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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Comcast, Monsanto, VMware and More

Jon C. Ogg

It the week ahead of Labor Day, so research and investment banking departments are running light. Still, there are some key research ideas coming out of Wall Street. Each morning 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of Wall Street analyst research reports to find new ideas for investors and traders. Some are growth stocks, some are turnarounds and some are for dividend investors. Here are this Tuesday's top Wall Street analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.

Accretive Health Inc. (AH) was downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer.

Alamos Gold Inc. (AGI) was reinstated as Buy with a target price of $21 in Canada, which would translate to closer to $20 in U.S. share prices (versus $16.33 current), at BofA/Merrill Lynch.

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Cimarex Energy Co. (XEC) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital Markets.

Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) was reiterated with a Buy rating at BofA/Merrill Lynch, but where the call stands out is that Comcast was added back to the US 1 List of stocks at the firm.

Control4 Corp. (CTRL) was started as Buy with a $26 price target at BofA/Merrill Lynch.

Halliburton Co. (HAL) was reinstated as Buy with a $62 price target at BofA/Merrill Lynch, and remember this one we recently dubbed the current king of the stock buybacks.

Monsanto Co. (MON) was raised to Buy from Neutral at UBS.

Qihoo 360 Technology Co. (QIHU) was raised to Buy from Hold at Jefferies.

Safe Bulkers Inc. (SB) was raised to Buy all the way up from Underperform for a two-notch upgrade, and the price target was raised to $8 from $6, at BofA/Merrill Lynch.

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VMware Inc. (VMW) was reiterated as Buy with a $106 price target at BofA/Merrill Lynch. Sterne Agee maintained its Neutral rating and Needham reiterated its Buy rating and raised its price target to $100 from $90. These calls are after Monday's analyst day.

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