Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Annaly Capital, Barrick, Cheniere, Fitbit, Dean Foods, Groupon, SolarCity, Twitter, US Steel and More

February 23, 2016 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were indicated to open slightly lower on Tuesday, after several days of rallying. Now the question is if the investing community will resume selling into rallies or whether the old 2011 to 2015 trend of buying the dips comes back into play.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst reports each day of the week. The goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for its readers. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, but other calls are about stocks to sell or to avoid.

These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Tuesday, February 23, 2016.

Annaly Capital Management Inc. (NYSE: NLY) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $12.00 price target (versus a $9.99 prior close) at FBR Capital Markets. It also has a consensus analyst target of just $10.50 and a 52-week trading range of $8.25 to $10.93. Annaly still sports a double-digit dividend yield as well.

Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX) was maintained as Hold but the price target was raised to $13.50 from $11.00 at Jefferies. The stock up 2% to $12.82 before the call and was indicated up another 2% at $13.10 afterward. Barrick has a consensus analyst target of $11.64 and a 52-week trading range of $5.91 to $13.70.

Cheniere Energy Inc. (NYSEMKT: LNG) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $46 price target (versus a $30.32 close) at Goldman Sachs. It has a consensus price target of $68.50 and a 52-week range of $22.80 to $82.32.


Fitbit Inc.

(NYSE: FIT) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at R.W. Baird. Fitbit closed up almost 6% at $16.52 ahead of earnings, but the higher R&D and capital spending had shares indicated down almost 15% at $14.10 in early indications. Fitbit’s consensus analyst target had been $33.84, and its 52-week range is $12.90 to $51.90.

Dean Foods Co. (NYSE: DF) was maintained as Buy but the price target was raised to $23 from $21 (versus an $18.88 close) at Jefferies. The firm said there were three compelling reasons to own Dean Foods’ stock.

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) was started as Neutral with a $4 price target (versus a $4.31 close) at Wedbush Securities. Groupon has a consensus analyst target of $3.57 and a 52-week range of $2.15 to $8.37.

SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ: SCTY) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight and the price target was cut to $29 from $44 (versus a $19.08 close) at JPMorgan. The consensus analyst target was still listed as up at $46.78, and the 52-week range is $16.31 to $63.79.

Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $25 price target (versus an $18.30 close) at Raymond James. The consensus analyst target is $20.72, and the 52-week range is $13.91 to $53.49. Shares were indicated up over 1% at $18.52 after this upgrade.

United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform and the price target was slashed to $8 from $30, which was the absolute highest target of all analysts (and versus an $8.48 close), at Cowen. U.S. Steel has a pre-cut consensus analyst target of $8.84 and a 52-week range of $6.15 to $27.68.

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

AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $65 price target (versus a $55.28 close) at Citigroup. Just the prior day, AbbVie was reiterated as Buy at Jefferies and named a Top Global Pick. Shares closed up 1.8% at $55.28 on Monday, and the consensus analyst target is $72.25, with a 52-week range of $45.45 to $71.60.

Arcelor Mittal (NYSE: MT) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen.

Avangrid Inc. (NYSE: AGR) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a fair value estimate of $39.00 (versus a $38.75 close) at Janney Capital Markets. The firm lowered earnings forecasts for 2016 and 2017, and the downgrade is based on valuation.

Cerner Corp. (NASDAQ: CERN) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a price target cut to $54 from $62 (versus a $52.46 close) at Goldman Sachs. Cerner had a consensus analyst target price of $64.65 and has a 52-week range of $49.89 to $75.72.

Columbia Pipeline Partners, L.P. (NYSE: CPPL) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $22 price target (versus a $15.70 close) at Credit Suisse.

Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup.

Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (NYSE: GWR) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.


Landstar System Inc. (NASDAQ: LSTR) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.

Lumentum Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LITE) was started as Overweight with a $31 price target (versus a $24.20 close) at Piper Jaffray.

NeoPhotonics Corp. (NYSE: NPTN) was started as Overweight with a $13 price target (versus a $10.00 close) at Piper Jaffray.

Oclaro Inc. (NASDAQ: OCLR) was started as Overweight with a $6 price target (versus a $4.63 close) at Piper Jaffray.

RetailMeNot Inc. (NASDAQ: SALE) was started as Neutral with a $7 price target (versus a $7.68 close) at Wedbush Securities.

If you missed Monday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades, they included AbbVie, Deere, Expedia, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, JPMorgan, Phillips 66 and over a dozen more companies.