This week should be the end of the major earnings flood. With markets so close to highs, investors and traders alike are considering which stocks to buy and which ones to sell. 24/7 Wall St. reviews many Wall Street analyst research notes each trading day looking for new ideas for our readers. These are this Friday's top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.
AECOM Technology Corp. (ACM) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS.
Amarin Corp. PLC (AMRN) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup after the biotech posted a narrower loss. The stock was actually up 18% in the early trading indications, and we would point out that the $1.41 close on Thursday compares to a 52-week trading range of $1.36 to $12.90 in this stock.
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Brandywine Realty Trust (BDN) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Corporate Office Properties Realty Trust (OFC) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Deere & Co. (DE) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, based on a limited faith in a near-term construction equipment order recovery.
Duke Energy Corp. (DUK) was reiterated as Buy but the price target was raised to $83 from $79 at Argus. The firm sees increases from the Progress Energy merger continuing to drive earnings growth and it sees a positive rate structure for the utility.
First Solar Inc. (FSLR) was reiterated as Buy at Argus. The price target was raised all the way up to $70 from $51, based on higher revenue and a discounted cash flow model. The firm even currently projects that First Solar could earn $5.80 per share out in 2018.
Groupon Inc. (GRPN) was maintained Neutral but the target price was raised to $10 from $9 at Credit Suisse.
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) was started as Neutral at RBC Capital Markets.
Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. (NSM) was clobbered on Thursday, falling from $49.22 to $40.75 on almost 8 million shares after a poor earnings report. Now we have seen the downgrades take hold: to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee, to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley and to Equal Weight at Evercore Partners. It was maintained Outperform but with a target lowered to $46 from $62 at Credit Suisse.
Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.
Priceline.com Inc. (PCLN) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $1,275 from $1,250 at Credit Suisse.
United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays.
Whitewave Foods Co. (WWAV) was reinstated with an Outperform rating and a $23 price target at Credit Suisse.
Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.