Earnings season is basically over, and stocks are challenging new highs almost daily. Investors are still looking to avoid getting caught up in the next sell-off, but they are looking to profit from upside as well. 24/7 Wall St. looks over many Wall Street analyst research reports each morning, looking for ideas for stocks to buy and also for stocks to sell. These are this Monday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.
Apple Inc. (AAPL: NASDAQ) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $600 from $570 at Canaccord Genuity. The firm raised the target after meetings and after its February wireless surveys indicated iPhone market share gains in the second half of 2014.
MarkWest Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: MWE) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS. This follows a downgrade from RBC Capital Markets last week and after the MLP’s earnings continued to highlight some of the woes of the MLP sector.
NII Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: NIHD) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair. This took another downgrade previously, and it lost over half of its value on Friday after earnings signaled that it could implode under liquidity concerns.
RF Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: RFMD) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $10 price target at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The firm sees a victory in the proposed merger with Triquent creating sales, as well as product and cost synergies in mobile, infrastructure and defense.
SodaStream Ltd. (NASDAQ: SODA) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight and the price target was slashed to $40 from $55 (versus a $39.48 close) by Barclays. This is on the heels of Sunny Delight joining the SodaStream home carbonation platform.
Other Key Analyst Calls
AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE: AZN) was downgraded to Underperform from an already cautious Neutral at Merrill Lynch.
Autodesk Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) was downgraded to Sell from an already cautious Neutral rating by Citigroup.
CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA) was started as Equal Weight by Barclays.
Infosys Ltd. (NYSE: INFY) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at R.W. Baird.
Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at J.P. Morgan.
Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ: INTU) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $10 from $8 at Canaccord Genuity. The firm believes that the IP licensing creates an embedded call option with long-term upside potential here.
Sequential Brands Group Inc. (NASDAQ: SQBG) was started as Buy with a $9.00 price target at Canaccord Genuity. The firm called it a treasure trove of brands, and the $5.81 closing bell price on Friday implies more than 50% upside in this small-cap stock.