Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Baidu, First Solar, J.C.Penney, Sinopec and More

Stocks are trying to challenge new highs and earnings season is all but over. Now investors have to consider which stocks to buy and which ones to sell. No one wants to buy at the top, nor do they want to get caught in the next major sell-off. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning for new ideas. Some cover stocks to buy, some cover stocks to sell. These are this Thursday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.

Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) was raised to Buy from Hold at Stifel Nicolaus and was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) may have fallen 9% after its earnings disappointment, but the solar panel giant was raised to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird.

J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) was raised to Market Perform from Underperform and the price range was raised to $6 to $7 from $4 to $5 in the call at Wells Fargo after earnings. Credit Suisse maintained its Underperform rating. Sterne Agee maintained a Neutral rating. Shares are indicated up more than 20%.

Goldman Sachs has made changes to its Chinese oil and energy sector: CNOOC Ltd. (NYSE: CEO) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy, PetroChina Co. Ltd. (NYSE: PTR) was raised to Buy from Neutral and Sinopec, or China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (NYSE: SNP), was added to the prized Conviction Buy List.

Other Key Analyst Calls

Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (NYSE: APD) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup. Inc. (NYSE: CRCM) saw its shares fall double-digits after its earnings report, but one firm sees the sell-off in the recent IPO as a buying opportunity. The online matching and services sites was raised to Overweight from Neutral at J.P. Morgan.

Clean Harbors Inc. (NYSE: CLH) missed earnings and lowered guidance, and now the stock is challenging 52-week lows. This one was downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer.

Deutsche Bank A.G. (NYSE: DB) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE: RL) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Teekay Corp. (NYSE: TK) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised to $80 from $56 at Credit Suisse.

Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN) was started as Outperform at Wedbush Morgan.

VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Weatherford International Ltd. (NYSE: WFT) was raised to Buy from Neutral at UBS; Credit Suisse maintained an Outperform rating but lowered estimates.

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