Stocks were indicated marginally higher on Friday, but nowhere near Thursday’s Deutsche Bank-led selling pressure roiled the financial sector and the markets in general. Investors have proven over and over that they still will buy stocks after any real weakness. The reasons differ every time, but that trend has about five years of working now. Those same investors also have continued to demonstrate that they are looking for new ideas to generate income or gains ahead.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning. The goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some analyst research reports cover stocks to buy, and some reports feature stocks to sell or to avoid.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Friday morning:
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was reiterated as Buy at Citigroup, and the firm raised its price target to $130 from $120. Shares closed down 1.56% at $112.17 on Thursday and were indicated up 0.4% at $112.65 on Friday. Apple has a 52-week trading range of $89.47 to $123.82, and it has a consensus analyst price target of $125.62.
Coach Inc. (NYSE: COH) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $50 price target (versus a $36.21 prior close) at Guggenheim. It has a 52-week range of $27.93 to $43.71 and a consensus price target of $44.54.
Encana Corp. (NYSE: ECA) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $13 price target at Citigroup, and it was raised to Sector Perform from Underperform with a $12 price target at CIBC. The stock closed at $10.10 (after a 7.7% gain), and it has a 52-week range of $3.00 to $10.75. The consensus price target is $10.98.
NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) was up big on news reports that it might be acquired by Qualcomm. The chip maker closed at $96.12, and Jefferies reiterated its Buy rating and has a $130 price target. Shares closed up almost 17% to $96.12, in a 52-week range of $61.61 to $98.09. The consensus price target is $107.74.
Sina Corp. (NASDAQ: SINA) was reiterated as Buy at Jefferies, but the price target was vaulted higher, to $95 from $67. The 52-week range is $39.58 to $85.24, and the consensus price target is $83.59.
Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $50 price target (versus a $38.60 close) at Guggenheim. The 52-week range is $31.61 to $52.37, and the consensus price target is $53.62.
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Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades from this Friday were seen as follows:
Accenture PLC (NYSE: ACN) was reiterated as Buy and the 12-month target price was raised to $138 from $128 (versus a $121.64 close) at Argus.
Arctic Cat Inc. (NASDAQ: ACAT) was started as Buy with a $19 price target (versus a $14.41 close) at Jefferies. It is seen as having an opportunity to accelerate its turnaround and market share gains amid new product launches and recalls plaguing peers.
Casey’s General Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: CASY) was raised to Buy from Hold but the price target was cut to $134 from $137 at Jefferies.
Core-Mark Holding Co. Inc. (NASDAQ: CORE) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the price target was slashed to $33 from $52 at Jefferies.
CNO Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: CNO) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.
Enbridge Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: EEP) was started with a Buy rating and was assigned a $29 price target (versus a $25.14 close) at Mizuho.
Fox Factory Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: FOXF) was started as Buy with a $26 price target (versus a $22.13 close) at Jefferies. The firm said this is its top pick based on higher penetration into powersports and automotive categories and due to its growing bicycle total addressable market.
Rockwell Automation Inc. (NYSE: ROK) was upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform and the price target was raised to $121 from $105 (versus a $117.12 close) at Bernstein.
Service Corp. International (NYSE: SCI) was reinstated as Buy with a $32 price objective (versus a $26.31 close) at Merrill Lynch.
Skechers USA Inc. (NYSE: SKX) was raised to Positive from Neutral with a $27 price target (versus a $21.91 close) at Susquehanna.
Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. (NASDAQ: SFM) was raised to Buy from Hold but the price target was cut to $24 from $25 at Jefferies.
Terex Corp. (NYSE: TEX) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $30 price target (versus a $24.29 close) at CLSA.
Thursday’s top analyst calls included Apple, BlackBerry, eBay, Fitbit, Lululemon Athletica, Nike and about a dozen more.
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