Stocks were indicated higher yet again on Friday, even knowing that many market participants are going to sneak out at lunch for St. Patrick’s Day revelry. The Dow is still back to challenging 21,000 again, and the bull market is now more than eight years old. Investors have bought up stocks on every single pullback. Those same investors also are 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 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 Friday, March 17, 2017:
Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $145 from $115 (versus a $122.37 prior close) at Wunderlich. Adobe has a 52-week trading range of $90.35 to $123.55, but shares were indicated up at a new high of $128.50 on Friday after solid earnings.
Barclays PLC (NYSE: BCS) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley. Its American depositary shares closed up 2.6% at $11.36 on Thursday and were indicated up 1.2% at $11.50 on Friday. The 52-week range is $6.76 to $12.05.
Dean Foods Co. (NYSE: DF) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a $22 price target (versus an $18.75 close) at JPMorgan. Dean Foods has a 52-week range of $15.69 to $22.31 and a consensus analyst price target of $20.17.
Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) was started as Outperform and assigned a $178 price target (versus a $144.39 close) at Bernstein. Netflix has a 52-week range of $84.50 to $146.50 and a consensus price target of $150.34.
Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the price target was cut to $185 from $207 at Goldman Sachs. Simon Property has a 52-week range of $167.59 to $229.10 and a consensus price target of $208.74.
Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) was started as Neutral with a $20 price target at Mizuho. Its post-IPO range is $19.75 to $29.44, and it was a $17 price at the official IPO allocation.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities. Vertex has a 52-week range of $71.46 to $103.73 and consensus analyst target of $99.70.
Other key analyst calls from this Friday were in the following companies:
Adaptimmune Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ: ADAP) was started with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo.
Aqua America Inc. (NYSE: WTR) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight and the price target was raised to $36 from $33 (versus a $31.19 close) at Barclays.
Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. N.V. (NYSE: CBI) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus.
Cypress Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: CELP) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $9.50 price target (versus an $8.78 close) at Stifel.
Hilton Inc. (NYSE: HLT) was started with an Overweight rating and assigned a $66 price target (versus a $58.21 close) at JPMorgan.
Himax Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: HIMX) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Roth Capital.
Patheon N.V. (NYSE: PTHN) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform and the price target was cut to $28 from $34 (versus a $27.72 close, after an 11.7% drop) at Robert W. Baird. Patheon also was downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc Capital Markets.
SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral and the price target was cut to $15 from $19 (versus an $18.88 close) at Citigroup.
Texas Roadhouse Inc. (NASDAQ: TXRH) was raised to Buy from Neutral at BTIG Research.
USG Corp. (NYSE: USG) was reiterated as Hold but the price target was raised to $35 from $29 (versus a $34.23 close) at Jefferies.
Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Biogen, Goldcorp, GoPro, Oracle, Sirius XM, Tyson Foods, Ciena and many more.
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