Stocks are still close to all-time highs as the new year approaches, and investors have to start positioning themselves for 2014. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of Wall Street analyst reports each morning to find new investment and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these reports offer stocks to buy, while some are stocks to sell. These are this Friday's top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.
BP PLC (BP) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS.
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) hosted its analyst meeting, and many analysts remain cautious. Sterne Agee lowered estimates to reflect guidance as key issues remain unresolved. Janney said the near-term issues remain unresolved, but it does expect a recovery over a longer term.
GameStop Corp. (GME) was reiterated as Buy, with a $59 price target that implies close to 30% upside if hits, by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The firm called it a choppy quarter but a great start to the new console upgrade cycle. The strength in console sales is expected to keep game demand high despite some weak title sales so far.
General Motors Corp. (GM) was reiterated as Buy with a $50 price target at Sterne Agee. The firm believes GM's capital allocation will increasingly favor shareholders over the next few years, and also believes that GM will announce a dividend in the first quarter of 2014 and purchase the remaining preferred stock from the UAW later in the year.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. (LULU) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform and the price target was lowered to $59 from $78 at Credit Suisse. We saw a Sterne Agee price target of $56 on Thursday as well. Canaccord Genuity maintained its Buy rating but lowered its price target to $82 from $90. Our own analysis points to the yoga-inspired apparel giant as being overvalued.
SunCoke Energy Inc. (SXC) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the target price was raised to $25 from $20 at Merrill Lynch. The firm believes that dropping down take-or-pay coke assets to its MLP would provide attractive returns and that it should trade at a premium to peers.
Twitter Inc. (TWTR) was maintained as Outperform but the price target was raised at RBC Capital Markets. At least one firm does not mind paying more than 50 times sales here. This stock has risen on what seems to be against all odds.
Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) was reinstated as Neutral with a $4 price target at Credit Suisse after the firm's recent IPO spin-off.
Western Digital Corp. (WDC) and Seagate Technology PLC (STX) were both raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup, although we would point out that both disk drive and storage device makers have already seen a huge run.