Stocks were indicated higher on Thursday after Treasury Secretary Mnuchin talked up more tax reform plans in an interview on Thursday morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now close enough to 21,000 that investors have been unable to ignore how much interest there has been in stocks. Even though the bull market is almost eight years old, it has not deterred investors from wanting to buy stocks. Investors have literally bought into every sell-off, and those same investors continue to look for new and overlooked opportunities.
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 analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while others cover stocks to sell or avoid. Many of the following analyst calls have been given some added color, and the consensus analyst price targets are from Thomson Reuters.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Thursday, February 23, 2017:
Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight and the price target was raised to $165 from $150 (versus a $145.25 prior close) at Morgan Stanley. Home Depot raised its dividend and increased its buyback plan after earnings. The 52-week trading range is $119.20 to $145.65.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) was reiterated as Buy and the price objective was raised to $200 from $185 (versus a $181.15 close) at Merrill Lynch. The call noted that IBM is not AWS, but the public cloud remains an incremental opportunity that can add another $7 to $15 worth of value per share.
Mobileye N.V. (NYSE: MBLY) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $52 from $50 at Goldman Sachs. It has a 52-week range of $28.15 to $51.15 and a consensus analyst price target of $56.38.
Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) was started as Sector Perform with a $118 price target (versus a $111.38 close) at RBC Capital Markets. Monsanto has a 52-week range of $83.74 to $114.26, and the consensus price target is $120.35.
NVIDIA Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) was downgraded to Underperform from Hold and the price target was cut to $85 from $100 (versus a $110.76 close) at BMO Capital Markets. NVIDIA has a 52-week range of $31.04 to $120.92 and a consensus price target of $114.10.
ONEOK Inc. (NYSE: OKE) was raised to Hold from Underperform with a $51 price target at Jefferies. The firm updated its model on ONEOK to reflect the pending OKS acquisition. They view the deal as creating an approximate $14 billion basis step-up, shielding it from Fed cash taxes through about 2021 while permitting accelerated dividend growth.
Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) closed up 2.8% at $15.04 ahead of earnings and was indicated up almost 10% at $16.50 after earnings. It was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $20 price target at BTIG. Mizuho reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $19 from $16, while Goldman Sachs reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $17 from $15. Square was maintained as Equal Weight and the price target was raised to $14 at Morgan Stanley.
Unilever PLC (NYSE: UL) may not be in talks with Kraft Heinz now, but the company’s American depositary shares rose 4.6% to $46.93 after it announced a strategic review to maximize shareholder value. Unilever was raised to Buy from Hold by Societe Generale, and the 52-week range is $38.58 to $48.97.
Other key analyst calls were seen in the following:
- Albemarle Corp. (NYSE: ALB) was started as Outperform at RBC Capital Markets.
- AVANGRID Inc. (NYSE: AGR) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $44 price target (versus a $43.11 close) at Evercore ISI.
- Bloomin’ Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: BLMN) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.
- Flir Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Imperial Capital.
- La-Z-Boy Inc. (NYSE: LZB) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $30 price target (versus a $28.40 close) at Stifel.
- Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE: RAI) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo.
- Steven Madden Ltd. (NASDAQ: SHOO) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a $41 price target (versus a $37.25 close) at Piper Jaffray.
Wednesday’s top analyst calls included Broadcom, Canadian Solar, Goldman Sachs, TripAdvisor, Wal-Mart and over a dozen more.
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