Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Comcast, Groupon, HCA, J.P. Morgan, JetBlue, NetApp, Verifone and More

November 12, 2014 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were indicated lower on Wednesday morning, but that is after new highs were seen. One thing has been proven over and over in this bull market: investors will buy stocks when they are discounted or overlooked. 24/7 Wall St. goes over dozens of analyst reports each morning of the week to find new investment and trading ideas for its readers. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while some cover stocks to sell or avoid.

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

Advent Software Inc. (NASDAQ: ADVS) was started as Neutral with a $34 price target (versus a $33.27 close) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AGIO) was started with a Buy rating and $97 price target (versus a $81.91 close) at Canaccord Genuity.

Boston Properties Inc. (NYSE: BXP) was started as Outperform at Credit Suisse.

Corporate Office Properties Trust (NYSE: OFC) was started with an Underperform rating at Credit Suisse.

Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Maxim Group.

Community Health Systems Inc. (NYSE: CYH) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform and its price value range was cut to $48 to $52 from $53 to $68 at Wells Fargo.

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) was reiterated Buy and with a 412 price target (versus a $7.880 close) at Sterne Agee after the deals site’s first investor day showed slightly higher guidance.

Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMY) was raised to Neutral from Sell at UBS.

HCA Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HCA) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform and the price value range was cut to $64 to $70 from $68 to $78 at Wells Fargo.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Bernstein.

JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ: JBLU) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at J.P. Morgan.

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NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) was started with a Buy rating at Maxim, an unusual call considering that earnings are this afternoon.

Prologis Inc. (NYSE: PLD) was started with an Outperform rating at Credit Suisse.

Salix Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: SLXP) was reiterated Buy with a $130 target (versus a $99.01 close) and called an attractive entry point by Sterne Agee.

Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG) was started as Outperform at Credit Suisse.

VeriFone Systems Inc. (NYSE: PAY) was started with a Buy at Topeka Capital Markets.

In case you missed Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades, they included Alibaba, BBVA, Barracuda Networks, Check Point Software, FireEye, IMAX, J.P. Morgan, Zynga and a dozen more.