Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alcatel-Lucent, AOL, Cisco, EMC, Netflix, Tesla and More

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Stocks were looking for direction on Tuesday morning. The markets are still challenging all-time highs, and investors literally have bought every single pullback for almost four years. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day to find new trading and investment ideas for its readers. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while others cover stocks to sell or avoid.

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

Alcatel-Lucent S.A. (NYSE: ALU) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup. The company is still involved in the acquisition by Nokia.

AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral and the price target was cut to $38 from $44 (versus a $40.82 close) at Goldman Sachs. AOL’s consensus price target is actually much higher at $47, so Goldman Sachs was already under the consensus group. AOL’s 52-week range is $32.31 to $49.86.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $32 from $30 at Oppenheimer. The firm sees possible upside to consensus quarterly estimates being driven mostly by ongoing U.S. strength, but the July quarter channel checks were said to be even more encouraging. The firm even said that Cisco has planned for emerging market and carrier capex weakness and believes that currency headwinds have not had a material impact on its business.

EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) was reiterated Buy with a $30 price target at Sterne Agee CRT. The firm believes that comments at EMC World suggest that a VMware spin-out potential is now very low due to sales force synergies. EMC has a consensus price target of $30.52 and closed at $27.19.

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) was raised to Buy from an Underperform rating, and the price target that was thrown up was $722 (versus a $554.90 close) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The firm likes the original content strength and international opportunity, with triple-A content supporting domestic and international subscriber growth. They even see international being five times that of the United States.

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Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) was started as Buy with a $350 price target (versus a $230.51 close) at Jefferies. Tesla has a consensus price target of about $263.50 and a 52-week range of $177.22 to $291.42.

Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades from Monday were as follows: