Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: BHP Billiton, Deere, Logitech, Medtronic, Square, Sealed Air, Orbital ATK and More

August 23, 2016 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks closed marginally lower on Monday, but the markets were looking for direction on Tuesday. Investors seem to have few worries as the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are all just under all-time highs. The bull market is now well over seven years old and the S&P 500 is valued at 18 times forward earnings. What is amazing is that investors have proven time after time, without fail, that they will buy their favorite stocks in every market sell-off. Those same investors are also on the hunt 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 avoid.

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

BHP Billiton PLC (NYSE: BBL) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $33 from $28 (versus a $27.42 prior close) at Jefferies. The stock has a 52-week trading range of $16.36 to $36.66 and a consensus analyst price target of $30.32.

Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $98 from $90 (versus an $87.96 close) at Argus. The firm sees commodities and currency nearing inflection points and sees margins rebounding off of lows over the next two to three years.

Logitech International S.A. (NASDAQ: LOGI) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS. Shares closed at $22.11, have a consensus price target of $22.75 and have a 52-week range of $12.52 to $22.42.

Medtronic PLC (NYSE: MDT) was started with a Buy rating at Citigroup. The 52-week trading range is $63.98 to $89.27, and the consensus price target is $90.66.

Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) was raised to Buy from Hold at Stifel. It closed at $11.82 and has a 52-week range of $8.06 to $15.91. The consensus price target is $12.97, and shares were indicated up 3.4% at $12.22 on Tuesday morning.

Sealed Air Corp. (NYSE: SEE) was started with a Buy rating and given a $54 price target (versus a $46.88 close) at UBS. The 52-week range is $38.02 to $52.83, and the consensus price target is $54.54. Shares were indicated up 3% at $48.35 on Tuesday morning.

Orbital ATK Inc. (NYSE: OA) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus, but Wells Fargo raised its rating to Outperform from Market Perform. The stock closed at $74.48, has a 52-week range of $67.04 to $94.92 and has a consensus analyst target of $91.75.

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Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades were seen as follows:

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: MDRX) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $17 price target (versus a $12.68 close) at Leerink.

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P. (NYSE: BIP) was started as Outperform with a $59 price target (versus a $48.87 close) at Credit Suisse.

CST Brands Inc. (NYSE: CST) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie. Gabelli lowered its rating to Hold from Buy.

Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $51 from $41 (versus a $44.10) at Argus. The team believes that Devon’s focus on liquids production in unconventional North American plays is underappreciated by investors.

First Horizon National Corp. (NYSE: FHN) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo.

Johnson Controls Inc. (NYSE: JCI) was already rated as Outperform at Credit Suisse, but the firm added it to the prized U.S. Focus List, as catalysts should drive a rebound in share price performance.

Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE: OAS) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with a $10 price target (versus a $9.87 close) at BMO Capital Markets.

ResMed Inc. (NYSE: RMD) was downgraded to Underperform and the price target was cut to $58 from $60 (versus a $69.78 close) at Jefferies.

United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) was started as Outperform with a $57 price target (versus a $46.95 close) at Imperial Capital.

Goldman Sachs has tempered its expectations for oil gains this year, noting a $45 per barrel level for 2017 due to ample or over-supply metrics.

This almost seems impossible to understand, particularly if you trust analyst views in general, but Caterpillar is the best performing Dow stock so far in 2016 — and by far!

Monday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades were in shares of Garmin, Micron Technology, U.S. Steel, Urban Outfitters, Williams Companies, Hormel Foods and about a dozen more.