Stocks were looking for direction on Friday, but this is after a week of post-FOMC gains after the Federal Reserve kept rates on hold. Investors have continued to demonstrate time after time that they will still buy stocks after any real weakness. Investors are also looking for new ideas to generate income or gains ahead.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning of the week in an effort to find new investing and trading ideas. Some analyst research reports cover stocks to buy, and some feature stocks to sell or to avoid.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Friday morning:
Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) was started with an Overweight rating and was assigned a $56 price target (versus a $44.51 prior close) at Morgan Stanley. It has a 52-week trading range of $26.49 to $45.12 and a consensus analyst price target of $46.75.
Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) was started as Overweight and assigned a $101 price target (versus an $83.17 close) at Morgan Stanley. Its 52-week range is $53.01 to $84.45, and it has a consensus price target of $87.97.
Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) was raised to Neutral from Underperform and the price target was raised to $8 from $5 (versus a $9.65 close) at Credit Suisse. The stock has a 52-week range of $7.67 to $17.19 and a consensus price target of $9.16.
Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) was downgraded to Underperform from Sector Perform and the price target was cut to $14 from $17 (versus an $18.63 close, and shares down over 3.5% at $17.95 premarket) at RBC Capital Markets. The call is based largely on soft advertising sales. The 52-week range is $13.73 to $31.87. The consensus price target is $16.38.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with an $87 price target (versus a $72.19 close) at Barclays. It has a 52-week range of $56.30 to $75.19 and a consensus price target of $74.99.
Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) was moved to just having an Outperform rating as it was removed from the Top Pick list at RBC Capital Markets. The firm has a $97 price target (versus a $90.47 close). The 52-week range is $64.58 to $91.99, and the consensus price target is $90.80.
Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades were seen as follows:
Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACHN) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $13 price target (versus an $8.44 close) at Wedbush Securities.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXN) was started with a Neutral rating and assigned a $132 price target (versus a $133.69 close) at Wedbush Securities.
AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE: AZN) was started as Overweight at Piper Jaffray.
Becton Dickinson and Co. (NYSE: BDX) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $165 price target (versus a $181.55 close) at Citigroup.
BioDelivery Sciences International Inc. (NASDAQ: BDSI) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $4 price target (versus a $2.45 close) at Janney.
Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (NYSE: COG) was raised to Strong Buy from Market Perform with a $30 price target (versus a $25.57 close) at Raymond James.
GlaxoSmithKline PLC (NYSE: GSK) was started as Overweight at Piper Jaffray.
ING Groep N.V. (NYSE: ING) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets.
Prudential Financial Inc. (NYSE: PRU) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price target was raised to $93 from $80 (versus an $80.14 close) at Goldman Sachs.
Wix.com Ltd. (NASDAQ: WIX) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets.
Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades were in Alibaba, Amazon.com, Bed Beth & Beyond, Puma Biotechnology, SeaWorld and over a dozen more.
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