Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Best Buy, 3D Systems, EA, Gilead, Nokia, Shire, United Rentals and Many More

Print Email

Stocks bounced on Thursday, but Friday’s early trading indications were looking for a sharp sell-off of almost 2%, based on more oil and China weakness. This is also ahead of a three-day weekend for the markets.

Investors have to get tired of seeing every single rally in 2016 act as a trap for suckers. Still, investors had bought every market pullback for over four years. The bearish downside case for the Dow this was week was shown to be down at 15,076 and the nearly unbelievable upside case was up at 19,700.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst reports each morning of the week. The aim is to find new investing and trading ideas. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while others cover stocks to sell or avoid. These are this Friday’s top analyst calls.

Best Buy Co. (NYSE: BBY) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Wedbush Securities with a $21.00 price target. Best Buy closed down about 9.7% at $26.43 on Thursday, and the consensus price target was still listed as near $37.00. Best Buy has a new 52-week trading range of $25.61 to $42.00.

3D Systems Corp. (NYSE: DDD) was maintained as Hold at Canaccord Genuity, but the firm lowered its price target to $9 from $10 in the call. The firm noted that it will remain on sidelines ahead of earnings and thinks a reorganization will be a positive catalyst in 2016. 3D Systems has a 52-week range of $7.26 to $33.17 and the consensus price target is down to $12.25 after most analysts have lowered and lowered.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, but the firm maintained its $81.00 price objective (versus a $64.48 prior close). The upgrade was as sales gained 26% on Star Wars and as EA’s quarter seems to be tracking rather well with $50 million in revenue upside.


Gilead Sciences Inc.

(NASDAQ: GILD) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Merrill Lynch. The price objective is $107.00 (versus a $93.02 close). The firm said that Gilead’s pricing erosion and rebating is now factored into the stock.

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) was raised to Buy from Hold at Argus, based on synergies and growth potential from the nearly complete acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent. What stands out here is the firm’s $12.00 price target, versus the $7.38 close. Nokia’s consensus target is closer to $9.00, and the highest official target tracked by Thomson/First Call is listed as $10.35.

Shire PLC (NASDAQ: SHPG) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch. The target was in local London trading, but the firm said that it implied some 34% upside with the Baxalta deal and with a conservative hemophilia downside scenario.

United Rentals Inc. (NYSE: URI) has been battered due to its exposure in energy, and now Longbow Research has decided to raise its rating to Buy from Neutral on valuations. Its target of $70.00 is versus a $57.14 close, and the consensus analyst target is $82.60, with a 52-week range of $54.67 to $105.83.

You can follow @jonogg if you want this report direct in your Twitter feed each morning.

Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades seen on Friday included the following: