Stocks were trading lower on Thursday as the market continues to struggle for an appropriate “market multiple” valuation and slower growth. Still, investors have shown that they will buy weakness as they hunt for value and bargains.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning of the week in order to find new trading and investing ideas. Some of these analyst calls are on stocks to buy, while others cover stocks to sell or avoid. These are this Thursday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.
Aegon N.V. (NYSE: AEG) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. Its American depositary shares closed most recently at $5.64, and its 52-week trading range is $5.60 to $8.48.
CareTrust REIT Inc. (NASDAQ: CTRE) was started as Outperform with a $13 price target (versus an $11.69 close) at RBC Capital Markets.
CrossAmerica Partners L.P. (NYSE: CAPL) was reiterated as Buy at Janney Capital markets, and the fair value estimate was maintained as $42.00 (versus a $24.36 prior close).
DigitalGlobe Inc. (NYSE: DGI) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight and the price target was cut to $27 from $30 (versus a $20.65 close) at JPMorgan.
Entergy Corp. (NYSE: ETR) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS. Entergy closed at $64.04 and has a consensus analyst price target of $74.38 and a 52-week range of $61.27 to $92.02.
HCP Inc. (NYSE: HCP) was reiterated as Buy with a target price of $43 (versus a $38.56 close) at Argus. After solid investments and results, the firm sees asset sales progressing ahead of expectations with a solid coverage ratio to cover its lease payments.
Interxion Holding N.V. (NYSE: INXN) was reiterated as Buy with a $33 price target (versus a $27.23 close) at Canaccord Genuity. The call is after management meetings, noting that Interxion is now embarking on the next significant phase of growth.
Marriott International Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) shares were raised to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. The price target was raised to $92 from $80 as well.
Monster Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ: MNST) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $165 price target (versus a $134.36 close) at Goldman Sachs.
Qualys Inc. (NASDAQ: QLYS) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Macquarie. Qualys closed at $31.61 and has a 52-week range of $25.00 to $55.47.
Qunar Cayman Islands Ltd. (NASDAQ: QUNR) was maintained as Neutral at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and the price objective was maintained as $45 (versus a $30.00 close). That is substantial upside for a Neutral rating, but the firm said that potential macro downside and competition dominate despite balancing between growth and margins.
Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE: RL) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup, with a $125 price target (versus a $108.07 close). The firm maintains that the selling pressure here reached too much and that shares are now attractively valued.
Spark Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: SPKE) was started as Buy with a $20 fair value estimate (versus a $16.68 close, after a 6% gain) at Janney Capital Markets.
Trex Co. Inc. (NYSE: TREX) was raised to Outperform from Neutral with a $45 price target (versus a $32.85 close) at Wedbush Securities.
Valero Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: VLP) was raised to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, although the firm maintained its $52 price target. This was after a near 6% drop to $41.79 and versus a 52-week range of $35.96 to $55.00.
In case you missed Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades, they were in shares of ADT, CarMax, Cogent Communications, Intel, Monsanto, Noble, Raytheon and over a dozen more companies.