Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Analog Devices, BP, First Data, GE, Goodyear, ITW, NRG, Palo Alto and Many More

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Stocks were looking for direction on Thursday after a strong ADP payrolls report but ahead of President Trump’s decision on the climate accord. With a bull market that is more eight years old, the S&P is still indicated above 2,400 and the Dow to be above 21,000. Investors have shown for years now that they will buy every big sell-off, but those same investors also are looking for new investing and trading ideas.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research 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 and others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Consensus analyst price targets are from the mean of the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service. Some additional color and commentary has been added on most of the following analyst calls.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls seen on Thursday, June 1, 2017.

Analog Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: ADI) was up 1.1% at $85.76 after beating earnings on Tuesday and several analysts keyed in positively. On Thursday, RBC reiterated its Outperform rating and the price target was raised to $92 from $90 at RBC. Oppenheimer reiterated its Outperform rating as well and raised its target to $100 from $90. Argus raised its target to $100.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) was reiterated as Buy with a $41 price target (versus a $36.15 prior closing price) at Argus. While the firm lowered its 2017 EPS target to $2.08 from $2.35 on lower margin projections for the BP refining business, Argus continues to expect higher crude oil and natural gas prices along with additional cost cuts to help.

First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $20 price target (versus a $17.13 closing price) at Stifel. It has a 52-week trading range of $9.90 to $17.13 and a consensus analyst target price of $18.66.

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) was maintained as Outperform at Credit Suisse and the firm has a sum-of-parts valuation of $33. The firm thinks GE is not a broken company, even if might be somewhat misunderstood. The call noted that GE’s sell-off has created an attractive entry point and the bear points (along with dividend concerns) have been overstated. Shares closed at $27.38 and have a 52-week range of $27.10 to $33.00. The consensus analyst target is $32.14.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSE: GT) was raised to Overweight from Underweight with a $52 price target (versus a $32.22 close) at Morgan Stanley. It was indicated up over 5% at $34.00 on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $24.31 to $37.20, and it has a consensus price target of $38.00.

Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE: ITW) was raised to Buy from Sell with a $155 price target (versus a $141.22 close) at Goldman Sachs. The 52-week range is $98.32 to $142.82, and the consensus price target of $146.28.

NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE: NRG) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $20 price target (versus a $16.06 close) at UBS. It has a 52-week range of $9.84 to $19.07 and a consensus target price of $20.58.

Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NYSE: PANW) closed up 1.4% at $118.59 on Wednesday ahead of earnings and was trading up 13% at $134.50 after earnings were ahead of estimates. Jefferies reiterated the shares as Buy and raised the price target to $155 from $150. Oppenheimer reiterated its Outperform rating and $173 target.

Skechers USA Inc. (NYSE: SKX) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $30 price target (versus a $25.52 close) at Citigroup. Skechers has a 52-week range of $18.81 to $32.71, and shares were indicated up more than 5% at $27.00 on Thursday.

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Other key analyst calls were seen in the following: