Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: CBS, Honeywell, KeyCorp, Lennox, Nike, Southwest Airlines, Verizon and More

Print Email

The futures are trading modestly higher this Thursday morning as investors digest not only the interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve, but the final commentary from the outgoing Fed Chair Janet Yellen. With the economy and optimism on the rise, it’s a pretty solid bet we see at least three rate increases in 2018.

The one trend that has dominated this bull market is that investors keep finding new reasons to buy stocks after every single sell-off. Those same investors are looking for new investment and trading ideas to generate gains and income.

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 the top analyst reports cover stocks to buy. Other calls cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional color and commentary has been added on some of these daily analyst calls. The consensus analyst price target data are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Thursday, December 14, 2017.

CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) was started with an Overweight rating at Stephans. The 52-week trading range for the broadcasting giant is $52.75 to $70.10. The Wall Street consensus price target is set at $70.70. The shares ended trading on Wednesday at $57.17.

Coca-Cola European Partners PLC (NYSE: CCE) was started with a Buy rating at Deutsche Bank with a target price of $43. That compares with the consensus price target of $44.06. The 52-week trading range is $31.01 to $44.75. The stock closed on Wednesday at $38.93.

Continental Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLR) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie. The 52-week trading range for the energy giant is $29.08 to $53.57. The consensus price objective is set at $50.33. The stock ended trading on Wednesday at $47.31.

Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) saw it target price lowered to $169 from $171 at Stifel. The analysts cited management’s commentary and guidance, so they trimmed their 2018 estimated earnings per share estimate to $7.70 from $7.75. They note a solid constructive guide for 2018, with tax reform as a catalyst for higher core earnings and more balance sheet optionality. They also feel the stock remains a capital allocation and mergers and acquisition story. The 52-week trading range for the industrial giant is $113.60 to $156.70. The consensus price objective is posted at $160.35. The shares closed trading on Wednesday at $155.80.

Lennox International Inc. (NYSE: LII) saw its target price raised to $207 from $193 at Stifel. That compares with a consensus target of $201.22. The analysts noted that the company’s 2018 guidance was just about in-line with their expectations, though a tad light of consensus $8.95 midpoint versus $9.04. Importantly, Lennox sees strong sustainability of the residential HVAC cycle for the next three to five years and expects to be able to generally overcome price and cost headwinds in 2018 via recent pricing actions. The 52-week trading range for the shares is $147.54 to $213.78. The consensus price target is $201.22, and shares closed trading on Wednesday at $206.39

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) was raised to Buy from Hold at Argus. The 52-week trading range for the shoe and apparel giant is $50.35 to $64.46. The consensus price target is $59.55. The shares closed trading on Wednesday at $64.30.

Southwest Airlines Inc. (NYSE: LUV) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at a firm called Atlantic Equities. The 52-week trading range is $48.71 to $64.39. The consensus price target for the low-cost transportation leader is $67.58. The shares closed Wednesday at $63.14.

TE Connectivity Ltd. (NYSE: TEL) saw its price target raised to $105 from $98 at Stifel. The analysts noted that after years of heavy lifting, adding and shedding businesses and major restructurings, they believe TE’s product and end-market portfolio is more or less where management wants it to be, with a focus on a harsh environment. The company set long-term targets of 4% to 6% organic growth, primarily from content gains in automotive and broader industrial markets, complemented by bolt-on acquisitions. The 52-week trading range is $66.20 to $96.68, and the consensus price target is $101.31. The shares closed trading on Wednesday at $95.27.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at HSBC Securities. The 52-week trading range is $42.80 to $54.83. The consensus price target is $51.61. With the shares closing Wednesday at $52.89, and having made a sensational run since mid-November, this could be a valuation call.

Follow @Jonogg on Twitter to receive the daily analyst calls and other market research calls directly on your feed.

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