Investing

Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: BHP, Coach, Monster, TIBCO, GNC, Barclays and More

investor researchStocks have backed off of their highs for at least a day now and appear to be taking a breather on Wednesday as well. Investors have to be wondering how to position themselves for the summer ahead now that stocks are close to all-time highs. These same investors are also being told daily by the financial media that the market has migrated from a raging bull market to a stock picker’s market. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning for new ideas for its readers. Some analyst reports covering stocks to buy, and some cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

These are this Wednesday’s top Wall Street analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.

Barclays PLC (NYSE: BCS) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight by HSBC.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) was talked up by Citigroup as one of its top buys for the next year. The firm noted that it has underperformed, but it has better alignment with shareholders and is divesting non-core assets.

Coach Inc. (NYSE: COH) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the price target was slashed to $41 from $51 (versus a $40.36 closing price) by Sterne Agee. The firm maintained that its top-line visibility remains low and that its turnaround is just too far out to keep a Buy recommendation on the stock.

Credit Suisse Group A.G. (NYSE: CS) was added to the prized Conviction Buy List at Goldman Sachs, and the official rating was raised to Buy from Neutral.

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Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: CY) was reiterated as Buy with a $13 price target (versus a $10.32 close) at Sterne Agee. The firm believes a strategic partnership with IDEX to do fingerprint area sensors by the first quarter of 2015 could be a positive step forward for the current year.

Deutsche Bank A.G. (NYSE: DB) was raised to Neutral from Sell by Goldman Sachs.

GNC Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GNC) was started as Buy with a $50 price target (versus $36.72 close) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The firm sees a significant opportunity to accelerate its same-store sales and drive its earnings multiple higher.

Monster Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ: MNST) was started as Outperform with an $82 price target (versus a $66.74 close) at Credit Suisse. The firm believes that a growth recovery will drive shares higher, and that target price is about $5 higher than the consensus price target.

Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NYSE: NWL) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $34 price target (versus a $28.99 close) at Morgan Stanley. The call is with shares down more than 10% this year despite an opportunity for sustained revenue growth.

Penn Virginia Corp. (NYSE: PVA) was reiterated as Buy at Canaccord Genuity. The firm thinks that the stock is oversold and has tweaked its estimates following the asset sale news.

TIBCO Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TIBX) was a serious earnings disappointment, and shares were indicated to be down almost 15% around $17.80 — a new 52-week low. See the update at the end. The stock was downgraded to Hold at Stifel, downgraded to Neutral at Mizuho Securities and downgraded to Market Perform by JMP. UPDATED COVERAGE: How analysts and old buyout rumors saved the day for TIBCO.

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Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $65 from $50 (versus a $51.10 close) at Jefferies.

Vitamin Shoppe Inc. (NYSE: VSI) was raised to Neutral from Underperform and given a $47 price target (versus a $42.22 close) at Merrill Lynch. The firm sees improvement in comparable sales and earnings growth.

XL Group PLC (NYSE: XL) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight and given a $39 price target (versus a $32.38 close) by Morgan Stanley.

Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Apple, Allergan, Broadcom, NBG, Devon, Kroger and many more stocks.

The big economic report of the week is unemployment and payrolls. Bloomberg is calling for the unemployment rate to rise 0.1% to 6.4% in May, with nonfarm payrolls up 213,000 (vs. 288,000 in April) and private sector payrolls up 215,000 (vs. 273,000 in April). ADP will have just changed that bias and expectation as the report came in showing that the private sector added only 179,000 jobs in May, versus the consensus estimate of 210,000 for May and down from 220,000 in April.

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