Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Activision Blizzard, Etsy, Fluor, Viacom, Wyndham Worldwide, Yelp and More

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out another all-time high on Thursday as the rest of the market was off slightly. With second-quarter earnings winding down, and the traditionally sleepy days of August underway, investors can expect some slow trading from now until after Labor Day. With second-quarter earnings almost behind us, many will continue to look for value in what is a historically pricey stock market.

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 analyst reports cover stocks to buy and some cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Friday, August 4, 2017.

Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch. The 52-week trading range for the stock is $35.12 to $64.06, and the consensus Wall Street price target is $64.25. Shares closed trading on Thursday at $63.97 and were up over 4% after reporting solid earnings this morning.


Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. (NASDAQ: CTSH) was raised to Buy from Hold at Loop Capital. The 52-week range is $45.44 to $70.49. The consensus price target is $73.10. The stock closed Thursday at $69.95.

Etsy Inc. (NASDAQ: ETSY) saw its target price raised to $15 from $13 at Stifel. The analysts noted that Etsy reported a solid quarter and provided better than feared fiscal year 2017 guidance despite the considerable transition experienced during the quarter. The 52-week trading range is $9.41 to $16.05, and the consensus price target is $13.06. The stock closed Thursday at $13.59.

Fluor Inc. (NYSE: FLR) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank. The 52-week is $41.78 to $58.37. The consensus price target is $51.97. The stock closed Thursday at $43.86, but traded down over 12% in the premarket after reporting a second-quarter loss.

Hi-Crush Partners L.P. (NYSE: HCLP) saw its price target lowered at Cowen from $22 to $12, despite what the firm cited as an attractive valuation. The 52-week range for the stock is $7.60 to $23.30, and the consensus price objective is $19.40. The shares closed Thursday at $8.55.

Sierra Wireless Inc. (NASDAQ: SWIR) was raised to Neutral at Macquarie. The 52-week range is $12.30 to $31.95, and the consensus price objective is $28.50. The shares closed Thursday at $23.40, down a stunning 20% after announcing an all-stock acquisition that may be dilutive to shareholders.

Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB) was downgraded to Underweight at a firm called Atlantic Equities. The 52-week range for the shares is $32.68 to $48.72, and the consensus price target is $43.77. The stock closed Thursday at $35.07.

Wyndham Worldwide Corp. (NYSE: WYN) was downgraded to Market Perform at Telsey Advisory Group. Its 52-week trading range is $62.60 to $106.50, and the consensus price target is $105.10. The shares closed Thursday at $102.30.

Yelp Inc. (NASDAQ: YELP) was raised to Buy from Hold at MKM Partners. The 52-week range is $26.93 to $43.41. The consensus price target is $31.31. The stock closed trading on Thursday at $31.37.

Other key analysts upgrades and downgrades were seen in the following:

Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Compass Point. The 52-week trading range for the shares is $64.63 to $95.72. The consensus price target is $100.35. The stock closed trading on Thursday at $95.15.

Kennametal Inc. (NYSE: KMT) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo. The 52-week range is $26.10 to $43.09. The consensus price target is $44.21. Shares closed Thursday at $35.47, down over 5% after reporting earnings yesterday that missed analyst estimates.

Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LECO) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Deutsche Bank. The 52-week range is $59.27 to $97.79, and the consensus price target is $94.29. The stock closed on Thursday at $86.99.

Murphy USA Inc. (NASDAQ: MUSA) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Stephens. The 52-week range is $57.13 to $79.98. The consensus price objective is $78.80. The stock closed Thursday at $73.44, down almost 4%.

PharMerica Corp. (NYSE: PMC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Credit Suisse. The 52-week range is $19.20 to $28.95, and the consensus price target is $27.93. With the shares closing at $28.90 on Thursday, this could be a valuation call.

Quanta Services Inc. (NYSE: PWR) was raised to Buy at Johnson Rice. The 52-week range for the stock is $23.60 to $38.82, and the consensus price target is $41.70. The stock closed Thursday at $35.70, up over 4% on the day.

Quintiles IMS Holdings Inc. (NYSE: Q) was raised to Outperform at William Blair. The 52-week range is $70.10 to $93.42, and the consensus price objective is $95.60. The stock closed Thursday at $91.10.

Treehouse Foods Inc. (NYSE: THS) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at a firm called Vertical Group. The 52-week range for the shares is $62.64 to $100.61. The consensus price target is posted at $90.31. The stock closed Thursday at $74.16.

In case you missed it, here are Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades. They included Caterpillar, Comcast, Fitbit, Mattel, Take-Two, Time Warner, Zynga and more.