Stocks were looking to bounce higher on Wednesday with stronger oil a day ahead of the European Central Bank’s likely quantitative easing expansion. The S&P 500 is again within striking distance of 2,000 and the DJIA is close to 17,000. After three weeks worth of rallying, many investors are wondering if “sell the rallies” has reverted to the prior trend of four years in which investors scored by buying into every single dip lower.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst reports each morning to find new investing and trading ideas for its readers. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, and others cover stocks to sell or avoid.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wednesday, March 9, 2016.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies. BHP Billiton American depositary shares closed at $26.51. The consensus analyst price target is $25.63 and the 52-week trading range is $18.46 to $52.46.
CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo, and the fair value range was raised to $58 to $60 from the prior $48 to $50 range. CBS closed at $51.18, has a consensus analyst target of $63.00 and has a 52-week range of $38.51 to $63.95.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) was maintained as Neutral at Credit Suisse after the firm’s analyst day, but it did raise the price target handily to $96 from $84. The firm thinks Chevron’s significant short cycle resources should improve its capital efficiency. Chevron closed down 2.1% at $88.74 on Tuesday but was seen up 1.2% at $89.85 in Wednesday’s early trading indications. Chevron has a consensus analyst target of $94.27 and a 52-week range of $69.58 to $112.20.
Computer Sciences Corp. (NYSE: CSC) was started with a Neutral rating and was assigned a $35 price target (versus a $30.03 prior close) at Goldman Sachs. CSC has a consensus price target of $33.07 and a 52-week range of $24.27.
FireEye Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE) closed down 4.5% at $17.84, after showing that it will still be running at negative margins. Piper Jaffray decided to raise FireEye to Overweight from Neutral and the price target was raised to $24 from $15 (versus a $17.84 close). The consensus price target is $23.36, and the 52-week range is $11.35 to $55.33.
Frontier Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: FTR) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup. The stock closed down 2.4% at $5.65 on Tuesday and was indicated down 3.3% at $5.46 in early Wednesday trading. Frontier also has a consensus price target of $6.18 and a 52-week range of $3.81 to $7.60.
Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $17 price target at UBS. It has a consensus analyst price target of $22.88 and a 52-week range of $14.53 to $52.51. Yelp closed down 4.7% at $21.10 on Tuesday and was indicated down 4.7% at $20.10 in early Wednesday trading.
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Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades on Wednesday included the following:
- American Homes 4 Rent (NYSE: AMH) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with a $17 price target (versus a $15.56 close) at Keefe Bruyette & Woods.
- Atento S.A. (NYSE: ATTO) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
- Determine Inc. (NASDAQ: DTRM) was started as Buy with a $4.50 price target (versus a $1.60 close) at Maxim Group.
- Nielsen Holdings PLC (NYSE: NLSN) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight with a $52 target (versus a $51.12 close) at Morgan Stanley.
- Performance Sports Group Ltd. (NYSE: PSG) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets. This stock closed down 66.4% at $2.91 on Tuesday, and the new 52-week range is $2.80 to $21.72.
- Swift Transportation Co. (NYSE: SWFT) was maintained as Outperform but its price target was lowered to $19 from $20 at Cowen.
- Vanguard Natural Resources LLC (NASDAQ: VNR) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS.
If you missed Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades, they included AutoNation, Celldex Therapeutics, EP Energy, Shopify, Sony, Urban Outfitters, Valeant Pharmaceuticals and roughly a dozen other companies.