Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: DDR, HP, L-3 Communications,, Teva, Twilio and More


Stocks are very close to all-time highs, but Thursday’s trading indication was for a weak open. With the bull market now seven and a half years old, it has to seem amazing that investors keep demonstrating at any chance they get that they will buy their favorite stocks in every market sell-off. Those same investors also remain 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 to avoid.

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

DDR Corp. (NYSE: DDR) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral with a new $18.50 price objective at Merrill Lynch. The stock was indicated down 1% at $18.34 on Thursday, with a consensus analyst price target of $19.31 and a 52-week trading range of $14.71 to $19.92.

HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) was reiterated as Buy with a $15 price objective at Merrill Lynch, which is based on just nine times the firm’s 2017 EPS target of $1.76. The stock traded down 5.5% at $13.60 after earnings, and the consensus target price is $15.32.

L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LLL) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a $182 price target (versus a $146.78 prior close) at JPMorgan. The firm also named L-3 its top defense pick. The 52-week range is $101.13 to $154.50, and the consensus price target is $163.22. Inc. (NYSE: CRM) was reiterated as Buy at Merrill Lynch, with a price objective of $100 (versus a $77.82 close). The firm named Salesforce as its favorite large-cap growth idea for 2016, and it even said this could be worth $224 to $264 in 2020.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA) was reiterated as Neutral with a $59 price target (versus a $51.63 close) at Credit Suisse. The firm noted that losing two intellectual property rights raises more questions in Copaxone’s durability. The 52-week range is $48.01 to $66.55, and the consensus price target is $70.14.

Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades were seen as follows:

Aegon N.V. (NYSE: AEG) was started with a Sell rating at UBS.

Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ: INTU) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $116 from $113 at Oppenheimer.

Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) was started as Neutral at JPMorgan.

Marin Software Inc. (NYSE: MRIN) was cut to Hold From Buy by Stifel.

Northrup Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Six Flags Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: SIX) was reiterated as Buy with a $64 fair value estimate (versus a $50.39 close) at Janney.

Twilio Inc. (NYSE: TWLO) was started as Hold at Argus. Shares closed down 4.4% at $53.60 the prior day, and the consensus price target is just $39.00.

WD-40 Co. (NASDAQ: WDFC) was started as Hold at Jefferies, noting that great expectations are going to be harder to beat ahead.

Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Clovis Oncology, Garmin, Lowe’s, NetApp, On Deck, Pioneer Natural, RSP Permian and a dozen more.

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