Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AK Steel, NOV, Pfizer, Stratasys, Twitter, Wynn and More

April 29, 2015 by Jon C. Ogg

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.

ALSO READ: 7 Oil and Gas Stocks Analysts Want You to Buy Now

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.

ALSO READ: Why Apple Should Invert Its Dividend and Buyback Ambitions

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.

Brightcove Inc. (NASDAQ: BCOV) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a price target of $9.40 (versus a $6.70 close) at B. Riley.

Church & Dwight Co. Inc. (NYSE: CHD) was downgraded to Perform from Outperform with a price target of $90 (versus a $83.52 close) at Oppenheimer.

Communications Sales & Leasing Inc. (NASDAQ: CSAL) was started with a Buy rating and was given a $34 price objective (versus a $29.48 close) at Merrill Lynch.

Compass Minerals International Inc. (NYSE: CMP) was downgraded to Neutral From Overweight and the price target was cut to $89 from $97 (versus a $91.65 close) at JPMorgan.

CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) was maintained as Buy at Sterne Agee, but the price target was cut to $45 from $48 (versus a $28.91 close). The firm’s target is based on asset valuations for the coal and gas businesses combined.

Entergy Corp. (NYSE: ETR) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform and the price target was cut to $80 from $89 (versus a $79.02 close) at BMO Capital Markets.

ALSO READ: 3 Top MLPs Credit Suisse Recommends Now

Lexmark International Inc. (NYSE: LXK) was raised to Market Perform from Underperform at Raymond James.

LogMeIn Inc. (NASDAQ: LOGM) was raised to Strong Buy from Buy and the price target was raised to $70 from $55 (versus a $58.62 close) at Needham. Its consensus price target was only $59.22, but shares were seen up over 5% at $62.00 after the earnings beat.

Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL) was downgraded to Market Underperform from Market Perform with a price target of $10 (versus a $14.12 close) at JMP Securities.

Oceaneering International Inc. (NYSE: OII) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the price target was cut to $55 from $58 (versus a $54.55 close) at Sterne Agee. The call was based on weak visibility in its core oilfield segments.

Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. (NASDAQ: PNFP) was raised to Buy from Hold at Wunderlich.

Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the price target was cut to $86 from $96 (versus a $80.42 close) at Societe Generale. This is just a day after it was downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at CLSA.

RTI International Metals Inc. (NYSE: RTI) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with a $38 price target (versus a $37.85 close) at FBR Capital Markets.

Ryder Systems Inc. (NYSE: R) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a price target of $103 (versus a $98.01 close) at Goldman Sachs.

ALSO READ: Why American Water Works Dividend Hikes Should Continue for Years

Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX) was started as Buy at Benchmark.

Total System Services Inc. (NYSE: TSS) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo.

United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price objective was raised to $115 from $103 (versus a $100.77 close) at Merrill Lynch.

Windstream Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: WIN) was adjusted in the post-spin coverage at Merrill Lynch, and the price objective was adjusted to $16 (versus a $11.90 close).

In case you missed Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades, they included Apple, Melco Crown, Sirius XM, Time Warner, Whiting Petroleum, Windstream Holdings and over a dozen more companies.