5 Unusual Analyst Upgrades From Monday

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Now that the first quarter of 2017 has ended and the second quarter is officially underway, stocks have posted six consecutive quarterly gains. First-quarter performance had the Dow up 5%, the S&P 500 up 5.9% and the Nasdaq 100 up almost 12%. Even if the bull market is more than eight years old, investors have proven time after time that they want to buy market pullbacks and that they are still 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 ideas for our readers. While many analyst calls are basic upgrades and downgrades, there are often some very unusual upgrades or positive calls for big upside to the analyst price targets. It is important to understand that many analyst calls get overlooked, and many analyst calls fail to ever come true.

Traditional Dow and S&P 500 stocks are issued upside of 8% to 15% for total return projections by analysts in this stage of the bull market. If a stock is perceived as risky, it should be given more upside potential — but don’t forget about the downside.

Here are five unusual analyst upgrades and positive analyst calls from April 3, 2017.

BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) is followed by few positive analysts any longer, but on the heels of the prior week’s earnings analysis Macquarie upgrade the stock. The firm raised its rating to Outperform from Neutral with a $9 price target. That compared with a prior closing price of $7.75, implying just 16% upside. What seems odd here is that 16% upside is not even that much more than you usually see for many Dow and S&P 500 upgrades and positive new coverage — but doesn’t BlackBerry come with much more risk? BlackBerry’s shares were down 1.6% at $7.63 on Monday, in a 52-week trading range of $6.23 to $8.46.

Granite Construction Inc. (NYSE: GVA) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. The firm’s $61 target price implied 21.5% upside from the $50.19 prior close, but Granite shares were last seen down 0.3% at $50.01. Its 52-week range is $40.16 to $62.18. Granite is considered one of the would-be Trump infrastructure winners, as it operates as a heavy civil contractor and a construction materials producer in three segments: Construction, Large Project Construction and Construction Materials.

J. Jill Inc. (NYSE: JILL) saw its quiet period come to an end, and while the analysts were positive on the ratings, the implied upside was not very strong for a recent IPO. J. Jill was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $17 price target at Jefferies, and Merrill Lynch issued a Buy rating and $18 price objective. Morgan Stanley started it as Overweight with a $15 target, and Deutsche Bank started it as Buy with a $16 target. UBS issued a Buy rating and $16 target, and Cowen set an Outperform rating and $17 target. J. Jill shares were last seen up seven cents at $14.17, after hitting a post-IPO high of $14.40 on the same day — versus just a $13 IPO price.

Loxo Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: LOXO) has risen after showing a proof of concept report for a potential treatment of patients with TRK fusion primary CNS cancers. Loxo was started as Overweight at Morgan Stanley and assigned a $59 price target, some $6 higher than the prior street-high analyst target price. This implies potential upside of 40% from the $42.08 closing price on Friday, but Monday’s reaction had shares up 6.4% at $44.79. Loxo’s market cap is now $1.16 billion, with no revenues to date, nor any real revenues expected to start until 2018. Its 52-week trading range is $17.14 to $47.46, and its consensus analyst target is $50.00.

Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE: OAS) received a positive upgrade, and Wall Street just shrugged it off. BMO Capital Markets raised it to Outperform from Market Perform with an $18 price target (versus a $14.26 close). The consensus analyst target is $18.09, and the 52-week range is $6.56 to $17.08. Oasis Petroleum shares were last seen down 2% at $13.98 in midday trading on Monday.