Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Buffalo Wild Wings, Gap, Hain Celestial, PayPal, Salesforce.com, Splunk and More

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Stocks bounced handily on Thursday after several days of consecutive selling, and the markets were looking for direction on Friday. The tax reform plan has passed its first hurdle, but some key issues remain unresolved. This bull market is more than eight and a half years old, and the one trend every investor has won from for over five years is that buying the dips has been rewarded. Investors are also looking for new investing and trading ideas to generate gains and income ahead.

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 and research notes cover stocks to buy. Others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional color and commentary has been added on most of these daily analyst calls. Consensus analyst price target data and valuation metrics are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Friday, November 17, 2017.

Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. (NASDAQ: BWLD) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $155 price target (versus a $140.90 prior close) at Deutsche Bank. Despite some rough internal news and metrics, Buffalo Wild Wings shares have now recovered 48% from the 52-week low of $95.00.

Diamondback Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FANG) was maintained as Buy but was removed from the prized Conviction Buy List at Goldman Sachs. Its target price is $118 (versus a $106.53 close).

Everbridge Inc. (NASDAQ: EVBG) was reinstated as Outperform and with a $30 price target (versus a $26.50 close) at Credit Suisse. The firm sees several multiyear initiatives helping to grow revenues and billings growth with increased margins and profitability.

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral with a $26 target price (versus a $28.47 close) at Macquarie.

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) was up 2% on Thursday ahead of earnings and was indicated up 8% on Friday morning after beating earnings estimates. Gap was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $41 from $39 (versus a $27.48 close) at Jefferies. The firm sees top-line growth continuing after seeing margin expansion. Deutsche Bank maintained its Hold rating on Gap but raised its target to $27 from $24.

Hain Celestial Group Inc. (NASDAQ: HAIN) was reiterated as Buy with a $52 price target at Jefferies, The firm feels the company has the best self-help potential from margins turning around and the best category growth exposure, and it even has M&A optionality.

PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) was up 5.8% at $77.70 on Thursday after announcing that it is selling $6 billion in consumer loans to Synchrony. Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $85 from $74, and Jefferies reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $86 from $80. Argus reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $87 from $80.

Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $120 from $115 at Credit Suisse ahead of earnings. The firm is looking for strong deferred revenues and billings guidance.

Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK) was up 2.3% at $69.30 ahead of earnings but was indicated up 13% at $78.50 on Friday afterward. Wedbush Securities called it a historically large earnings beat, but the firm still maintained a Neutral rating and $78 price target. Credit Suisse maintained its Outperform rating and raised its target to $88 from $80, and it said it is the top security pick and also a top overall pick. Deutsche Bank reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $85 from $75.

Unilever N.V. (NYSE: UL) was started as Hold at Argus.

Williams-Sonoma Inc. (NYSE: WSM) was downgraded to Underweight from Overweight with a $46 price target (versus a $52.87 close) at JPMorgan. Credit Suisse maintained its Underperform rating, noting that even its industry-best margins can go lower.

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Thursday’s top analyst calls included Cisco Systems, Dollar General, NetApp, Pandora Media, Procter & Gamble, Target and over a dozen more.

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