Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Crocs, Halliburton, Nuance, Staples, Yelp and More

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Stocks were taking a steady breather going into the unemployment report after two major rallies in a row this week. What stands out is that investors keep proving that they will buy stocks on weakness or ones that offer value and are overlooked by the market. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst reports each morning of the week on the hunt for new investment and trading ideas for its readers. Some analyst calls cover stocks to buy, and some cover stocks to sell or avoid.

Due to the raw number of analyst calls, many of these analysts’ price targets were not included. These are this Thursday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research calls.

AECOM Technology Corp. (NYSE: ACM) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight and the price target was raised to $40 from $35 at Barclays.

Advanced Energy Industries Inc. (NASDAQ: AEIS) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $30 price objective at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and it was raised to Buy from Hold with a $26 price target at Needham.

Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) was started as Overweight at Barclays.

Cameron International Corp. (NYSE: CAM) was started as Equal Weight at Barclays.

Calpine Corp. (NYSE: CPN) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets.

Crocs Inc. (NASDAQ: CROX) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird.

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Edison International (NYSE: EIX) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets.

Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.

Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) was started as Overweight at Barclays.

Keurig Green Mountain Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) was started as Buy at UBS.

National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NYSE: NOV) was started as Overweight at Barclays.

Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) was started as Buy at Janney Capital Markets.

Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with an $11 price target (versus a $14.07 close) at Goldman Sachs.

Pier 1 Imports Inc. (NYSE: PIR) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Plains All American Pipeline L.P. (NYSE: PAA) was raised to Buy from Hold at Jefferies.

Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE: RL) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Janney Capital Markets.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) was started as Buy at Janney Capital Markets.

Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) was started as Equal Weight at Barclays.

Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $15 price target (versus a $17.74 closing price) at Credit Suisse.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: HOT) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at J.P. Morgan.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX) was started as Neutral at Janney Capital Markets.

Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch, although the firm’s price objective was lowered to $70 from $82.

ALSO READ: Wells Fargo’s Top Biotech Stocks for 2015

In case you missed Thursday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations, they were truly massive: Alcatel-Lucent, AIG, ADM, Bank of America, Barrick Gold, Chesapeake Energy, Citigroup, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Google, MGM, SAP and a dozen and a half more.

These are the most recent S&P 500 targets for 2015 from the major brokerage firms:

  • Barclays, 2,100
  • BMO Capital Markets, 2,250
  • Citigroup, 2,200
  • Credit Suisse, 2,200
  • Deutsche Bank, 2,150
  • Goldman Sachs, 2,100
  • J.P. Morgan, 2,250
  • Merrill Lynch, 2,200
  • Morgan Stanley, 2,275
  • Oppenheimer, 2,311
  • RBC, 2,325
  • UBS, 2,225
  • Wells Fargo, 2,222