Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alcoa, Boston Scientific, Schlumberger, Sony, Staples and Many More

Allegheny Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ATI) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price objective was raised to $14 from $10 (versus an $11.23 close) at Merrill Lynch. The upgrade is ahead of its engine cycle inflection point and airframe build growth expected to drive better aero market volumes.

Big Lots Inc. (NYSE: BIG) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank, based on concerns about overtime work boosting its costs and due to increasing competition.

C.R. Bard Inc. (NYSE: BCR) was maintained as Buy with a $231 price objective (versus a $219.74 close) at Merrill Lynch. This was after an investor day showing that the Gore acquisition will add value within two years.

Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: IART) was reiterated as Buy at Argus, and the firm raised its price target to $90 from $80. The firm said that a premium valuation here is warranted based on Integra’s strong sales growth, steady flow of new products, and rising margins.

Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ: NBIX) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $61 from $58 (versus a $47.89 close) at Jefferies. The firm said its survey suggests sizable TD market and valbenazine adoption.

PDC Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: PDCE) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform and the valuation range was trimmed to $60 to $65 from $65 to $70 in the call.

Red Rock Resorts Inc. (NYSE: RRR) was started as Outperform and the valuation range was set at $21 to $24 at Wells Fargo. Merrill Lynch started it as Buy with a $24 price objective.

Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NASDAQ: FOXA) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $40 from $37 at Credit Suisse. The firm also added the stock to the U.S. and Global Focus Lists (to replace Time Warner). The company is raising the Hulu valuation to $25 billion.

U.S. Silica Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SLCA) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $33 price target (versus a $26.77 close) at RBC Capital Markets. The firm believes that the market is not factoring in the company’s earnings power ahead.

Friday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Aflac, Applied Materials, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Gap, Noble, Teekay Tankers, Urban Outfitters and over a dozen more.

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