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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AOL, Caterpillar, Goodyear, Southwest, Synchrony, Yahoo and More

Stocks were indicated up and looking for a bounce on Wednesday morning after a big earnings and strong dollar related sell-off on the prior day. The trend for 2015 does not yet seem determined, but investors kept buying dips throughout the bull market. Those same investors keep looking for solid value stocks and overlooked stocks. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning of the week. The goal is simple: to find new investment and trading ideas for our readers. Some analyst calls cover stocks to buy, and other calls cover stocks to sell or avoid.

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

American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $65 price target (versus a $52.70 close) at Credit Suisse.

AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) was raised to Neutral from Underweight at J.P. Morgan. While that is a contrarian call, Caterpillar was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Longbow Research and was also downgraded to Underweight at Atlantic Equities.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSE: GT) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $28 price target (versus a $25.28 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised to $62 from $48 (versus a $45.88 close) at Credit Suisse.

Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF) was started as Positive with a $38 price target (versus a $31.32 close) at Susquehanna.

Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $61 after earnings and the Alibaba spin-off plans. A boutique firm called CRT Capital also raised its rating to Buy from what they called “Fair Value.” Cowen raised its target to $60. Yahoo shares were up almost 7% at $51.30 in early bird indications.

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Other top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations were seen in shares of the following companies:

Agios Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AGIO) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (NYSE: DD) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at J.P. Morgan.

Express Scripts Holding Co. (NASDAQ: ESRX) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital Markets.

Freescale Semiconductor Ltd. (NYSE: FSL) was raised to Strong Buy from Buy at Needham.

National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NYSE: NOV) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral and the price target was slashed to $43 from $60 (versus a $57.70 close) at Credit Suisse.

ONEOK Partners L.P. (NYSE: OKS) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Tesoro Corp. (NYSE: TSO) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Ultra Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: UPL) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with an $11 price target (versus a $13.65 close) at Goldman Sachs.

VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) was down marginally after earnings. The virtualization leader was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham. Also, FBR Capital Markets lowered its target to $96 from $103 (versus a $80.61 close).

In case you missed Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations, they were in shares of ADT, Microsoft, 3D Systems, Tesla, Yelp and a dozen or so other stocks.

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