Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Aerojet Rocketdyne, Alcoa, Amazon, ArcelorMittal, Corning, Intel, Vale, AMD and More

March 31, 2017 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were indicated marginally lower on Friday ahead of several economic reports. This was the last day of the quarter, and the Dow was up 5.4% and the S&P 500 was up 6.1% so far in 2017. Investors have continued to prove for more than five years that they want to buy market pullbacks, even now the bull market is more than eight years old. Investors are also still looking for new trading and investing ideas.

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

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 31, 2017.

Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AJRD) was started as Buy and assigned a $28 price target (versus a $21.50 prior close) at Jefferies. This is a very lightly followed defense and rocket play, and Jefferies feels that Aerojet Rocketdyne is a unique enterprise, with sole source positions on key missile defense systems, tactical munitions and human space exploration programs. The firm believes that the core technologies can be leveraged to win new space and defense programs for double-digit earnings growth ahead.

Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA) was upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform and the price target was raised to $45 from $35 (versus a $33.49 close) at BMO Capital Markets. Alcoa has a 52-week trading range of $20.00 to $39.78 and a consensus analyst price target of $42.40.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $1,100 price target at Loop Capital. It was given a similar upside target at Barclays this week as well. Shares closed at $876.34, in a 52-week range of $585.25 to $877.06. The consensus target price is $948.61.

ArcelorMittal S.A. (NYSE: MT) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan in an overseas call. Its American depositary shares (ADSs) closed at $8.40 on Thursday and were indicated up 0.5% at $8.44 on Friday. The 52-week range is $4.18 to $9.37, and the consensus price target is $10.47.

Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup. The stock closed up 0.3% at $27.56 on Thursday but was indicated down 0.6% at $27.39 on Friday. Corning’s consensus target price is $26.93 and its 52-week range is $18.21 to $28.36.

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $40 price target (versus a $35.75 close) at Macquarie. Intel has a 52-week range of $29.50 to $38.45 and a consensus analyst target of $40.03.

Vale S.A. (NYSE: VALE) was raised to Market Perform from Underperform and the price target was raised to $10 from $7 (versus a $9.54 close) at BMO Capital Markets. Vale’s ADSs have a 52-week range of $3.85 to $11.70, and the consensus target price is $10.30.

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Other top analyst calls were seen in the following:

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) was started as Neutral at Macquarie. This was part of a broader semiconductor sector initiation, and most were given the same Neutral ratings.

Alkermes PLC (NASDAQ: ALKS) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $78 from $72 at Credit Suisse. The upgrade is on higher Vivitrol forecasts, following management meetings.

Bioverativ Inc. (NASDAQ: BIVV) was started with a Hold rating at Argus. The firm believes that favorable prospects from its pipeline are already factored into the current valuation.

Broadcom Ltd. (NASDAQ: AVGO) was started as Outperform with a $265 price target (versus a $220.04 close) at Macquarie.

HubSpot Inc. (NYSE: HUBS) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $73 price target (versus a $58.20 close) at BTIG.

JELD-WEN Holding Inc. (NYSE: JELD) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $34 price target (versus a $33.05 close) at Wedbush. The firm sees a continued benefit of the transformation under a new CEO, but the firm feels there is limited ability to exceed consensus estimates and as the price already reflects the catalysts.

Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL) was started as Neutral at Macquarie.

NVIDIA Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) was started as Neutral at Macquarie.

Owens Corning (NYSE: OC) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised to $72 from $58 (versus a $60.99 close) at Wedbush. The firm sees more opportunities for Owens Corning to generate shareholder value with capital allocation and growth opportunities following recent portfolio improvements.

Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) was started as Neutral at Macquarie.

Quintiles IMS Holdings Inc. (NYSE: Q) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned an $89 price target at Credit Suisse. The firm feels that Quintiles IMS will win from strength in outsourcing demand while leveraging its health care IT platform.

Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: TXN) was started as Neutral at Macquarie.

Xilinx Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) was started as Neutral at Macquarie.

Thursday’s top analyst calls were in ConocoPhillips, Goodyear Tire, Humana, Lululemon Athletica, Range Resources and many more.