Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AK Steel, Apple, CONSOL, IAMGOLD, Juniper Networks, Tyson Foods and More

October 26, 2015 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were indicated slightly lower on Monday, but that is after another solid week that took the Dow and S&P 500 back within about 3% to 4% of highs. Investors keep showing that they will buy the top stocks and other value stocks or opportunities when they can. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy and others cover stocks to sell or avoid. These are this Monday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.

AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral and the price target was slashed to $1.00 from $4.00 (versus a $2.66 prior close) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. What matters here is that until recently Merrill Lynch had been the biggest AK Steel turnaround bull, but now it sees steel prices being lower for even longer.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was reiterated as Market Perform at Cowen, with a $135 price target, in a call that is ahead of this week’s earnings report. Apple closed up 3.1% at $119.08 on Friday and has a 52-week trading range of $92.00 to $134.54. Apple’s consensus price target is roughly $148.50.

CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) was reiterated as Underperform at Merrill Lynch, but the price target was cut to $9.00 from $13.00, even lower that the $9.50 close on Friday. The firm simply noted that there is a growing gap between the bull case and current reality. The 52-week trading range is $8.68 to $42.26.

IAMGOLD Corp. (NYSE: IAG) was downgraded to Reduce from Buy at HSBC. This was after a 4.4% gain to $2.11 on Friday, and the stock has a 52-week range of $1.15 to $3.39.

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel. The shares closed up 5.8% at $31.49 on Friday, and they now have a 52-week range of $18.81 to $31.54.

Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight with a $47.00 price target (versus a $47.44 close) at JPMorgan. Tyson had a consensus price target of $51.63 and a 52-week range of $37.10 to $47.71.

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Other key analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Monday were in the following:

Community Health Systems Inc. (NYSE: CYH) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a price target of $32.00 at R.W. Baird.

CommVault Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CVLT) was raised to Overweight from Neutral and the price target was raised to $44.00 from $34.00 at Piper Jaffray.

Dime Community Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: DCOM) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a price target of $20.00 at Piper Jaffray.

DSW Inc. (NYSE: DSW) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the price target was slashed to $24.00 from $37.00 at Canaccord Genuity.

Edge Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: EDGE) was started as Outperform with a $29.00 price target (versus a $20.55 close) at Credit Suisse.

First Niagara Financial Group Inc.(NASDAQ: FNFG) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo.

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) was maintained as Hold at Evercore ISI but the firm cut its price target to $4.50 from $5.25 ahead of earnings.

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Heartland Payment Systems Ic. (NYSE: HPY) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at R.W. Baird, but the price target of $74 was maintained.

Highwoods Properties Inc. (NYSE: HIW) was raised to Buy from Hold at Jefferies, and the price target was raised to $49.00 from $44.00.

IPG Photonics Corp. (NASDAQ: IPGP) was maintained as Hold, but the price target was lowered to $80 from $85 at Canaccord Genuity, as the firm noted that its China outlook will weigh on it.

LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE: LHO) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight and the price target was cut to $30 from $36 (versus a $28.92 close) at Morgan Stanley.

Lear Corp. (NYSE: LEA) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $134 from $127 (versus a $120.94 close) at Credit Suisse.

Parker-Hannifin Corp. (NYSE: PH) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch.

Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS.

Surgery Partners Inc. (NYSE: SGRY) was started as Buy at Jefferies with a $27.00 price target (versus a $17.83 close).

Thomson Reuters Corp. (NYSE: TRI) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital Markets.

Valmont Industries Inc. (NYSE: VMI) was maintained as Underperform and the price target was cut to $105 from $115 at Credit Suisse.

WEC Energy Group Inc. (NYSE: WEC) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS.

In case you missed out on Friday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades, they were in shares of AbbVie, Alphabet, Amazon, American Electric Power, Apple, Microsoft, Pandora Media, McDonald’s and over a dozen more companies.

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