Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alcoa, Baidu, GE, Tesla, Valero and More

24/7 Wall St.

Investors and traders alike are looking for ideas and recommendations now that the government shutdown is here and with a debt ceiling debate ahead. Each morning 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of Wall Street analyst research reports in order to get fresh research ideas for investors and traders. Some of the reports are stocks to buy and others turn out to be stocks to sell. These are this Wednesday's top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms. You will notice many calls are reiterations, but we are seeing substantial price target changes or new developments in these.

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Alcoa Inc. (AA) was downgraded to Sell from Hold and its price target was cut to $5.50 from $9.00 (versus a $8.17 close) at Deutsche Bank.

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Baidu Inc. (BIDU) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $177 from $158 (versus a $158.64 close) based on the Qunar spin-off adding incremental value, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX) was raised to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank. We would like to remind readers how well Deutsche Bank caught the last upgrade wave in gold.

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Baxter International Inc. (BAX) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse based on earnings uncertainty around its competitive long-acting recombinant franchise.

Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB) was reiterated as Outperform, but the target price was raised to $290 from $255 (versus a $244.92 close) based mostly on higher Tecfidera and Hemophilia franchise peak sales estimates, at Credit Suisse.

Corning Inc. (GLW) was reiterated as Buy with a $20 price target (versus a $14.74 close), based on it being below pre-recession levels and that it "appears undervalued based on the company’s long-term growth prospects," according to Argus.

General Electric Co. (GE) was reiterated as Buy with a $26 price target (versus a $24.17 close), based on likely strategic alternatives data in the coming weeks on parts of GE Capital’s Consumer business, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Gulfport Energy Corp (GPOR) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $86 from $80 (versus a $65.73 close), based on the prospectivity of the Utica Shale's dry gas potential, by Sterne Agee.

ManpowerGroup Inc. (MAN) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price target was raised to $80 from $71 (versus a $73.11 close), based on encouraging signs on Europe's macro front and also on impressive cost-cutting efforts, at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

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Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform, based on excessive valuation, at R.W. Baird.

Unilever PLC (UL) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS.

Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Credit Suisse has refreshed its list of top stock picks for big upside.

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