Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Brookdale Senior Living, Frontier Communications, Nike, Norfolk Southern, Pfizer, Nucor, Xylem and More

November 2, 2016 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were indicated slightly lower on Wednesday after Tuesday’s larger sell-off. Investors have proved over and over that they will buy each pullback, high valuations and a seven-and-a-half-year bull market already considered. 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 of the week to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these analyst research reports cover stocks to buy, and others cover stocks to sell or avoid.

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

Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) was downgraded to Outperform after having been named as a Top Pick at RBC. Merrill Lynch downgraded it to Underperform from Neutral. Shares closed down 18% at $11.80 on Tuesday, and they even hit a 52-week low of $10.65 on almost eight times normal trading volume.

Frontier Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: FTR) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the price target was cut to $4 from $5 at Deutsche Bank. The stock previously closed down 2.2% at $3.93, and it was indicated down 4% at $3.77 on Wednesday after revenue was soft.

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Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) was started as Neutral and was given a $53 price target at Wedbush Securities. The firm sees market share challenges likely continuing into 2017.

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $104 price target (versus a $91.60 prior close) at Argus. It has a 52-week trading range of $64.51 to $98.75 and a consensus analyst price target of $97.92.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) was down 2% at $31.07 after its last drug failure, and it was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform and the price target was cut to $33 from $40 (versus a $31.07 close) at BMO Capital Markets. The 52-week range is $28.25 to $37.39, and the consensus target price is $38.74.

Nucor Corp. (NYSE: NUE) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $57 price target (versus a $47.83 close) at Berenberg. Nucor was also just named as one of six major infrastructure stocks that would thrive under either Clinton or Trump. Its 52-week range is $33.90 to $57.08.

Xylem Inc. (NYSE: XYL) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Janney, with the firm raising its fair value estimate to $52 from $50, noting that Xylem has a continued push to higher margin and higher value businesses. The stock closed down over 2% at $47.19 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $31.67 to $53.25 and with a consensus price target of $51.54.

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Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades were seen as follows:

Adeptus Health Inc. (NYSE: ADPT) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies, but the firm slashed the price target to $13 from $77 (versus a $26.87 close) over concerns about its balance sheet and cash flows.

Columbia Sportswear Co. (NASDAQ: COLM) was started as Outperform with a $67 price target at Wedbush, seeing the firm as well positioned with several growth drivers.

Enphase Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: ENPH) was raised to Outperform from Perform with a $2 price target (versus a $1.01 close) at Oppenheimer.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS) was started as Outperform with a $65 price target at Wedbush, with the firm noting that there is a competitive monetization and a solidifying leadership position.

DSW Inc. (NYSE: DSW) was started as Neutral and assigned a $22 price target at Wedbush. The firm feels DSW needs consistent product drivers and inventory management.

Finish Line Inc. (NASDAQ: FINL) was started as Outperform with a $25 price target at Wedbush, with the firm saying it has a bumpy run but a finish line may finally be in sight.

Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE: SU) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.

Tableau Software Inc. (NYSE: DATA) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair, and it was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Drexel Hamilton. Shares closed up 3% at $49.51 ahead of earnings, but they were down 12% at $43.60 on Wednesday morning.

WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform and the price target was cut to $52 from $63 (versus a $49.92 close) at Mizuho.

Tuesday’s top analyst calls included Baker Hughes, Brocade Communications, CenturyLink, Chevron, Juniper Networks and National Oilwell Varco and many more.