Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AMD, ConocoPhillips, Etsy, Marathon Oil, Square, Disney, Windstream and More

May 17, 2017 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were indicated to open lower on Wednesday, but this is after many days of gains and with equity indexes close to their highs. The bull market is now more than eight years old, and investors have proven over and over that they will buy every single 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 and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy and others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Some additional color and commentary has been added on most of the following analyst calls, and the consensus sell-side analyst price targets are taken from Thomson Reuters.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls on Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Loop Capital. Shares closed up 11.6% at $12.75 on Tuesday but were indicated down over 6% at $11.90 on Wednesday. AMD has a 52-week trading range of $3.69 to $15.55 and a consensus analyst price target of $12.62.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $59 from $55 (versus a prior closing price of $47.13) at Jefferies. ConocoPhillips has a 52-week range of $38.80 to $53.17 and a consensus target price of $59.84.

Etsy Inc. (NASDAQ: ETSY) was maintained as Neutral with a $9 price target (versus a $13.73 close) at Wedbush Securities. This was even as the report noted that a buyout is the most likely scenario. Etsy also was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Loop Capital. Maxim Group has a Buy rating but raised its target to $17 from $13. This is as the company is likely seeking a buyer amid strategic alternatives.

Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies. Marathon closed down 0.76% at $14.43 on Tuesday and was indicated down another 0.5% at $14.35 on Wednesday. The 52-week range is $12.11 to $19.28, and the consensus price target is $19.93.

Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BTIG. Stifel has a Buy rating and raised its rating to $23 from $21. Square closed up 0.4% at $20.34 on Tuesday and was indicated down almost 2% at $20.00 on Wednesday. The 52-week range is $8.42 to $20.69, and the consensus analyst price is $20.10.

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $105 price target at Macquarie. Disney has a 52-week range of $90.32 to $116.10 and a consensus price target of $118.79. Shares closed down 1% at $107.98 on Tuesday and were indicated down almost 2% at $105.90 on Wednesday.

Windstream Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: WIN) was down 2.5% at $4.34 on Tuesday but was indicated marginally higher on Wednesday and is likely held back by negative futures trading in the broader markets. The stock was raised to Outperform from Underperform with a $5.25 price target at Raymond James. Windstream has a 52-week range of $4.28 to $10.46 and a consensus target price of $6.41.

Warren Buffett’s top stock holdings contained massive changes as his portfolio for Berkshire Hathaway has now risen to some $161 billion.

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Other key analyst calls were seen in the following:

Acceleron Pharma (NASDAQ: XLRN) was started with a Sell rating and assigned a $20 price target (versus a $30.30 close) at Goldman Sachs.

AvalonBay Communities Inc. (NYSE: AVB) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

BioDelivery Sciences International Inc. (NASDAQ: BDSI) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at Cantor Fitzgerald.

Cardinal Health Inc. (NYSE: CAH) was started with a Hold rating and assigned a $77 price target (versus a $72.63 close) at Jefferies. The firm’s caution here is that Cardinal’s recent and unexpected guide-down for earnings and growth has put Cardinal’s stock in the investor penalty box.

Clovis Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: CLVS) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a $72 price target (versus a $49.56 close) at JPMorgan. The stock closed up 2.1% at $49.56 on Tuesday and was indicated up 3.4% at $51.25 on Wednesday.

Concho Resources Inc. (NYSE: CXO) was started with an Overweight rating and assigned a $172 price target (versus a $133.08 close) at Piper Jaffray.

Digital Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE: DLR) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo.

McKesson Corp. (NYSE: MCK) was started as Hold with a $153 price target (versus a $144.92 close) at Jefferies. The firm feels that McKesson’s valuation is already fair and that secular headwinds around generic drug price deflation will be hard to avoid.

QVC Group (NASDAQ: QVCA) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $26 from $24 (versus a $23.55 close) at FBR Capital Markets.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. (NASDAQ: RRGB) was raised to Buy from Neutral with an $80 price objective at Merrill Lynch. Maxim Group has a Buy rating and raised its target price to $80 from $75. The shares were down 2.1% at $58.00 ahead of earnings and were indicated up over 17% at $68.30 on Wednesday morning after earnings.

Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham, while FBR Capital Markets reiterated its Outperform rating.

TJX Companies Inc. (NYSE: TJX) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with an $86 price target (versus a $73.76 close) at Morgan Stanley. RBC lowered its price target to $79 from $82 but maintained an Outperform rating.

Wolverine World Wide Inc. (NYSE: WWW) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird.

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Mizuho started several home builder stocks with new ratings on Wednesday. Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL) and Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN) were both started with Buy ratings. KB Home (NYSE: KBH) and DR Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI) were both started with Neutral ratings.

Jefferies analysts said that they are bullish on the outlook for oil prices, but not as bullish as they were earlier in the year, and they have lowered the oil price forecast between 3% in the second half of 2017 and 22% for 2019. The firm has revised its longer term oil price forecast lower to $70 from $85 per barrel on a quicker and more pronounced recovery in U.S. supply.

In case you missed Tuesday’s top analyst calls, they included AIG, Exact Sciences, MercadoLibre, Whole Foods, Valero Energy, Yum Brands and about man more.