FormFactor Inc. (NASDAQ: FORM) was reiterated as Buy at Stifel Nicolaus on Friday, but the real move was that the price target was raised to $10.00 from the prior target of $9.00 in the call. With a weak market sending shares down 4.4% to $6.94, this leaves an implied upside of 44% for this front-end semiconductor company. This call was also ahead of earnings due next Wednesday. We would remind readers that we have seen some very mixed reports from chip-related companies.
Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. (NYSE: GOL) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Bank of America Merrill Lynch on Monday. It was given an $8 price target, versus a $5.80 close, implying around 38% upside. Merrill Lynch downgraded two other Latin American carriers in the same call. Note though that GOL Linhas closed at $6.40 on Friday.
Huntington Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: HBAN) barely made the under $10 category because its stock closed at $9.98 on Friday. The stock was raised to Outperform with an $11.50 price target (versus a $9.74 close) at Keefe Bruyette & Woods on Tuesday. The consensus price target is only $10.59 here.
VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP) is a telecom and mobile communications provider with extensive exposure to Russia, Ukraine and the Commonwealth of Independent States. So Russia exposure is bad, right? Maybe not. On Thursday came a report from Merrill Lynch raising the rating to Buy from Neutral and giving it a $10.50 price target, implying 30% total return from when the call was made. The firm said all roads lead to Rome, with Russia bottoming and a merger in Italy. The team feels the stock is unfairly cheap.
As a runner-up call, RF Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: RFMD) has only just risen over $10 in recent weeks. It was previously on the under $10 analyst calls for the stocks with big upside and now the stock trades at $10.89. Many analysts raised their targets on Friday after it beat earnings and raised guidance. Needham raised its target to $12 from $10, Raymond James to $13 from $10.50, Canaccord Genuity to $12.50 from $9.50 and a firm named Northland Securities raised its target to $15 from $11.
In case you missed Friday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades, these included Amazon.com, Brightcove, Exxon Mobil, GM, Mylan, Petrobras, Twitter and many more. Last week’s analyst stock picks under $10 actually included a dozen stocks, including Aerohive, B2Gold, Glu Mobile, Kinross Gold, Wendy’s and more.