Stocks were indicated to open higher on Wednesday. Even with the negative headlines and even with this bull market well over eight years old, yet again equity investors keep demonstrating that they will buy stocks on any pullback or sell-off. Those same investors are also continuing to search for new investing and trading ideas.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. Our goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of the daily analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while some reports cover stocks to sell or to avoid.
Consensus analyst price target data are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service. Additional color and commentary also has been added on most of the daily analyst calls.
These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Wednesday, July 12, 2017.
Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) was started as Neutral and assigned a $195 price target (versus a $192.10 prior close) at Credit Suisse. The firm sees Anthem increasing its focus on Medicare Advantage and noted that it also has a clear opportunity to lower pharmacy costs and generate earnings accretion with the PBM re-procurement. Anthem has a 52-week trading range of $114.85 to $194.94, and it has a consensus analyst target price of $197.50.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was maintained as Buy with a $180 price objective at Merrill Lynch. The call is similar to Tuesday’s note from Deutsche Bank, except the rating is Buy at Merrill Lynch. The firm lowered iPhone estimates on an anticipated three to four week delayed shipment of iPhone 8 for the September and December quarters while boosting its March 2018 expectations.
Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with a $55 price target (versus a $51.99 close) at Bernstein. Harley-Davidson has a 52-week range of $47.03 to $63.40 and a consensus target price of $58.63.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) was reiterated as Underperform at Jefferies, but the firm cut its target price to $125 from $135 (versus a $153.19 close). The firm noted that IBM offers one of the more mature cognitive computing platforms on the market, but the hefty services component of many artificial intelligence deployments will slow adoption and also that IBM’s investments aren’t likely to be above the cost of capital. IBM has a 52-week range of $147.79 to $182.79 and a consensus target price of $164.36.
Kimberly-Clark Corp. (NYSE: KMB) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $120 price target (versus a $125.81 close) at UBS. It has a 52-week range of $111.30 to $136.87 and a consensus price target of $133.00.
Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO) was started with an Equal Weight rating and assigned a $14 price target (versus an $11.59 close) at Stephens. Marathon has a 52-week range of $11.20 to $19.28 and a consensus target price of $17.72.
Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) was reiterated as Underperform with a $73 price target (versus a $154.33 close) at Wedbush Securities. While Wedbush expects third-quarter subscriber growth guidance at or above the second-quarter levels, series cancellations and limited write downs are ongoing that show spotty execution for its expensive Originals strategy. So far, this ongoing negative call has not gone in favor of Wedbush.
NVIDIA Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $177 price target (versus a $155.88 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. NVIDIA has a 52-week range of $51.84 to $168.50, and it has a consensus target price of $137.23.
Peabody Energy Corp. (NYSE: BTU) was reiterated as Outperform but the price target was raised to $32 from $31 (versus a $25.88 close) at FBR Capital Markets. The 52-week range is $8.75 to $32.50.
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Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades were seen in the following: