Investing

Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Apple, Boeing, Exelon, Herbalife, Symantec and More

The stock market has recovered from the post-Yellen rate hike timeline commentary and from tensions with Russia. Still, investors remain wary, wanting to avoid getting caught up in the next sell-off. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst calls from the top brokerage and research firms each morning. Quite simply, we are searching for new ideas that can make money or help investors avoid certain parts of the market. Some are stocks to buy, while others are stocks to sell. These are this Friday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wall Street research firms.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was started with an Outperform rating and a $630 price target by Macquarie.

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) is feeling the brunt of a large and surprising call on Friday — Goldman Sachs downgraded the aerospace and defense player to Neutral from Buy, and the price target was slashed to $134 from $155.

Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised to $35 from $23 at Credit Suisse, but more important is that the firm added it to the U.S. Focus List.

Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus. The call is not one of valuation, but is due to the FTC investigation creating limited upside in the near-term, despite trading at only 8.6 times expected earnings and having a solid core business.

Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) fired its CEO and issued slight downward guidance, which is rather pathetic for a data security leader at a time when data security is so important. Shares were down more than 8% at $18.80 on last look, and downgrades galore have been seen: to Neutral from Outperform at Baird; to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen and Co.; to Neutral from Buy at UBS; estimates and targets were lowered at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and many other firms as well.

Other Key Analyst Calls

Albany Molecular Research Inc. (NASDAQ: AMRI) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Sterne Agee.

ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE: CAG) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs, and the price target was cut to $31 from $33 in the call.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX) was maintained as Buy but the price target went from $45 to $43 at Nomura. We just featured how the worst may be over here.

Insulet Corp. (NASDAQ: PODD) was started as Buy at Sterne Agee, and the price target was set at $61.00, versus a close of $50.12.

JDS Uniphase Corp. (NASDAQ: JDSU) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price target was raised to $18 from $15 at MKM Partners.

SanDisk Corp. (NASDAQ: SNDK) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $92 from $80 at Argus, based on positive NAND trends.

Tandem Diabetes Care Inc. (NASDAQ: TNDM) was started as Neutral at Sterne Agee, and the price target was set at $26, versus a $26.03 closing price.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $142 from $128 based on upside from its recent LIFE deal.

United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) was downgraded to Sell from Hold at Cantor Fitzgerald, and the downside price target was put at $50, versus a closing price of $66.50.