Stocks sold off on Tuesday but are effectively at all-time highs. Despite being expensive at 18.1 times forward earnings, the reality is that low interest rates and a lack of other investing choices are pushing investors toward stocks even after seven and a half years since the market bottom. Investors keep proving over and over that they will buy any market sell-off. Those same investors are looking for new ideas to generate income or gains.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning of the week. The goal is to find new investing and trading ideas. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy. Other reports feature stocks to sell or to avoid.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Wednesday morning:
Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was reiterated as Buy at Jefferies ahead of earnings, and the firm raised its price target to $35.00 from $30.75 based on favorable risk-reward and based on expectations for strong guidance. Cisco is expected to lay off up to 20% of its workforce as well. Cisco’s consensus analyst price target is $31.55 and its 52-week trading range is $22.46 to $31.25. 24/7 Wall St. has an earnings preview for Cisco.
Cree Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS and the price target was cut to $21.00 from $24.50 (versus a $27.48 prior close), but shares were indicated down 8.5% at $25.13.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) was reiterated as Buy with a $104 price target at Argus (versus an $87.92 close). What stands out here is that the consensus target price is $89.63 and the 52-week high is $95.55, and that this is just $1.00 short of the highest price target on Wall Street.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE) was started with a Market Perform rating at Raymond James. Shares closed at $22.07. The consensus price target is $20.89.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $42 price target (versus a $26.60 close) at Morgan Stanley. Shares were indicated up 10% at $29.30, in a 52-week range of $18.55 to $249.53.
Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN) was reiterated as Buy at Jefferies after earnings, and the price target was raised to $40 from $38. This is after the retailer handily exceeded expectations and based on long-term opportunity for store growth. Evercore ISI also raised its rating to Buy from Hold, and the price target was raised to $45 from $33 there. The stock was last seen up almost 11% at $34.67, and its 52-week range is $19.26 to $34.77.
Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) was maintained as Buy at Jefferies, but the price target was cut to $54 from $62 (versus a $45.78 close) based on lower NAND price expectations. The consensus target price is $60.40, and the 52-week range is $34.99 to $86.39.
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Other key analyst upgrades and downgraded were seen as follows: