Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Deutsche Bank, Editas, EMC, Exxon Mobil, First Solar, Newmont Mining and More

June 2, 2016 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were looking for direction on Thursday after ADP muted at least some expectations that the nonfarm payrolls would be a major surprise. As June gets underway, it remains up for debate whether the “sell in May and go away” mantra is appropriate for 2016. Investors have proven on just about every occasion in 2016 that they want to buy the big market dips.

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

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

Deutsche Bank A.G. (NYSE: DB) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets. Its American depositary shares closed at $17.62, with a consensus price target of $19.56 and a 52-week trading range of $14.78 to $35.38.

Editas Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ: EDIT) was started as Hold Jefferies with a $35 price target (versus a $36.79 prior close). The firm says that the company has transformative CRISPR technology, but it is at a very early stage. The consensus analyst target is $37.00, and the 52-week range is $12.57 to $43.99.

EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $28 price target (versus a $27.95 close) at Sterne Agee. Its consensus price target is $28.87, and it has a 52-week range of $22.66 to $28.77.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch. After a $89.24 close, the firm said that Exxon Mobil’s outperformance has lifted the shares within sight of fair value. The thesis of improving E&P margins is said to be intact, but it has perhaps been discounted by Exxon’s role in reducing energy underweights. The firm prefers Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) and really likes ConocopPhillips (NYSE: COP) better for a greater absolute value.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) was started with a Market Perform rating at Wells Fargo. The consensus price target is $73.62. The 52-week range is $40.25 to $74.29.

Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies, and the price target was cut to $33 from $38 (versus a $32.66 close). The firm sees near-term headwinds and near-term gold price risks at a time of likely rising rates. The consensus price target is $35.35, and the 52-week range is $15.39 to $35.75.

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Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades were seen in the following:

Box Inc. (NYSE: BOX) was maintained as Outperform at Oppenheimer, but the price target was cut to $18 from $21 in the call, as bookings patterns will weigh on the company in the near term.

Commercial Metals Co. (NYSE: CMC) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral with a $17 price objective at Merrill Lynch. The firm sees increased rebar import pressure weighing on its domestic mill margins.

Dimension Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: DMTX) was started as Buy with a $12 price target (versus an $8.09 close) at Jefferies. The cited strength is its expertise in AAV, providing some competitive advantage in an increasingly crowded gene therapy space focusing on liver diseases.

Eiger BioPharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: EIGR) was started as Outperform with a $36 price target at Wedbush Securities.

EnerSys (NYSE: ENS) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $74 price target (versus a $63.77 close) at Maxim Group.

Greenlight Capital Re Ltd. (NASDAQ: GLRE) was started with a Buy rating at Janney.

Great Plains Energy Inc. (NYSE: GXP) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight with a $28 price target (versus a $28.97 close) at Barclays.

HD Supply Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: HDS) was started as Buy with a $43 price target (versus a $35.15 close) at Longbow Research.

Intuitive Surgical Inc. (NASDAQ: ISRG) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the price target was cut to $674 from $690 (versus a $637.69 close) at Goldman Sachs.

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Lending Tree Inc. (NASDAQ: TREE) was started with a Buy rating and was given a $100 price target (versus an $83.96 close) at Compass Point.

Mueller Water Products Inc. (NYSE: MWA) was reiterated as Outperform at Oppenheimer as one of the firm’s top small-cap picks. Its target was raised to $13 from $12 in the call. Janney reiterated its Buy rating and $12 fair value estimate. Shares closed most recently at $10.99.

Penn National Gaming Inc. (NASDAQ: PENN) was raised to Equal Weight from Underweight with a $16 price target (versus a $15.75 close) at Morgan Stanley.

Progressive Corp. (NYSE: PGR) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup, and the price target is now $31 (versus a $33.40 close).

Pure Storage Inc. (NYSE: PSTG) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a price target of $16 (versus an $11.31 close) at UBS.

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) was started with a Market Perform rating at Wells Fargo.

Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included of Anheuser-Busch InBev, Charter Communications, Costco, Nike, TiVo, Under Armour, Whole Foods and a dozen or so more. Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades were in shares of Cliffs Natural Resources, Deere, Lockheed Martin, Micron Technology, Zillow and a dozen or so more.