Stock Upgrades: Don't Pull Plug Power From Your Portfolio

By Justin Sharon  MAY 15, 2014 9:18 AM

Wall Street ratings agencies set the tone for today's stock market.

 


Fuel-cell company Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) has been the Nasdaq's (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) single strongest performer in the past year, with its shares having advanced an astonishing 1,440.94%. Yesterday the stock slid 6.60% after announcing an increased loss for its first quarter. This dragged Canadian competitor Ballard Power (NASDAQ:BLDP) down with it, but Plug Power stock is currently rebounding impressively ahead of the open.
 
On Hump Day, and despite an S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX)-best 7.18% surge in Iron Mountain (NYSE:IRM), stocks failed spectacularly to get up the hill. For this we can blame Jack and, especially, Jill. Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropped by triple digits on a day Mr. Dorsey's Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) tumbled 1.62% and Ms. Abramson's erstwhile employer The New York Times (NYSE:NYT) nosedived 4.50%. Inflation, resurgent scourge of the Carter era, raised its ugly head again. American Hustle studio Sony, whose Walkman embraced That '70s Show at the end of the decade -- kids, ask your parents -- slid 6.46%. Fossil (NASDAQ:FOSL) definitely wasn't all about the Benjamins in tumbling 10.27% to exactly $100. Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) bought vanishing messaging app Blink, and, in case you missed it, Blink-182′s All the Small Things continued to suffer, with the small-cap Russell 2000 (INDEXRUSSELL:RUT) falling a further 1.6%.
 
Today in economics, the Philadelphia Fed Index for May is forecast to fall from the prior month's pace at 10:00 a.m. EDT. In earnings action, retailers are increasingly coming to the fore, with JC Penney (NYSE:JCP), Kohl's Corp (NYSE:KSS), Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), and Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) all due to release results.
 
Now let's analyze this morning's upgrades, a group that encompasses not only our aforementioned Plug Power but also a commodity company and medical device maker.

Acxiom (NASDAQ:ACXM): BMO Capital Markets moves the stock to Perform from Underperform.
 
Heartland Payment Systems (NYSE:HPY): HPY gets hoisted to Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird. Catalysts include an impressive new chief financial officer and potential upside to earnings-per-share estimates.
 
Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI): Goldman Sachs adds the equity to its list of Conviction Buys.
 
Pernix Therapeutics (NASDAQ:PTX): Shares get upgraded to Strong Buy from Buy at Needham. Its price objective, previously $6.30, increases to $10.
 
Plug Power: Cowen boosts today's headline stock to Outperform from Market Perform. The new target price is $6.
 
Range Resources (NYSE:RRC): RRC gets raised to Conviction Buy from Neutral at Goldman, which also increases its objective by $6 to $110.
 
Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC): Citing next year's highly impressive roster of movies, Topeka Capital Markets takes the stock to Buy from Hold. The price target also goes higher, to $23 from $19.
 
Steel Dynamics (NASDAQ:STLD): The commodity company is boosted to Outperform from Perform with a $24 target at Cowen, which cites a better industry backdrop.
 
Twitter: The upgrades keep coming for this social networking name, now Neutral from Underweight at Atlantic Equities. Shares are showing strength ahead of the open as a result.
 
Zimmer Holdings (NYSE:ZMH): SunTrust moves the medical device maker to Buy from Neutral, concurrently taking its target to $120 from $93.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: GlaxoSmithKline Keeping Up With the Dow Joneses

Stock Downgrades: Urban Outfitters a Country Bumpkin
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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