Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alkermes, Cisco, Gap, Rackspace, SouFun, Verizon and More

Stocks were getting pounded lower on Tuesday, following overseas market selling and as bonds have sold off. One thing that may bring comfort is that investors have bought stocks on every single pullback for almost four years now. Investors want value and overlooked opportunities. 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 calls cover stocks to buy, while others cover stocks to sell or avoid.

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

Alkermes PLC (NASDAQ: ALKS) was started as Outperform and was given a $75 price target (versus a $59.51 close) at Credit Suisse. While this is due to an analyst change rather than a change to the company fundamental views, the consensus price target is lower at $68.64 and the 52-week range is $38.49 to $75.17.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was reiterated as Outperform at RBC Capital Markets, and the price target was raised to $33 from $31 (versus a $29.21 close). This is just a day after it was raised to Overweight from Sector Perform at Pacific Crest. Cisco’s consensus analyst price target is now $30.40.

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) was reiterated as Neutral at Sterne Agee CRT, and the price target was cut to $38 from $41. Janney Capital Markets reiterated its Neutral rating and $43 price target.

Rackspace Hosting Inc. (NYSE: RAX) closed down about 1.6% ahead of earnings on Monday at $53.13, and the guidance had shares down 13% more at $45.90 in early bird trading on Tuesday. The Web hosting and cloud services provider was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight and the price target was cut to $49 from $55 at Morgan Stanley. CLSA downgraded it to Outperform from Buy. Credit Suisse maintained an Outperform rating but lowered its price target to $54 from $57.

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SouFun Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: SFUN) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the price target on the American depositary shares was cut to $7.20 from $9.50 (versus a $8.06 close, after a 6% gain on Monday) at Deutsche Bank. SouFun has a 52-week range of $5.25 to $13.40 and a consensus price target of about $9.00.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie. While price target data was not seen, Verizon’s $49.80 closing price is against a consensus analyst price target of $51.60, as well as a 52-week range of $45.09 to $53.66.

Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades on Tuesday were seen in the following stocks:

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