Stocks were handily lower on Tuesday after the Dow gained over 1,000 points from its lows in the prior week. Still, one trend that seems etched in stone is that investors will buy the top stocks and look for good value in stocks on weakness. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning of the week to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these analyst calls cover stocks to buy and other calls cover stocks to sell or avoid. These are this Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.
CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) was started as Market Perform with a $28.00 price target (versus a $25.86 prior close) at Cowen. CenturyLink has a consensus price target that is over 10% higher at $31.08, and it has a 52-week trading range of $24.11 to $41.99, with a huge 8% or so yield.
JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ: JBLU) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight with a $27.00 price target (versus a $26.86 close) at JPMorgan. JetBlue has a consensus price target of $29.17 and a 52-week range of $9.52 to $27.36.
Level 3 Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: LVLT) was maintained as a Buy rating at Goldman Sachs, but the firm added Level 3 to its prized Conviction Buy list with a $60.00 price target (versus a $45.21 close). This consensus price target is right in line with this call at $60.13, and the 52-week range is $37.61 to $57.08.
Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) was maintained as Buy with a $120.00 price target at Canaccord Genuity ahead of this week’s earnings report. The firm sees solid results and guidance coming this way. Netflix has a consensus price target of $120.39 and a 52-week range of $45.08 to $129.29.
PulteGroup Inc. (NYSE: PHM) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight and the price target was cut to $18.00 from $22.00 (versus a $20.10 close) at Morgan Stanley. The consensus analyst price target is $23.94, and the 52-week range is $16.73 to $23.36.
United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform and the price target was cut to $100 from $113 (versus a $95.43 close) at RBC Capital Markets. United Tech has a consensus analyst price target of $109.00 and as a 52-week range of $85.50 to $124.45.
VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities. This is after VMware gets treated like a second class citizen after the Dell-EMC merger with a diluted tracking stock. VMware closed down 8% at $72.27 on Monday, and it hit a 52-week low of $69.75 on Monday as well.
Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight with a $23.00 price target (versus a $20.16 close) at Morgan Stanley. Whiting closed down 10% on Monday, and it has a consensus analyst target closer to $30.00 and a 52-week range of $13.50 to $64.39.
Other key analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations on Monday morning were seen in the following: