Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Aflac, Applied Materials, Dick’s, Gap, Noble, Teekay Tankers, Urban Outfitters and More

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Stocks were indicated up on Friday, but the week looks like it is going to end in the red. The Dow is now over 700 points from the 2016 high from April 20. Even with the notion of “sell in May and go away,” investors have proven that they are looking for opportunities and will buy the big market dips.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning of the week. Our goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, and others feature stocks to sell or to avoid.

These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen this Friday morning:

Aflac Inc. (NYSE: AFL) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with a $73 price target (versus a $68.60 prior close) at Keefe Bruyette & Woods. Aflac has a consensus analyst target price of $71.00 and a 52-week trading range of $51.41 to $69.69.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) was last seen trading up 7.7% at $21.45 after beating earnings. It was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $27 price target (versus a $19.91 close) at B. Riley. Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target price to $25 from $23. The 52-week range is $14.25 to $21.67.


Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS) was up 8.5% to $41.36 on Thursday, but two upgrades were seen on Friday: Goldman Sachs to Buy with a $53 target and Morgan Stanley to Equal Weight from Underweight. The 52-week range is $33.42 to $54.48.

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel, and Credit Suisse maintained its Underperform rating. Wells Fargo maintained it at Market Perform, but raised its price valuation range to $25 to $27 from $24 to $26, saying signs of a turnaround could be forming. Shares closed at $17.27 the prior day, and the stock has a consensus price target of $21.03 and a 52-week range of $17.00 to $39.59.

Noble Corp. PLC (NYSE: NE) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus based on a weaker outlook. The shares closed down 3.7% at $8.53 on Thursday, and the consensus analyst target is $9.71, with a 52-week range of $6.66 to $17.77.

Teekay Tankers Ltd. (NYSE: TNK) was downgraded to Underperform at Merrill Lynch, and the price objective was cut to $3 (versus a $3.57 close). The call is based on spot rates slipping and a growing order book that threatens its outlook.

Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN) rose almost 14% on Thursday to $28.01. It was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $43 price target (versus a $41.36 close) at Morgan Stanley. The consensus price target is $32.39, and the 52-week range is $19.26 to $36.99.

Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades on Friday were as follows:

  • Antero Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE: AM) was assumed in new coverage with a Buy rating at Janney. The firm made no changes to the rating, fair value or EPS estimates.
  • Cheetah Mobile Inc. (NASDAQ: CMCM) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse, and Macquarie downgraded it to Neutral from Outperform.
  • DCP Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE: DPM) was assumed in new coverage with a Neutral rating at Janney. The firm made no changes to its rating, fair value or EPS estimates.
  • FMC Technologies Inc. (NYSE: FTI) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight.
  • Genesis Energy L.P. (NYSE: GEL) was assumed as Buy at Janney with a new analyst, but there were no changes to the rating, fair value or EPS estimates.
  • Suburban Propane Partners L.P. (NYSE: SPH) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Cisco, CSX, Hilton, L Brands, Lockheed Martin, Salesforce.com, Teck Resources, Tesoro and almost two dozen more.