Stocks were directionless on Wednesday ahead of the Federal Reserve’s decision on interest rates. With the Dow over 17,250 and the S&P 500 at 2,015, the markets are almost flat again for 2016. This means that investors have migrated back from selling every rally to effectively buying every dip. That being said, trading volume has been extremely light this week.
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 other calls cover stocks to sell or avoid.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Wednesday, March 16, 2016.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) had soft sales and sees a loss for the coming quarter. The stock was downgraded to Sell from Hold with a $350 price target at Maxim Group. Shares closed down 2.5% at $503.00 on Tuesday and were indicated down 5.6% at $475.00 early Wednesday, versus a $492.75 consensus analyst target and a $399.14 to $758.61 trading range over the past year.
Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) was last seen trading up 3.5% at $40.10 after earnings. The stock was reiterated as Buy with a $50 target at Jefferies. BMO Capital Markets maintained its Market Perform rating but raised its target to $45 from $42. The consensus price target was previously seen at $43.50, and the 52-week trading range is $33.13 to $45.24.
Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: OREX) was downgraded to Market Perform from Market Outperform at JMP Securities. Piper Jaffray downgraded it to Neutral from Overweight. Shares closed down 8.76% at $0.64 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $0.61 to $8.24.
PulteGroup Inc. (NYSE: PHM) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral with an $18 price objective (versus an $18.26 prior close) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. PulteGroup has a consensus price target of $19.28 and a 52-week range of $14.61 to $22.95.
Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE: RAI) was maintained as Buy at Goldman Sachs, but it was removed from the firm’s prized Conviction Buy list. The stock closed at $50.94, has a consensus analyst target of $54.63 and has a 52-week range of $33.71 to $52.54.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $60 price target (versus a $33.51 close) at Nomura. The 52-week range is$33.01 to $263.81 after Tuesday’s 51% drop.
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Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades on Tuesday were in the following:
- Fossil Group Inc. (NASDAQ: FOSL) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral with a $34.00 price target (versus a $46.85 close) at Macquarie.
- HCP Inc. (NYSE: HCP) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $31 price target (versus a $32.15 close at UBS.
- Mosaic Co. (NYSE: MOS) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight with a $29 price target (down from $42 and versus a $28.54 close) at Morgan Stanley.
- Patterson Companies Inc. (NASDAQ: PDCO) was started as Outperform with a $55 price target (versus a $44.20 close) at Credit Suisse.
- PharMerica Corp. (NYSE: PMC) was started as Outperform with a $30 price target (versus $a 20.22 close) at Credit Suisse.
- Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. (NYSE: POT) was started as Equal Weight with a $19 price target (versus an $18.28 close) at Morgan Stanley.
- Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) was started as Neutral at Credit Suisse.
- West Corp. (NASDAQ: WSTC) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight with a $21 price target (versus a $22.95 close) at Barclays.
- Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZBH) was already at Buy with a $129 price target (versus a $104.31 close) at Jefferies, but the company was added to the Jefferies Franchise Pick List.
If you missed Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades, they included AstraZeneca, 3D Systems, Barrick Gold, Home Depot, Oasis Petroleum, Whiting Petroleum and many more.