After a rough Tuesday, the markets are looking decidedly better this morning as the futures are indicating at least a reasonably solid open across the board. First-quarter earnings for the most part have come in a solid so far, and most of the strategists on Wall Street are calling for the overall best quarter we have seen in some time. With multiples elevated, and some stocks very pricey, we need to see strong earnings to help justify current trading levels.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning to find new trading and investing ideas for its readers. Some analyst calls cover stocks to buy, while others cover stocks to sell or avoid.
These are this Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.
BP PLC (NYSE: BP) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup. The 52-week trading range for the stock is $30.66 to $38.88, and the consensus price objective on Wall Street is $37.79. The stock close trading on Tuesday at $34.67.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) is raised to Buy from Hold at HSBC. The 52-week range is $25.75 to $41.79. The consensus price objective is $39.93. The shares closed on Tuesday at $35.57.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) saw its price target lowered to $250 from $260 at RBC Capital Markets, as the company reported results this week way below expectations. The 52-week range for the investment banking giant is $138.20 to $255.15. The shares closed Tuesday at $215.59, down almost 5% on the day.
Halliburton Inc. (NYSE: HAL) was started with a Buy rating at HSBC. The 52-week range for the oilfield services behemoth is $38.24 to $58.78. The consensus price target is $63.23. The stock closed Tuesday at $48.53.
Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG) saw its price target lowered to $57 from $60 at RBC. The analyst noted that while the iconic motorcycle company beat earnings estimates, retail demand appears weak and 2017 shipments are more back-end loaded than anticipated. The 52-week range is $41.63 to $43.40, and the consensus price target is $60.08. Shares closed Tuesday at $56.91, down almost 5%.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) had a very rough morning after once again missing earnings estimates, and although the reaction across Wall Street is varied, the company is reporting revenues down year over year for a stunning 20th consecutive quarter. RBC lowered the price target to $180 from $185. Merrill Lynch reiterated its $200 price objective and Buy rating. The 52-week range is $142.50 to $182.79. The consensus price target is $169.15, The shares closed Tuesday at $170.05 but were trading down sharply in the premarket at $160.89, a more than 5% drop.
Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Rosenblatt. The 52-week range for the tech giant is $50.11 to $71.62, and the consensus price objective is $64.74. The shares closed Tuesday at $52.67.
Rockwell Collins Inc. (NYSE: COL) was upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Baird, and the price target was raised to $118 from $90. The 52-week trading range for the aerospace leader is $78.54 to $100.24. The consensus price target is $105.47, and share closed Tuesday at $96.78.
Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE: RDS-A) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup. The 52-week range is $46.57 to $56.39, and the consensus price target for the European oil giant is $62.70. The shares closed Tuesday at $52.46.
Other key analysts upgrades and downgrades were seen in the following: