Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Avis Budget, Baker Hughes, Enphase, Hecla Mining, MannKind, Nokia, Tesla, US Steel and More

November 4, 2015 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were indicated higher on Wednesday. Investors just keep proving that they want to buy stocks on any pullbacks or when new opportunities arise. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day to find new ideas and hidden value for its readers. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while other calls cover stocks to sell or avoid. These are this Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.

Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CAR) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan. Avis Budget closed at $46.35 after an 11% drop on Tuesday, and JPMorgan lowered its price target to $49 from $55. The stock has a 52-week trading range of $39.04 to $68.66 and a consensus analyst target price of $56.56.

Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) saw its price target lowered to $62 from $68 at Jefferies, but this call is based on a lower expectation that the acquisition by Halliburton will close. The odds were lowered to 67% from 85%, and the firm sees 25% to 30% downside in Baker Hughes shares if the merger is blocked or falls apart.

Enphase Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: ENPH) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the price target was cut to $3.00 from $4.50 (versus a $3.72 prior close) at Roth Capital. Canaccord Genuity also threw in the towel here, lowering its rating to Hold from Buy. Shares were indicated down 28% at $2.65 after beating earnings and guidance were soft.

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Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) was last seen down 28% at $2.87 in early trading after disappointing revenues. Groupon was downgraded to Underperform from Buy and the price objective was cut in half to $2.75 from $5.50 (versus a $4.03 close) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Price target cuts also have been seen from Piper Jaffray (to $2.50), Brean and RBC Capital Markets.

Hecla Mining Co. (NYSE: HL) was raised to Outperform from Underperform at BMO Capital Markets. This was after Hecla reported a net loss of $10.0 million, or -$0.03 per share, and a loss after adjustments of $20.5 million, or -$0.05 per share.

MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ: MNKD) was downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at RBC Capital markets. While the cut looks harsh, the price target slashing was even worse: to $1.00 from $9.00 (versus a $3.23 close). MannKind shares were indicated down 6% at $3.04, versus a 52-week range of $2.88 to $7.88.

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital Markets. Argus maintained its Hold rating on Nokia, noting that the Alcatel-Lucent deal is now expected to close in the first quarter of 2016. Argus noted that Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent are now trading on deal arbitrage rather than fundamentals, so they are unlikely to be positive on Nokia until the deal is completed.

Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) was reiterated as Outperform with a $325 price target (versus a $208.35 close) at Credit Suisse, even though it lowered estimates for 2015 but gave strong 2016 outlook. Tesla shares were indicated up 7% at $223.67 despite mixed earnings.

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U.S. Steel Corp. (NYSE: X)  was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank. It was down 9.5% in early trading at $11.70 after poor earnings missed the mark handily, and the 52-week range is $9.66 to $38.04.

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

Bloomin’ Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: BLMN) was downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy and the price target was cut to $22 from $25 (versus a $17.51 close) at Raymond James.

Cabela’s Inc. (NYSE: CAB) was started as Overweight with a $50 price target (versus a $39.79 close) at Barclays.

CNO Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: CNO) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with a $21 price target (versus a $19.78 close) at Keefe Bruyette Woods.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS) was started as Equal Weight with a $50 price target (versus a $44.88 close) at Barclays.

Dow Chemical Co. (NYSE: DOW) was started as Equal Weight at Barclays.

DSW Inc. (NYSE: DSW) was downgraded to Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna.

Everyday Health Inc. (NYSE: EVDY) was raised to Buy from Hold at Stifel.

Frank’s International N.V. (NYSE: FI) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $18 price target (versus a $17.21 close) at Credit Suisse.

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Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K) was raised to Neutral from Underperform with a $72 price target (versus a $68.09 close) at Credit Suisse.

Kennametal Inc. (NYSE: KMT) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral and the price objective was cut to $23 from $26 (versus a $27.82 close) at Merrill Lynch.

NuStar Energy L.P. (NYSE: NS) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel.

Oclaro Inc. (NASDAQ: OCLR) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $4.00 price target (versus a $3.16 close) at B. Riley. Shares were indicated up 6% to $3.37 after earnings were better than expected, and the prior 52-week range was $1.40 to $3.17.

Targa Resources Partners L.P. (NYSE: NGLS) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel. Goldman Sachs raised its rating to Neutral from Sell with a $33.00 price target (versus a $30.30 close).

WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $52.00 price target at Stifel.

In case you missed Tuesday’s top analyst calls, they included Altria, CEVA, CONSOL Energy, Enbridge Energy Partners, NVIDIA, UBS, Visa and over a dozen more companies. Other Tuesday upgrades included Amazon.com, Diamond Offshore Drilling and Visa.

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