Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Applied Materials, Best Buy, Nokia, CSC, HPE, Monsanto, Noble Energy, Western Digital and More

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Stocks were indicated higher on Wednesday morning, after a strong housing number took the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 213 points to 17,706 on Tuesday. 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 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 avoid.

These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Wednesday morning:

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) was raised to Buy from Hold at Citigroup. Shares closed at $23.49 after being one of five tech stocks that keep rising after earnings. Applied Materials has a consensus analyst price target of $25.48 and a 52-week range of $14.25 to $23.49 (the high was hit on Tuesday).

Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the price target was cut to $32 from $38 (after falling 7.5% to $30.54) at Deutsche Bank. The consensus price target is $33.78, and the 52-week range is $25.31 to $39.10.


Computer Sciences Corp.

(NYSE: CSC) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James. Shares were last seen up 30% at $46.45 after news of the HPE combination, versus a consensus target of $33.64 before the news. The 52-week range is $24.27 to $36.02.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE) was surging on news of a tax-free spin-off and combination with CSC after earnings. Jefferies reiterated its Buy rating and raised its price target to $24.00 from $19.25. Needham raised its rating to Buy from Hold with a $22 price target.

Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) was reiterated as Buy at Jefferies but the buyout offer caused the firm to raise its price target to $132 from $95 (after rising 3.1% to $109.30 on Tuesday’s close) based on a higher expected offering price. Monsanto rose another 2% on this call to $111.90, with a consensus target price of $98.44 and a 52-week range of $81.22 to $120.00.

Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $47 price target (versus a $35.33 prior close) at Sterne Agee CRT. The consensus price target is $41.56. The 52-week range is $23.77 to $46.93.

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) was raised to Outperform from Underperform at CLSA. The stock closed up 2.7% at $5.36 the prior day, and it has a consensus analyst target of $6.81 and a 52-week range of $5.08 to $7.63.

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays. This is just a day after Western Digital was maintained as Buy at Jefferies (target cut to $50 from $56) and after Cowen & Co. raised its rating to Outperform from Market Perform with a $50 price target.

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Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades were seen in following: