Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: BofA, Encana, Energy Transfer, Restoration Hardware, Salesforce.com, Transocean and More

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These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Thursday, February 25, 2016.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) was maintained as Outperform at Credit Suisse, but the price target was trimmed to $18 from $20 (versus a $12.13 prior close). The firm lowered 2016 and 2017 EPS estimates to $1.35 and $1.55, respectively. They introduced a 2018  estimate of $1.70 per share, based on lower Federal Reserve rate hikes and the cost of the weaker capital markets.

Encana Corp. (NYSE: ECA) was already rated as Buy at Jefferies, but now the firm has added it to its Franchise Picks list and it has an $8 price target. Encana closed at $3.68 and was called a well-funded outfit with high-quality assets trading at a sharp discount to its $8 value. RBC has a Sector Perform rating but raised its target to $8 from $7.

Energy Transfer Partners L.P. (NYSE: ETP) downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the price objective was cut to $28 from $30 (versus a $29.72 close) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The firm is worried that Energy Transfer Equity may need to help on Energy Transfer Partners cash distribution sustainability after its EBITDA was almost 10% shy of the firm’s estimate, and they see a higher probability of a cash distribution cut at Energy Transfer Partners.


Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc. (NYSE: RH) was up 1.3% at $51.92 before earnings guidance, but shares were last seen down 23% at $40.00 or so versus a pre-news analyst target of $95.56. Restoration Hardware was downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at Keybanc Capital Markets. R.W. Baird downgraded it to Neutral from Outperform with a $52 target.

Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) closed down 0.6% at $62.52 before earnings but was up over 9% at $68.50 afterward. It was reiterated as Hold at Jefferies, but the firm raised its target to $60 from $54. FBR has an Outperform rating but lowered its price target to $82 from $88. Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating and $100 price target.

Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) was maintained as Underperform at Credit Suisse, but the firm cut its price target to $5 from $10 (versus an $8.20 close). Their take is that things are not getting any easier. Transocean has a consensus analyst target of $9.28 and a 52-week trading range of $7.67 to $21.90.

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Other key analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Thursday included the following:

  • Bankrate Inc. (NYSE: RATE) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $9 price target (versus a $12.68 close) at Topeka Capital Markets.
  • Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) was maintained as Sector Perform at RC Capital Markets, but the price target was cut to $4 from $5.
  • Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSE: CTB) was raised to Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs.
  • DENTSPLY International Inc. (NASDAQ: XRAY) was raised to Neutral from Sell with a $60 price target at UBS.
  • Exact Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ: EXAS) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Roth Capital.
  • Kinross Gold Corp. (NYSE: KGC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $2.85 close (versus a $31.8 close) at UBS.
  • La Quinta Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LQ) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel.
  • Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: MLNX) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a $67 price target (versus a $49.49 close) at JPMorgan.
  • PowerSecure International Inc. (NYSE: POWR) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord Genuity.
  • Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. (NYSE: BIN) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse.

If you missed Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades, they included First Solar, Ford, Frontier Communications, JPMorgan, Macy’s, Yamana Gold and a dozen or so more.