Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Aegerion, Avon, Atmel, LinkedIn, Ocwen, Visa and More

Stocks screamed higher on Friday on a surprise Japan expansion of its own stimulus and quantitative easing measures. Investors have proved, even during October, that they are willing to buy value stocks and overlooked stocks when they find the opportunity. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports, on the hunt for new investment and trading ideas, each morning of the week. Some analyst calls are on stocks to buy, while others are on sell or to avoid.

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

Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AEGR) may have beat earnings, but it missed on revenues and lowered expectations ahead. Aegerion was downgraded to Hold at Deutsche Bank and downgraded to Neutral at J.P. Morgan. Shares are indicated down 30% around $24, versus a prior 52-week range of $26.25 to $85.34.

Avon Products Inc. (NYSE: AVP) fell 9% to $9.97 on Thursday after soft earnings. Now we have seen it cut to Hold from Buy at Stifel and to Neutral from Buy at B. Riley.

Atmel Corp. (NASDAQ: ATML) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital Markets.

Ocwen Financial Corp. (NYSE: OCN) has seen its estimates lowered by Sterne Agee, and the price target was cut to reflect the likely cost of significantly raising operating standards and the lower-than-expected volumes from the mortgage operation. That target was cut to $23 from $30. We just questioned whether $100 million was enough to set aside for charges.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) was raised to Buy from Hold and given a $260 price target at Argus.

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Other key analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from 24/7 Wall St. this Friday morning were:

Bottomline Technologies (DE) Inc. (NASDAQ: EPAY) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the price target was cut to $28 from $38 at Canaccord Genuity. Raymond James downgraded it to Outperform from Strong Buy.

Incyte Corp. (NASDAQ: INCY) was raised to Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs.

LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) was maintained as Neutral at Sterne Agee. Canaccord Genuity raised its target to $240 from $230, and Credit Suisse maintained its Outperform rating.

MDC Holdings Inc. (NYSE: MDC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee.

MercadoLibre Inc. (NASDAQ: MELI) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

STAAR Surgical Co. (NASDAQ: STAA) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord Genuity and downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair.

Ultra Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: UPL) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS.

Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: VECO) was raised to Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna.

Walter Energy Inc. (NYSE: WLT) was downgraded to Underweight from Hold at BB&T Capital Markets.

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Westport Innovations Inc. (NASDAQ: WPRT) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Williams Companies Inc. (NYSE: WMB) was reiterated as Outperform and with a $70 price target (versus a $55 close) at Credit Suisse.

In case you missed Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades, they were in shares of Alibaba, Cree, JD.Com, RF Micro Devices, Kraft Foods, Sprint, Visa and more.

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