Earnings season is in full force, and stocks are again within striking distance of new all-time highs. Investors want upside from stocks, but they want to avoid the dogs and pitfalls that can clean out the gains from their portfolios. 24/7 Wall St. reviews many analyst research reports each day for new ideas. Some of the research reports cover stocks to buy, while some cover stocks to sell or to avoid. These are this Thursday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) saw its earnings report dominated by the stock split and dividend, but firms are changing their targets. Cowen raised its target, as did RBC Capital Markets, Canaccord Genuity and Mizuho. CLSA raised its rating to Buy from Outperform with a $695 target price as well.
Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was reiterated as Buy with raised estimates and its $164 price target was maintained by Sterne Agee.
Ciena Inc. (NASDAQ: CIEN) was raised to Buy from Neutral at UBS.
Core Laboratories N.V. (NYSE: CLB) was downgraded to Underweight from Underweight by Morgan Stanley.
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) was reiterated as Buy with an $84 price target at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Price target hikes seen were as follows: $69 at Evercore, $77 at RBC Capital Markets, $75 at Canaccord Genuity and $80 at Sterne Agee.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSE: GT) was kept as a Buy but it was added to the coveted Conviction Buy List at Goldman Sachs. Goodyear’s price target was also raised to $36 from $33 in the call, versus a $27.32 close. This is now the highest price target on the street by $3 per share.
Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $79 from $58 by Argus.
HMS Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: HMSY) was raised to Outperform from Perform and given a $20 price target (versus a $15.74 close) by Oppenheimer.
M&T Bank Corp. (NYSE: MTB) was raised to Buy from Hold at Deutsche bank.
Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: RJET) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX) was started with a Positive rating and $14 price target at Susquehanna.
Xilinx Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $50 target at Credit Suisse. The news is after the circuit maker missed earnings estimates, and Xilinx closed at $52.42.