Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alibaba, Amazon, GoPro, KLA-Tencor, Microsoft, Nokia, NCR and More

October 24, 2014 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were a bit soft but trading higher on Friday morning in the middle of another volatile week. It is obvious as ever that investors are still able and willing to buy value stocks and overlooked stocks on the dips. 24/7 Wall St. review dozens of analyst reports each morning of the week to find new investment and trading ideas. Some analyst research reports cover stocks to buy, while others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

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

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) was started as Outperform at BMO Capital Markets, just a day after Barclays gave it the equivalent of a Buy rating as well.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen. Canaccord Genuity lowered its price target to $310 from $340, Credit Suisse lowered its target to $395 from $422, Oppenheimer lowered its target to $372 from $410 and Topeka lowered its price target to 350 from $395. Our take: Bezos wants to run Amazon like a charity.

GoPro Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRO) was started with an Underperform rating and with a price target of $45 (versus a $79.15 close) at Oppenheimer.

KLA-Tencor Corp. (NASDAQ: KLAC) is planning a huge special dividend and stock buyback under a leveraged recapitalization plan, sending shares up more than 10%. Apparently, that was enough to trigger downgrades as B. Riley lowered the rating to Neutral from Buy and Credit Suisse lowered its rating to Neutral from Outperform.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) was maintained as Outperform and the price target was raised to $55 from $50 at Credit Suisse after earnings. FBR Capital Markets maintained its Outperform rating and raised its target to $53 from $51. Oppenheimer maintained its Outperform rating and $50 price target.

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Other Key Analyst Calls

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) was downgraded to Market Perform at BMO Capital Markets, and Goldman Sachs also downgraded it to Sell from an already cautious Neutral rating.

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (NYSE: AEO) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP) was raised to Buy from Hold with an $80 price target (versus a $71.00 close) at Needham.

Colfax Corp. (NYSE: CFX) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $68 price target (versus a $55.85 close) at Citigroup.

Informatica Corp. (NASDAQ: INFA) was downgraded to Underperform from an already cautious Neutral rating at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and the price target was cut to $33 from $37 (versus a $32.83 close).

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Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: KMP) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus, but this is ahead of the Kinder Morgan transaction date next month.

Lorillard Inc. (NYSE: LO) was raised to Market Perform from Underperform at Cowen.

Maxim Integrated Products Inc. (NASDAQ: MXIM) was raised to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Nabors Industries Ltd. (NYSE: NBR) was raised to Buy with $30 target (versus a $18.99 close) at Argus.

NCR Corp. (NYSE: NCR) was raised to Neutral from Sell with a $26 price target at Goldman Sachs, on the heels of a serious sell-off after its earnings.

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) was given mixed comments at Bernstein, but Canaccord Genuity raised its price target to $13 from $12 as its long-term growth drivers remain intact.

Premiere Global Services Inc. (NYSE: PGI) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. (NYSE: RS) was raised to Buy from Hold but the price target was lowered slightly to $77 from $79 (versus a $63.54 close) at Jefferies.

Weatherford International (NYSE: WFT) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $23 price target (versus a $16.87 close) at Citigroup.

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In case you missed Thursday’s analyst upgrades and downgrades, they included Alibaba, Angie’s List, Boeing, Yelp, AT&T and a dozen or so more.