Molycorp Inc (MCP), Workday Inc (WDAY): Four Noteworthy Upgrades That You Should Question

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On Friday we saw several stock-moving upgrades in preparation of a long week of earnings; here are four that really caught my eye. These are upgrades that I would definitely ignore.

Molycorp Inc (NYSE:MCP)

The best of the worst

After a 64% one-year loss, Molycorp Inc (NYSE:MCP) has gained 22% over the last month, and much of those gains have been caused by analyst upgrades. Byron Capital likes Molycorp Inc (NYSE:MCP); his “Strong Buy” rating helped to push shares higher by over 2.6% on Friday. The firm calls Molycorp Inc (NYSE:MCP) the best positioned to reap the benefits of reliable rare earth minerals outside China.

First off, I don’t consider the best of the bad to be good. Secondly, I am not sure that demand is present for Molycorp Inc (NYSE:MCP) to capitalize on this reliable source that Byron Capital notes. This is a company that has been crushed because rare earth material prices have fallen, and I see no reason to believe that prices will stabilize. Hence, while Molycorp Inc (NYSE:MCP) could possibly be at the bottom of its trend, I don’t think there are enough catalysts present to call it a “Strong Buy.”

Not buying the idea of growth

After three years of declining revenue, is Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ:XLNX) finally entering an extended period of above industry growth? According to Citigroup, the semiconductor company is entering this period, and ramped 4G spending in China is the primary catalyst.

Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ:XLNX) has several products that are used in mobile infrastructure gear. My problem is that as of late we haven’t seen too many China-based predictions end favorably. China is a country with slowed growth, and at five times sales, I simply can not speculate that Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ:XLNX) will finally begin to produce growth – not when its failed to grow during periods of rapid Chinese expansion.

Simply ridiculous

Workday Inc (NYSE:WDAY) is fast-approaching new all-time highs, and is trading with gains over 3% on Friday. These gains were created by Oppenheimer’s upgrade to “Outperform”, as the firm says a talk with management left them confident about Workday Inc (NYSE:WDAY)’s growth potential.

Personally, I know investors who won’t touch a stock trading at 36 times earnings; therefore, at 36.5 times SALES, Workday Inc (NYSE:WDAY) is expected to have significant growth potential. Perhaps I don’t understand the valuing metric for this company, because with an operating margin of negative 38.6% and decelerating growth I can’t fathom how an analyst could possibly predict further upside. In my opinion, this is the quintessential example of a bad upgrade.

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