Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Amex, Cellectis, ForeScout, Mastercard, Mueller Water, PG&E, Party City, Regeneron, Visa and More

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Stocks have hit all-time highs too many times to easily count in 2017. The bull market is now nearing nine years old, and 2017 only has two trading session remaining before 2018 starts. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 25% and the S&P 500 is up almost 20% if you include dividends. The one trend that has prevailed for investors has been to buy all market pullbacks. Investors are also continuing to look for new investing and trading ideas to generate gains and income into 2018.

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. 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 Thursday, December 28, 2017.

Argo Group International Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: AGII) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $71 price target (versus a $60.85 prior close) at Keefe Bruyette & Woods.

Cellectis S.A. (NASDAQ: CLLS) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was maintained at $40 (versus a $28.63 close) at Oppenheimer. The firm talked up the scarcity value of allogeneic CAR-T assets in a high conviction idea.

ForeScout Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: FSCT) was reiterated as Buy and the price objective was raised to $35 from $30 (versus a $29.63 close) at Merrill Lynch. The firm sees a continued strong execution and positive valuation case for this network security player.

Mueller Water Products Inc. (NYSE: MWA) was reiterated as Outperform with a $15 target price (versus a $12.59 close) at Oppenheimer, noting that the core trends are supportive of its valuation.

PG&E Corp. (NYSE: PCG) was maintained as Hold at Argus after the utility suspended its dividend after recent fires. Trading at $44.68, PG&E has a 52-week range is $41.61 to $71.57, and the consensus analyst target price is $58.00.

Party City Holdco Inc. (NYSE: PRTY) was a recent winner after an accelerated share buyback will raise earnings, but Merrill Lynch has maintained its Neutral rating because the firm worries that the company is also raising its leverage and risk.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) was maintained as Buy at Argus, but the firm lowered its price target to $470 from $540. Most points remain positive in the call and its shares closed at $384.09.

Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $65 from $58 (versus a $55.43 close) at Deutsche Bank.

Royal Gold Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLD) was down over 1% at $86.73 on its Mt. Milligan operation temporarily suspending mining on water shortages, its most important asset (close to 35% of expected 2018 revenue) Merrill Lynch has lowered 2018 and 2019 forecasts for earnings based on lower deliveries. Canaccord Genuity was more aggressive and downgraded Royal Gold to Hold from Buy and lowered its price target to $99 from $109. The 52-week trading range is $61.00 to $94.39.

Supernus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: SUPN) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $54 from $50 (versus a $38.70 close) at B. Riley.

Susquehanna raised its price targets on credit card issuers:

  • Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) was raised to $148 from $126.
  • Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA) was raised to $180 from $170.
  • American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) was raised to $130 from $106.
  • Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) was raised to $85 from $69.

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Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Callaway Golf, Capital One, Sarepta, Tesla, UnitedHealth, Wayfair and more. Tuesday’s top analyst calls included Agnico Eagle Mines, Apple, Embraer, FedEx, Nike, Unitil and more.