Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: JetBlue,, Staples, Whiting, Yelp and More

Stocks were trading very marginally lower on Thursday, a day after the FOMC delayed the rate hike timing expectations. This week has seen more selling of stocks, but the trend that has held up for almost four years is that investors have bought every single pullback. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst reports each morning 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 Thursday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.

JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ: JBLU) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised to $27 from $21 (versus a $20.73 close) at Credit Suisse. The firm did note that its share performance gave it pause on upgrading the airline, but new fares are rolling out, and recent investments are driving improved returns. Inc. (NYSE: CRM) was downgraded to Outperform from Buy at CLSA after the valuation has the price out of line with fundamentals. S&P Capital IQ reiterated its Hold rating late on Wednesday after the buyout rumors drove the stock up, due to limited pool of buyers and the premium valuation being a potential block. Credit Suisse has an Outperform and $80 target, and it asks the interested party to stand up (noting that SAP likely is not one of the parties).

Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $20 price target (versus a $15.99 close) at Jefferies. The firm raised it and Office Depot, and others have discussed higher merger synergies.

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Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL) was reiterated as Buy with a $52 price target (versus a $36.76 close) at Sterne Agee CRT. This is after it posted a lighter than expected loss.

Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets, and the price target was slashed to $50 from $82 (versus a $51.28 close). After earnings, the stock was indicated down over 16% at $42.70 in early trading. Other analyst calls seen were as follows:

  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch cut it to Neutral from Buy with a $55 price objective.
  • Credit Suisse maintained its Outperform rating but lowered the target to $70 from $71.
  • Needham maintained its buy rating but cut the target to $55 from $80.
  • Northland downgraded it to Underperform from Market Perform, and the price target was cut to $35 from $49.
  • Sterne Agee CRT cut it to Neutral from Buy.
  • Wunderlich maintained a Buy rating but lowered its target to $75 from $90.

Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades from this Thursday were as follows:

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