Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: BP, Ciena, Finisar, SanDisk, VeriFone, Vertex, Wynn and More

Stocks were soft on Friday ahead of the unemployment report. Still, the markets are effectively around all-time highs, and investors remain optimistic about the U.S. recovery and are looking for good value and other opportunities to make money from stocks. Each morning of the week, 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of research reports to find new trading and investing ideas for our readers. Some of these analyst calls cover stocks to buy, while others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

These are this Friday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades covered by 24/7 Wall St.

Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE: ALK) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform by Raymond James.

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. (NYSE: AB) was raised to Neutral from Underperform with a $29 price target at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup and Jefferies maintained its Buy rating. Overseas firm Investec lowered its price target by about 4%. Barclays maintained its Equal Weight rating.

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Banco de Chile (NYSE: BCH) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at J.P. Morgan.

Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs, and the price target was put up at $26 (versus a $18.51 closing price).

Finisar Corp. (NASDAQ: FNSR) had already fallen to under $18.50 from $20 ahead of earnings. Now shares of the optical subsystems and components maker for communication are indicated down 6% more at $18.37 after the earnings report came with lower guidance. The stock was downgraded to Buy from Strong Buy at Needham.

SanDisk Corp. (NASDAQ: SNDK) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight by Morgan Stanley.

Susser Petroleum Partners L.P. (NYSE: SUSP) was started as Neutral at Credit Suisse with a $59 price target and started as Neutral at Merrill Lynch with a $59 price target.

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee.

VeriFone Systems Inc. (NYSE: PAY) is indicated lower after earnings. The payment systems player was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.

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Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus based on weaker prospects in Macau, similar to a Las Vegas Sands downgrade by Argus on Thursday.

Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ: ZUMZ) was indicated lower after beating earnings but guiding lower. The sports apparel and accessories retailer was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight with a $31 price target (versus a $32.41 close).

In case you missed Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades, they were in Analog Devices, Boulder Brands, Google, GoPro, IAC/Interactive, Las Vegas Sands, LifeLock, Teradata, 3D Systems and a dozen or so more.

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