham also downgraded Infoblox to Hold from Buy.
Other Key Analyst Calls
Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) was reiterated as Buy with a higher $80 price target at Merrill Lynch.
Annie’s Inc. (NYSE: BNNY) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform and the price target was cut to $36 from $54 at Credit Suisse.
Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform and the price target was cut to $102 from $104 at Credit Suisse.
ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT) was raised to Overweight from Neutral by HSBC.
Constellium N.V (NYSE: CSTM) was already at a Buy rating at Goldman Sachs, but now the company was added to the prized Conviction Buy List and its price target was raised to $35 from $27 (versus a $24.79 close).
Perrigo Co. (NYSE: PRGO) was reiterated as Buy and with a blended value target price of $175 (versus a $147.32 close) at Argus, and the firm called the sell-off a buying opportunity.
UBS A.G. (NYSE: UBS) was reiterated as Buy and named as core holding for 2014 (with an implied 15% upside to the price target in Swiss francs) at Merrill Lynch.
U.S. Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) was downgraded to Sell from an already cautious Neutral rating at Citigroup.
W.W. Grainger Inc. (NYSE: GWW) was downgraded to Sell from an already cautious Neutral rating at Goldman Sachs, and the target was cut to $232 from $250 (versus a $234.29 close).