Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Blackstone, Ciena, Cree, Finish Line, Motorola Solutions, Qualcomm and Many More

Stocks were indicated to open marginally higher on Monday as a follow-on bounce from last week’s early sell-off. Even with the bull market being over eight years old, investors have found myriad reasons to buy every single major sell-off for more than five years now. Those same investors and traders 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 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 seen on Monday, May 22, 2017.

Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE: BX) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup. Shares closed up 2% at $29.87 on Friday and were up 4.8% at $31.32 on Monday on the heels of announcing a $40 billion infrastructure fund that was backed 50% by Saudi Arabia that may ultimately reach $100 billion.

Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN) was raised to Buy from Hold at Stifel, in part due to new product offerings bringing a boost ahead. Ciena closed up 1.2% at $22.95 on Friday and was indicated up 3.8% at $23.83 on Monday.

Cree Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) was raised to Market Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities. It closed up 6.4% at $23.09 on Friday after its CEO stepped down, and shares were indicated up 3.1% at $23.81 on Monday. Cree has a 52-week trading range of $20.75 to $31.64.

Finish Line Inc. (NASDAQ: FINL) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Monness Crespi Hardt. Its shares closed up 1.57% at $13.89 on Friday and were indicated up 1.6% at $14.09.

Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE: MSI) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James. The stock was indicated up 0.6% at $81.33 on Monday, in a 52-week range of $62.76 to $87.69 and with a consensus analyst price target of $88.92.

Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. It was up 2.7% at $57.67 on Friday and indicated up 1.7% more at $58.65 on Monday, in a 52-week range of $50.84 to $71.62. It has a consensus price target of $60.72.

Other key analyst calls were seen in the following:

Carvana Co. (NYSE: CVNA) was started as Buy with a $16 price target (versus an $11.40 prior close) at Craig-Hallum. Earlier in May, Carvana was given a Neutral rating and just a $10 target at Susquehanna. On April 27, Carvana priced 15 million shares at $15 per share in its IPO.

Floor & Decor Holdings Inc. (NYSE: FND) has seen its quiet period end and shares closed at $37.05 on Friday. It was started as Neutral with a $40 price target at Piper Jaffray. Credit Suisse started it as Outperform and assigned a $43 price target. Goldman Sachs started it as Neutral with a $25 price target. Jefferies started Floor & Decor with a Hold rating and $38 target. On April 27, Floor & Decor priced 8.8 million shares at $21 in its IPO.

Huntsman Corp. (NYSE: HUN) is merging with Clariant in Switzerland, and Jefferies reiterated its Buy rating and $29 target. After closing at $26.71 on Friday, Huntsman was indicated up 6.4% at $28.40 on Friday, and it had a prior consensus target price of $28.00.

Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: MNTA) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays.

Nutanix Inc. (NASDAQ: NTNX) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. Its shares were indicated up 9.4% at $17.50 on Monday.

Plains All American Pipeline L.P. (NYSE: PAA) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

Plains GP Holdings L.P. (NYSE: PAGP) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

Prestige Brands Holdings Inc. (NYSE: PBH) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

Verona Pharma PLC (NASDAQ: VRNA) was started as Outperform with a $25 price target (versus a $13.52 close) at Wedbush Securities. The stock was started as Buy with a $26 target at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

There were 10 key stocks given Sell ratings on Wall Street in the last week alone.

Friday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Autodesk, IBM, Lumber Liquidators, NVIDIA,, Symantec, T-Mobile, Wal-Mart and over a dozen more.

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