Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Freeport-McMoRan, Medtronic, Northrup Grumman, SailPoint, Stitch Fix, Verizon and More

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Stocks have hit all-time highs, and the major indexes were indicated to open marginally higher on Tuesday ahead of this week’s likely Federal Reserve decision to raise interest rates. The trend that continues to prevail has been for investors to buy all the big market sell-offs, something that has worked for all of 2017 and most of the past five years. 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. Our goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for investors and traders alike. Some daily analyst reports and research reports 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. The consensus analyst price targets mentioned and other valuation metrics are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Tuesday, December 12, 2017.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) was raised to Equal Weight from Underweight and the price target was raised to $14 from $10 (versus a $15.02 prior close) at Morgan Stanley. Freeport-McMoRan has a 52-week trading range of $11.05 to $17.06 and a consensus analyst target price of $16.56.

Medtronic PLC (NYSE: MDT) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $95 price target (versus an $81.27 close) at Argus. The firm noted that it sees better opportunities now after a long period of underperformance, seen with cost synergies from its Covidien acquisition, boosting operating margins and integrating tuck-in acquisitions that have been completed. Medtronic has a 52-week range of $69.35 to $89.72 and a consensus target price of $89.92.

Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) was raised to Overweight from Neutral and the price target was raised to $355 from $317 (versus a $304.56 close) at JPMorgan. Northrop Grumman has a 52-week range of $223.88 to $309.76, and it had a consensus price target of $324.13.

SailPoint Technologies Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SAIL) was started as Buy with an $18 price target (versus a of $14.83 close) at Jefferies. RBC started it with an Outperform rating and an $18 target, and Morgan Stanley started it as Equal Weight with a $16 target. Oppenheimer started SailPoint as Outperform with a $20 price target. The shares were indicated up 0.6% at $14.91 on Tuesday morning.

Stitch Fix Inc. (NASDAQ: SFIX) has now seen its quiet period come to an end, so analysts from the underwriting syndicate firms are initiating coverage. It was started as Overweight with a $29 target at Piper Jaffray, and RBC started it as Outperform with a $29 target. Barclays started it as Neutral with a $26 price target, while JPMorgan started it as Neutral with a $25 price target. Stitch Fix has a post-IPO trading range of $14.48 to $25.38, and its shares were at $23.98 as of Monday’s close.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price target was raised to $61 from $47 (versus a $51.84 close) at Instinet. Shares were indicated up 0.5% at $52.05 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $42.80 to $54.83 and with a consensus target price of $50.83.

Also check out the 10 large-cap tech stocks that are expected to outperform Amazon and Apple in 2018.

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Other key analyst calls were seen as follows: