Stocks have given back a lot of the gains, and the former momentum leaders are getting pounded. Investors want upside, but that also want to avoid a nasty correction or a bad stock pick. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens analyst research reports each morning of the week, hunting for new ideas for our readers. Some of these analyst calls cover stocks to buy, while others cover stocks to sell or to avoid. Some are defensive or value stocks, some are dividend stocks and some are growth stocks. These are this Friday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.
Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup after poor earnings this week.
Chemical & Mining Co. of Chile Inc. (NYSE: SQM) was raised to Neutral from Underperform in a late Thursday night call at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and the price target was raised to $34 from $25 in the call (versus a $30.70 close).
Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was started with a Buy rating and given a $27 price target (versus a $22.64 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphreys.
Cogent Communications Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CCOI) was started with an Outperform rating and $42 price target (versus a $33.72 close) at Oppenheimer.
Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS.
E*Trade Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: ETFC) was raised to Overweight from Underweight at Barclays.
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $19 from $18.50 by Deutsche Bank.
Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Janney Capital Markets. Canaccord Genuity also noted gross margin deterioration. Sterne Agee lowered its estimates after the poor March sales data.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) was reiterated as Underperform and with a $160 price target ahead of next week’s earnings report.
Imperva Inc. (NYSE: IMPV) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $35 price target at Sterne Agee. This call is after a huge drop this week, and the firm feels the sell-off was overdone.
Pier 1 Imports Inc. (NYSE: PIR) was maintained as Buy after weak earnings reaction at Argus, although the price target was dropped to $23 from $25 in the call.
Shutterfly Inc. (NASDAQ: SFLY) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.
Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays.
TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (NYSE: AMTD) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays.
TE Connectivity Ltd. (NYSE: TEL) was raised to Buy with a $70 price target at Merrill Lynch.
Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) was raised to Buy from Hold at Jefferies.
Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) was raised to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley. Sterne Agee maintained a Neutral rating, but the firm showed that Zynga’s traffic trends suggest potential upside to the first quarter.