Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Amex, Coca-Cola, NVIDIA, Procter & Gamble, Texas Instruments, Transocean and More

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Stocks came within cents of hitting Dow 20,000 on Friday but failed to cinch the formal 20K print. Futures were indicated marginally lower on Monday after a lack of overseas follow-through. With the enthusiasm of the post-election rally continuing, investors are looking for deeper value and growth opportunities in 2017. Investors are still willing to buy pullbacks, even with the bull market almost eight years old.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst reports each day of the week to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these analyst research reports cover stocks to buy, while other calls cover stocks to sell or avoid.

These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Monday, January 9, 2017:

Merrill Lynch raised American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) to Buy from Neutral and the price objective was raised to $90 from $78 (versus a $75.47 prior close) as well. The stock has a consensus analyst target price of $75.96 and a 52-week trading range of $50.27 to $76.55.

Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) was started as Equal Weight with a $42 price target (versus a $41.74 close) at Barclays. Unfortunately for shareholders, it was also downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $39 price target at Goldman Sachs. The consensus analyst target is $45.54, and the 52-week range is $39.88 to $47.13.

Jefferies reiterated NVIDIA Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) as Buy and the price target was raised to $125 from $110 (versus a $103.10 close). The focus on the self-driving car competition is that it will be good for the company. What stands out about NVIDIA’s consensus price target of $97 or so is that the target keeps getting raised, but a recent short seller report from Citron Research has weighed on shares.

From an already cautious Neutral rating, Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) was downgraded to Sell by Goldman Sachs, which also cut its price target to $77 from $86 (versus an $85.03 close). The consensus target price is $90.72. The 52-week range is $74.46 to $90.33.

Not only was Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: TXN) was raised to Outperform from Neutral, but the price target was raised to $95 from $77 at Credit Suisse. The firm’s view is that estimates look overly conservative and that it is a top semiconductor pick.

Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) was downgraded to Underperform from Buy with a $16 price objective (versus a $15.77 close) at Merrill Lynch. The consensus target price is $11.68, and the 52-week range is $7.67 to $16.66.

Other key analyst calls included the following:

  • Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) was raised to Neutral from Underweight and the price target was raised to $190 from $159 (versus a $176.38 close) at JPMorgan.
  • Brooks Automation Inc. (NASDAQ: BRKS) was raised to Neutral from Underperform and the price target was raised to $17 from $13 at Credit Suisse.
  • Eaton Corp. (NYSE: ETN) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $78 price objective (versus a $68.01 close) at Merrill Lynch.
  • Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE: EMR) was raised to Neutral from Underperform with a $60 price objective (versus a $56.40 close) at Merrill Lynch.
  • ENSCO International PLC (NYSE: ESV) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price objective was raised to $14 from $8 (versus an $11.68 close) at Merrill Lynch.
  • Helmerich & Payne Inc. (NYSE: HP) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was set at $92 (versus an $81.07 close) at Argus. This would imply a return of close to 20% if its dividend is included.
  • ITT Corp. (NYSE: ITT) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $50 price objective (versus a $40.57 close) at Merrill Lynch.
  • JD.com Inc. (NASDAQ: JD) was raised to Overweight from Neutral and the price target was set at $39 (versus a $26.27 close) at JPMorgan.
  • PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) was started as Equal Weight with a $102 price target (versus a $104.56 close) at Barclays. It has a $116.74 consensus price target and a 52-week range of $93.25 to $110.94.
  • Rockwell Automation Inc. (NYSE: ROK) was raised to Neutral from Underperform with a $143 price objective (versus a $138.50 close) at Merrill Lynch.
  • Rudolph Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: RTEC) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform but the price target was raised to $24 from $19 at Credit Suisse. The downgrade of the formal rating was based on relative valuations.
  • SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI) was already rated as Buy at Goldman Sachs, but the firm added the shares to its prized Conviction Buy list and raised its price target to $67 from $54 (versus a $55.53 close).
  • Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $45 from $43 (versus a $36.91 close) at Jefferies.

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Friday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades were in Cognizant Tech, Etsy, GoPro, Illumina, Shake Shack, Travelers and many more.