Stocks quoted in this article:
Analysts are weighing in today on semiconductor concern Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT - 12.51), energy producer Dynegy Inc. (DYN - 2.65), BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Limited (RIMM - 19.63), retailer Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. (DKS - 41.55), and biotech stock Geron Corporation (GERN - 1.71). Here's a quick roundup of today's upgrades and downgrades of note.
- Ahead of the company's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report this evening, Citigroup raised its price target on AMAT to $13 from $11. However, the shares have shed 1% at last look, responding to a generally bearish mood on Wall Street. Plus, this isn't a terribly bullish note to begin with, as Citi's new target implies expected upside of just 2.8% to Tuesday's close. Despite today's dip, AMAT remains perched above short-term support at its 10-day and 20-day moving averages, which have guided the stock higher since early October.
- In the wake of its less-than-stellar earnings report, DYN was hit with a price-target cut to $3 from $5.50 at Ladenburg Thalmann. The stock is off 1.5% as a result, adding to its considerable year-to-date decline of 52.1%. However, DYN remains just north of the $2.50 area, which cushioned the security's post-earnings pullback on Monday.
- RIMM has rallied 2.6% so far, after Goldman Sachs raised its rating on the stock to "neutral" from "sell." It's interesting to note that the shares peaked today at $19.95, just shy of the $20 level. This round-number region marked the site of a bearish gap at the start of November, and has since emerged as a layer of resistance. The $20 neighborhood is also home to RIMM's descending 20-day moving average, which hasn't been bested on a daily closing basis since late October.
- Goldman Sachs also weighed in on DKS today, adding the stock to its coveted "conviction buy" roster on the heels of Tuesday's well-received earnings report. The shares also racked up price-target hikes from analysts at ThinkEquity (to $47 from $42) and UBS (to $47 from $41). At last look, DKS is up 0.3%, with the stock trading just below the $42-$43 area. This region has kept a lid on DKS' rally attempts since early April.
- Finally, after unveiling plans to discontinue its stem-cell operations, GERN was downgraded to "neutral" from "overweight" at J.P. Morgan. The stock has shed 2.3% in today's trading, adding to Tuesday's 20% plunge. Going forward, GERN could also be at risk of price-target cuts, as Thomson Reuters pegs the security's average 12-month price target at an ambitious $5.67 -- in territory the shares haven't explored for nearly a year.