Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alcoa, Altria, Ford, GoPro, NVIDIA, International Paper, Transocean and Many More

Stocks have seen big swings in a mixed week. There was a dovish Fed meeting that gave no directional bias on rates, and now we have a much stronger than expected payrolls report. Stocks were indicated higher on Friday by 100 DJIA points and higher by 10 S&P 500 points. Despite this bull market being eight years old, investors keep finding new reasons to buy every sell-off. Those same investors are also looking for new and overlooked opportunities.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst reports each day of the week. The goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while other reports cover stocks to sell or to avoid. Most of these featured analyst calls include some color, and Thomson Reuters was used for consensus analyst price target data.

The Dow has hit 20,000 and there is a path for DJIA 21,422 later in 2017 or in early 2018. These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Friday, February 3, 2017:

Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA) was raised to Buy from Underperform and the price objective was raised to $45 from $35 at Merrill Lynch. Alcoa’s consensus price target is $35.06 and the 52-week trading range is $20.00 to $38.94.

Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $79 from $73 at Argus. On the other side of the coin, Altria was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Berenberg. Altria’s last closing price was $71.45 and the consensus price target was at $71.55.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight and the price target was raised to $15 from $13 at Barclays. Ford closed down 0.3% at $12.28 and was indicated up 0.9% at $12.39 on Friday. Ford’s consensus analyst target price is $13.09 and it has a 52-week range of $11.07 to $14.22.

GoPro Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRO) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform and the price target was cut to $6 from $10 at Raymond James. GoPro closed up almost 4% at $10.97 on Thursday and was indicated down 13% at $9.53 on Friday after its earnings report was a dud. GoPro has a 52-week range of $8.54 to $17.68.

International Paper Co. (NYSE: IP) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $59 price target (versus a $53.35 prior closing price after a 5.6% drop) by D.A. Davidson. International Paper has a consensus target price of $56.20, and it has a 52-week range of $32.86 to $58.86.

NVIDIA Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) was started with an Underperform rating and the graphics-chip maker was assigned a price target of $115 (versus a $115.39 close) at CLSA. While this rating sounds ugly, keep in mind that NVIDIA has more than tripled from last year’s lows. NVIDIA has a 52-week range of $24.75 to $119.93, and it has a consensus analyst target price of $100.00.

Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse. It was just yesterday that Transocean was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley. Transocean closed down 1.8% at $13.74 on Thursday but was indicated up 1.5% at $13.95 on Friday. The consensus analyst target price is $12.85, and the 52-week trading range is $7.67 to $16.66.

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Other key analyst calls were seen in the following:

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