Investing

Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Cognizant Tech, Etsy, GoPro, Illumina, Shake Shack, Travelers and More

Stocks were indicated to open marginally lower after a more or less inline payrolls report from the Labor Department. The Dow was indicated down 21 points and the S&P 500 was indicated down two points in futures trading before the open. After a monster of a post-election rally, investors are still looking for deeper value and growth opportunities ahead. Those same investors still have it in their minds that all pullbacks should be bought, despite this bull market being almost eight years old.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst reports each day of the week to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these analyst research reports cover stocks to buy, while some others cover stocks to sell or avoid.

The following are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Friday, January 6, 2017.

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. (NASDAQ: CTSH) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and assigned a $70 price target (versus a $57.09 prior close) at Wedbush Securities. The firm said that this is after positive views about IT spending survey results. The stock has a 52-week trading range of $45.44 to $63.43, and its consensus analyst price target is $63.55.

Piper Jaffray started Etsy Inc. (NASDAQ: ETSY) with a Neutral rating and assigned a $13.50 price target (versus a $12.40 close). It has a 52-week range of $6.04 to $16.05 and a consensus price target of $15.82.

The 3.6% gain in GoPro Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRO) on Thursday to $9.35 was mostly being taken back on Friday morning as the company continues to lose its shine in interest. Longbow Research downgraded the shares to Underperform from an already-cautious Neutral rating with a $7.00 price target. GoPro’s 52-week range is $8.54 to $17.68.

Illumina Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) was reiterated as Sell with a $125 price target at Janney, which noted higher revenues but less transparency. In a contradictory call, the stock was raised to Buy from Neutral at CL King. The 52-week range is $119.37 to $186.88, but the consensus target price is now closer to $140.

Yet again, Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE: SHAK) shareholders are being told that a growing restaurant chain valued at 70 times next year’s earnings might be lofty in a valuation. Buckingham Research downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy with a $40 price target (versus a $39.45 close). Shake Shack’s 52-week range is $30.00 to $43.99. After a 1.4% gain on Thursday, its shares were indicated down 2% at $38.63 on Friday.

After Morgan Stanley downgraded its rating on Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) to Underweight on Thursday, shares fell 1.6% to $118.33. On Friday, Atlantic Equities also downgraded Travelers to Underweight from Neutral with the same $110 price target. Shares were indicated down another 1% or so around $117.00 on Friday. Its consensus target price prior to the downgrades was $117, and its 52-week range is $101.23 to $123.09.

Other notable analyst calls were seen in the following:

  • Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) was downgraded to Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna. Shares closed down 1.4% at $72.90 on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $42.86 to $74.33. The consensus price target was $74.83.
  • MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: MKTX) was added to the Goldman Sachs Conviction Buy List and assigned a $185 price target (versus a $152.71 close) at Goldman Sachs.
  • Medicines Co. (NASDAQ: MDCO) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $49 from $43 (versus a $35.52 close) at Jefferies. The firm noted that the injunction on Sanofi/Regeneron’s Praluent could mean blue skies for Inclisiran, and the firm raised its peak sales to $2.4 billion (out in 2027).
  • Nektar Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: NKTR) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $22 price target (versus a $13.20 close) at BTIG.
  • Teleflex Inc. (NYSE: TFX) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $190 price target (versus a $162.06 close) at Jefferies. The firm sees margin gains and the accretion from Vascular Solutions, and it named Teleflex as one of its 11 best ideas for 2017.
  • Valero Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: VLP) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight with a $51 price target (versus a $45.03 close) at Morgan Stanley.

Merrill Lynch has released its top five picks in oil and gas for 2017, and this week we saw many analyst upgrades and ratings changes in the oil and gas sector this week.

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Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Chipotle Mexican Grill, Hilton, Macy’s, Mastercard, Mylan, Valero Energy, Western Digital and Travelers.