Stocks were indicated lower on Wednesday after a very low GDP growth report and ahead of the FOMC statements. What investors should keep in mind is that the market is within striking distance of all-time highs again. Also, investors have bought every single pullback for what is now approaching four years. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of research reports from analysts each day in order to get new trading and investment ideas for its readers. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.
These are this Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.
AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse, and the firm’s $5.50 price target is unchanged (versus a $4.89 close), but the firm said that there were few surprises in earnings and the magnetation was impaired to $0. This is on the heels of earnings (a loss), and AK Steel shares were indicated down 2.2% at $5.23 on Wednesday, after rising more than 9% on Tuesday.
National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NYSE: NOV) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley. Sterne Agee has a Neutral rating, but it lowered estimates and cut its price target to $49 from $55. Credit Suisse maintained its Underperform rating, but raised its price target to $43 from $40. Shares closed at $51.93 and the consensus price target has fallen to $53.14.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup, which looks like a valuation downgrade after earnings, with Pfizer up 11.6% so far in 2015. Pfizer’s consensus analyst price target is $36.60, and the highest target still remains all the way up at $45.
Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a price objective of $55 (versus $51.30 close, but versus $40.83 pre-market after the lower earnings guidance) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. This is a day after Canaccord Genuity downgraded it too. Goldman Sachs also downgraded Stratasys to Neutral from Buy, and the price target was cut to $49 from $78.
Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $44 price target (from a $53 prior target) at Janney Capital Markets. The call was on the heels of a huge earnings drop, and the firm said: “Weakness was attributed to the direct response ad product but dovetailed with a broader decline in ad engagement, which is concerning given they center around ad buyer demand and user receptiveness to ads. Twitter will likely lose the benefit of the doubt with investors.” Other analyst calls were as follows on Twitter:
- Barclays downgraded it to Equal Weight from Overweight, and the price target was slashed to $44 from $60.
- Merrill Lynch maintained its Neutral rating, but lowered the price objective to $44 from $52.
- RBC Capital Markets maintained a Sector Perform rating, but cut the price target to $47 from $54.
Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN) was downgraded to Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna. Janney Capital markets lowered its price target to $100 from $140 and maintained a Neutral rating. The news is after Wynn posted lower earnings on Macau and after lowering its dividend. Brean Capital has a Buy rating and lowered its price target to $153 from $174 in the call. Sterne Agee has a Buy rating, but it lowered its target to $138 from $155. Credit Suisse maintained its Neutral rating but lowered its price target to $115 from $125.
Additional analyst upgrades and downgrades on Wednesday were seen in the following companies:
Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) was raised to Buy from Hold with a price target of $79 at Deutsche Bank, in what was a “buy on weakness” call. The company missed earnings, and while it closed at $76.07 it was indicated down 4.6% at $72.55 in premarket trading on Wednesday.
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