Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Apple, Baker Hughes, Chipotle, Dollar General, GM, Lowe’s, Under Armour and More

October 26, 2016 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were indicated lower after Apple disappointed on earnings and other key earnings reports are not showing much upside. The theme we have seen for about five years now is that investors still are willing to buy each pullback. High valuations and the notion that this bull market is seven and a half years old just haven’t mattered. Investors are also looking for new ideas to generate gains or income 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 of these analyst research reports cover stocks to buy, and others feature stocks to sell or avoid.

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

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was last seen down almost 3% at $118.25 after posting its first real revenue decline in 15 years. Stifel downgraded Apple to Hold from Buy and cut its target to $115 from $130. Credit Suisse kept its Outperform rating and $150 target. The stock has a 52-week trading range of $89.47 to $123.82 and a consensus analyst price target of $128.81.

Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $65 price target (versus a $54.39 close after a 4.3% earnings pop) at Cowen. The 52-week range is $37.58 to $57.37, and the consensus price target is $54.84.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform and the price target was cut to $375 from $500 (versus a $405.67 prior close) at Credit Suisse. Jefferies maintained an Underperform rating and cut its target to $300 from $330. Wedbush maintained an Underperform rating and $370 price target. The 52-week range is $384.77 to $658.76. The consensus price target is $433.19.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) closed down 4.2% at $31.60 after Europe dragged down earnings. GM was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch. It has a 52-week range of $26.69 to $36.88 and a consensus analyst target of $36.17.

Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight with a $72 price target (versus a $68.47 close) at JPMorgan. Wedbush downgraded Lowe’s to Neutral from Outperform with a $73 price target. Lowe’s has a 52-week range of $62.62 to $83.65 and a consensus price target of $87.29.

Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Atlantic Equities. Deutsche Bank cut its rating to Hold from Buy and slashed the price target to $32 from $50. Mizuho downgraded it to Neutral from Buy. These downgrades come a day after earnings took the stock down 13% to $32.89. The 52-week range is $31.61 to $48.77, and the consensus price target is $43.17.

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Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades were seen as follows:

Approach Resources Inc. (NASDAQ: AREX) was raised to Hold from Reduce at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. Wunderlich raised its rating to Hold from Sell.

Athenahealth Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight and the price target was cut to $117 from $153 at Morgan Stanley.

Dipexium Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: DPRX) was down 78% to $2.80 on Tuesday after a drug failure may mean the ultimate implosion. Raymond James downgraded it to Market Perform from Outperform.

Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) was removed from the daily coverage for Wednesday, October 26.

Great Plains Energy Inc. (NYSE: GXP) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Ladenburg Thalmann.

Kimberly-Clark Co. (NYSE: KMB) was downgraded to Underperform from Outperform by CLSA.

Five Below Inc. (NASDAQ: FIVE) was started as Buy at Longbow Research.

Martin Marietta Materials Inc. (NYSE: MLM) was raised to Buy from Hold at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

ON Semiconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: ON) was started as Neutral with a $13 price target (versus an $11.91 close) at Goldman Sachs.

Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) was removed from the daily coverage for Wednesday, October 26.

Proteon Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: PRTO) was raised to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James.

Telecom Argentina S.A. (NYSE: TE) was started as Outperform at Raymond James.

Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.

Williams-Sonoma Inc. (NYSE: WSM) was downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer.

Tuesday’s top analyst calls were in Ariad Pharmaceuticals, AT&T, Chesapeake Energy, Hain Celestial, Nike, Visa and over a dozen more.

Credit Suisse issued a global equity theme annual report as an update to its core thematic framework for the infrastructure sector growth ahead. The firm’s view is that during periods of low nominal GDP growth and with profit margins high, the market will pay a premium for top line (revenue) growth. Credit Suisse also does not see growth stocks as simple bond proxies in disguise. Also, the likely role of infrastructure spending in fiscal policy plans in developed-market economies should give an immediate relevance to this theme. Still, infrastructure’s relevance is underscored by the ongoing investment needs in emerging markets that will make infrastructure a potential $3.3 trillion end market.