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This Just In: Upgrades and Downgrades

Rich Smith
August 6, 2012

At The Motley Fool, we poke plenty of fun at Wall Street analysts and their endless cycle of upgrades, downgrades, and "initiating coverage at neutral." While the pinstripe-and-wingtip crowd is entitled to its opinions, we've got some pretty sharp stock-pickers down here on Main Street, too. (And we're not always impressed with how Wall Street does its job.)

Given this, perhaps we shouldn't be giving virtual ink to "news" of analyst upgrades and downgrades. And we wouldn't -- if that were all we were doing. Fortunately, in "This Just In," we don't simply tell you what the analysts said. We also show you whether they know what they're talking about.

Any hope for Annaly?
Last week was no fun for Annaly Capital (NYSE: NLY  ) investors. For days, the bad news had been rolling in from across the REIT industry: both Capstead Mortgage (NYSE: CMO  ) and Invesco (NYSE: IVR  ) missed estimates due to declining earnings, while American Capital Agency (NYSE: AGNC  ) actually suffered a net loss for the quarter. So by the time Annaly's turn rolled around, you have to imagine expectations were low -- and then, a miracle happened.

Annaly reported earnings on Wednesday, and while earnings did in fact decline, a fortuitously timed sale of "Agency mortgage-backed securities and debentures" helped to lift Annaly past consensus numbers and deliver a $0.06 per-share e