Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Atmel, BlackBerry, Cisco, Ctrip.com, CarMax, AOL and More

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Stocks were in rally mode on Thursday morning, with DJIA futures up 100 and S&P futures up 12. Are the markets going to challenge new highs again? Investors just keep buying the dips, a trend that is now almost four years old. 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 Thursday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.

Atmel Corp. (NASDAQ: ATML) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens. While price target data was not seen, the consensus price target from analysts is $9.02 (versus a $8.47 close) and its 52-week range is $6.32 to $9.76.

BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) had more buyout rumors around it this week, all of which have proven to be misguided. Cowen maintained its Market Perform rating but raised the price target to $11 from $10 (versus a $10.26 close).

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee CRT after earnings narrowly beat expectations and guidance was more or less in line with estimates. This is after two pre-earnings upgrades this week. Wells Fargo maintained its Outperform rating and raised its price target range to $34.00 to $38.00 from a prior range of $33.00 to $36.00. Credit Suisse maintained its Underperform rating and insisted on keeping with its tradition of a $21 price target.

Ctrip.com International Ltd. (NASDAQ: CTRP) shares were indicated up 12% at almost $74 after beating earnings. The Chinese travel services provider was raised to Buy from Hold at Stifel. Oppenheimer raised its rating to Outperform from Perform with an $80 price target. Bank of America Merrill Lynch maintained its Neutral rating, but raised its price objective to $80 from $68.

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CarMax Inc. (NYSE: KMX) was started as Buy with an $87 price target (versus a $71.11 close) at Sterne Agee CRT. The firm was almost all positive here, calling it the leader in fragmented market, with new expansion opportunities and favorable vehicle demographics, and with falling used car prices being a net positive. Another boost is that credit concerns seem overstated.

AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS, now that it is being acquired. We saw much of the same this week, but there were also many upgrades from the firms that had turned negative on AOL prior to the buyout.

Additional top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations were seen in the following companies this Thursday: