Analysts: Tesla Can Meet or Beat Expectations and 3 Other Research Notes to Check Out

Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA): Wedbush has raised Tesla’s price target to $180 from $150 following a manufacturing facility tour of Tesla’s plant in Fremont, California. The firm said it has increased confidence that Tesla can meet or exceed both near and intermediate expectations. The analyst is impressed with all aspects of production and believes Tesla has additional capability to increase production above 500 vehicles per week exiting the third quarter. Wedbush views Tesla’s valuation as appropriate and maintains its Neutral rating on Tesla’s stock.

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Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT): Pacific Crest thinks the merger between Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron has several positive aspects for Applied Materials, including higher cash returns, new product opportunities, and increased exposure to lithography and cements. The firm expects the deal to close in the second half of 2014. Pacific has raised its price target on Applied Materials to $21 from $19 and has maintained an Outperform rating on the shares.

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J. C. Penney (NYSE:JCP): During Tuesday’s trading session, Goldman initiated J.C. Penney’s 7.95 percent unsecured bonds due 2017, its 5.65 percent notes due 2020, and its 6.375 percent notes due 2036 with Underperform ratings. Goldman believes that J. C. Penney’s term loans could have downside if J.C. Penney taps the debt markets for incremental liquidity.

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Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK): Argus upgraded Duke Energy to Buy from Hold due to Duke’s valuation, earnings visibility, and its settlement with the Sierra Club over the Edwardsport power plant air-emission permits. Duke Energy’s price target is $79 at Argus.

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