Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: American Eagle, AOL, Boeing, Lululemon, Microsoft, ResMed, Vivint and More

May 13, 2015 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were recovering on Wednesday morning, perhaps after deciding that Tuesday’s early selling was too much. If the trend that has been in place in for almost four years now is not obvious, it is that investors have bought stocks on every single pullback. They just keep looking for value and overlooked opportunities, or they buy their favorite stocks at every opportunity. 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 other reports cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

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

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE: AEO) was raised to Outperform from Neutral with a $19 price target (versus a $16.22 close) at Cowen. Its consensus price target is closer to $18, with a 52-week range of $10.12 to $18.12.

AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) was downgraded to Sell from Buy at Cantor Fitzgerald. Goldman Sachs raised its rating to Neutral from Sell (oops!). Deutsche Bank downgraded the rating to Hold from Buy.

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) just had its investor conference and outlined ambitious production and financial targets, and shares closed at $145.43 on Tuesday. Sterne Agee CRT reiterated its Buy rating and $196 price target. Credit Suisse maintained its Neutral rating.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) was maintained as Buy with a $77 price target (versus a $64.70 close) at Sterne Agee CRT, effectively defending the stock after news of the departure of its head of Global Retail.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) was raised to Buy from hold and the price target was set at $55 (versus a prior target of $44 and a $47.35 close) at Deutsche Bank.

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ResMed Inc. (NYSE: RMD) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, after news that its SERVE-HF trial has failed in sleep apnea and chronic heart failure and a safety signal arose in the trial.

Vivint Solar Inc. (NYSE: VSLR) was maintained as Buy at Merrill Lynch after earnings, but the price objective was cut to $23 from $24 (versus a $14.97 close) based on higher operating expenses.

Other key analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations from Wednesday were seen as follows:

AmerisourceBergen Corp. (NYSE: ABC) was reiterated as Buy at Argus, and the price target was raised to $135 from $104. Revenue growth, margin expansion and a higher outlook were all cited in the call.

CA Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: CA) was reiterated as Buy with a $36 price target (versus a $31.28 close) at Argus.

Colfax Corp. (NYSE: CFX) was reiterated as Buy and the target price remains at $62 (versus a $49.87 close) at Argus, with the note that the recent sell-off has provided a buying opportunity.

EnCana Corp. (NYSE: ECA) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform with a price target of $15.00 (versus a $13.86 close) at RBC Capital Markets.

Engility Holdings Inc. (NYSE: EGL) was raised to Buy from Hold with a price target of $31 (versus a $23.76 close) at Stifel.

Franco-Nevada Corp. (NYSE: FNV) was started as Buy at Canaccord Genuity.

Gold Fields Ltd. (NYSE: GFI) was raised to Neutral from Sell at UBS.

Horizon Technology Finance Corp. (NASDAQ: HRZN) was started as Outperform with a price target of $15 (versus a $14.16 close) at Oppenheimer.

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Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral with a $150 price target (versus a $173.38 close and a prior $165 target) at Sterne Agee CRT.

Mobileye N.V. (NASDAQ: MBLY) was started as Sector Weight at Pacific Crest.

Nabors Inc. (NYSE: NBR) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with an $19 price target (versus a $16.22 close) at BMO Capital Markets.

Piedmont Office Realty Trust (NYSE: PDM) was raised to Market Perform from Underperform at Wells Fargo.

PowerSecure International Inc. (NASDAQ: POWR) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $17 price target (versus a $14.31 close) at Maxim Group.

PRA Group Inc. (NASDAQ: PRAA) was maintained as Buy with a $60 price target and fair value estimate (versus a $55.93 close) at Janney Capital Markets, with the note that a jury verdict of $83 million in punitive damages is way too excessive.

Rentrak Corp. (NASDAQ: RENT) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $65 price target (versus a $51.11 close) at Wunderlich.

RigNet Inc. (NASDAQ: RNET) was downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer.

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Royal Gold Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLD) was started as Hold with a $72.50 price target (versus a $66.19 close) at Canaccord Genuity.

Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. (NYSE: SNI) was reiterated as Buy and with an upside price target of $100 (versus a $66.71 close) at Argus, with a note that new growth initiatives are being launched and it is cheap to peers.

Seventy Seven Energy Inc. (NYSE: SSE) was raised to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Shire PLC (NASDAQ: SHPG) was reiterated as Overweight at Morgan Stanley and its overseas price target was raised to imply 15% upside in its American depositary shares.

Tokai Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: TKAI) was reiterated as Buy with a Fair Value estimate of $18.00 (versus a $11.07 close) at Janney Capital Markets. This was after Oppenheimer said it could more than triple.

U.S. Concrete Inc. (NASDAQ: USCR) was reiterated as Buy at Sterne Agee, but the price target was raised to $45 from $42 (versus a $37.60 close) after beating earnings estimates.

Vale S.A. (NYSE: VALE) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was reiterated as Buy and with a $59 target at Argus, following the AOL acquisition announcement.

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In case you missed Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades, they included Alkermes, Cisco Systems, Gap, Rackspace, SouFun, Verizon Communications and over a dozen more companies.