Stocks took a breather on Thursday after a strong Philadelphia Fed report and a low jobless claims report, but the markets have been hitting all-time highs. The Dow hit 20,600 and still has a path to 21,422 in late 2017 or early 2018 if things remain positive. Even though the bull market in nearly eight years old, investors keeping finding new reasons to buy the market after every sell-off. Those same investors also are looking for new and overlooked opportunities.
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 reports cover stocks to buy, while other reports cover stocks to sell or to avoid.
Many of the following analyst calls have been given some added color and the consensus analyst price targets are from Thomson Reuters. These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Thursday, February 16, 2017:
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: BCRX) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a price target of $11 (versus a $6.16 prior close) at Ladenburg Thalmann. Shares were last seen trading up 8% at $6.69 after the call’s impact in early trading on Thursday. Just to show how much BioCryst can be quite volatile, it has a 52-week trading range of $1.74 to $7.56.
Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) saw some volatility after earnings, but its stock was last seen up almost 1.5% at $33.30 as the business model is changing under CEO Chuck Robbins. Cisco was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $37 from $35 at Jefferies. Many other analysts chimed in with higher price targets as well.
Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $4.50 price target at Wedbush Securities, noting that its price target was reached following a solid quarter. RBC maintained its Sector Perform rating but raised its target to $5 from $4.
SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) was raised to Outperform from Perform and the price target was set at $10 at Oppenheimer. SunPower shares were last seen down 1% at $7.17, but that had been down 4% initially after earnings on Wednesday evening. The firm maintains that the challenging conditions should be priced in now.
Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) was reiterated as Sell with a $160 price target at UBS. While this call is negative, and while the analyst has been negative for some time, Tesla shares were last seen trading at closer to $279, and they have largely ignored negative analyst calls. The 52-week range is $162.50 to $287.39.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $56 price target (versus a $58.55 close) at Credit Suisse. The 52-week range is $43.55 to $59.01, and the consensus analyst price target is $58.25.
Other key analyst calls were seen in the following:
- Angie’s List Inc. (NASDAQ: ANGI) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral and the price target was cut to $4.75 from $6.50 at Roth Capital.
- Blackhawk Network Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.
- ITT Inc. (NYSE: ITT) was raised to Outperform from Perform and the price target was set at $50 at Oppenheimer. It was last seen up 1.3% at $43.94, with a 52-week range of $30.06 to $43.99.
- Kraft Heinz Co. (NASDAQ: KHC) was downgraded to Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna.
- LendingClub Corp. (NYSE: LC) was maintained as Underperform at Wedbush, but the price target was raised to $4.50 from $4.00 (versus a $6.29 close).
- MDC Partners Inc. (NASDAQ: MDCA) was raised to Buy and the price target was launched higher to $12 from $4 (versus an $8.65 prior close) at Jefferies. This call was after MDC received a $95 million investment in convertible preferred shares, which significantly de-risks its balance sheet.
- Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE: SLF) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at Scotiabank. Shares were last seen down 4.5% at $38.45 after earnings, in a 52-week range of $27.86 to $40.57.
Wednesday’s top analyst calls included BBVA, Fossil, Procter & Gamble, T-Mobile, Under Armour, Universal Display and many more.
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