Stocks were indicated to open lower on Tuesday while a massive blizzard is disrupting the northeastern United States. All eyes remain on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) ahead of this week’s interest rate hike decision, and the odds favor a hike. Even with the bull market now eight years old, investors have bought stocks on every pullback. Those same investors are also looking for new trading and investing ideas.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. The goal is to find new investing ideas and trading ideas for our readers. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.
Some color has been added on many of the following calls, and the consensus analyst price targets referenced are from Thomson Reuters. These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Tuesday, March 14, 2017:
Mobileye N.V. (NYSE: MBLY) saw its shares trade up 28% to $60.62 on Monday on news that Intel was acquiring the autonomous car chip player. Mobileye was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies and to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC. Dougherty lowered its rating to Sell as a result of the buyout.
Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse, and the price target was raised to $79 from $77 (versus a $62.88 prior close). Occidental has a consensus analyst target price of $75.00, and it has a 52-week trading range of $61.01 to $78.48. Credit Suisse noted that Occidental is attractively valued and that its good inventory of low-cost Permian reserves is not reflected in the valuation.
Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) was reiterated as Buy with a $48 price target (versus a $42.58 close) at Merrill Lynch. This was just a day after a more cautious call from a competing firm. Merrill Lynch sees Oracle’s business as poised for an inflection point to potentially deliver mid-single-digit software revenue growth and operating income going forward.
Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $128 price target (versus a $111.52 close) at Guggenheim. The consensus price target is $116.69, and the 52-week range is $90.32 to $111.99.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) was rated as Buy but added to the prized US 1 List at Merrill Lynch. Despite retail woes, the firm believes that Wal-Mart’s focus on its core U.S. strategy is working. The firm sees e-commerce sales momentum continuing in fiscal year 2018.
Other key analyst calls were seen in the following:
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital Markets.
Amec Foster Wheeler PLC (NYSE: AFW) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.
Analog Device Inc. (NASDAQ: ADI) was reinstated as Outperform with a $100 price target (versus an $82.76 close) at Credit Suisse.
ARRIS International PLC (NASDAQ: ARRS) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.
Cavium Inc. (NASDAQ: CAVM) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $82 from $75 (versus a $71.50 close) at Argus.
Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.
Enbridge Inc. (NYSE: ENB) was reinstated with an Outperform rating at Credit Suisse. The call was in the Canadian shares, with a C$70 target price.
Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. (NYSE: ETH) was raised to Strong Buy from Market Perform at Raymond James.
GGP Inc. (NYSE: GGP) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS.
Horizon Global Corp. (NYSE: HZN) was started as Neutral with an $18 price objective (versus a $14.51 close) at Merrill Lynch.
Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc. (NYSE: MAA) was raised to Buy from Neutral at UBS.
Texas Roadhouse Inc. (NASDAQ: TXRH) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX) was reiterated as Buy with a $115 target price (versus a $92.95 close) at Argus.
Monday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades were in AIG, Boeing, GameStop, Gilead Sciences, Starbucks, Cigna, Ciena, Ferrari and over a dozen more.
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