Stocks were up again on Thursday but were looking for direction on Friday. The indexes are all within striking distance of all-time highs, and the bull market is more than eight years old. Investors keep changing their reasoning behind why, but the prevailing trend is that every big sell-off has been met with serious buying. It also turns out that investors are searching for new investing and trading ideas.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week in an effort to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy. Other 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 has been added on most of the daily analyst calls.
These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Friday, July 14, 2017.
Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) was reiterated as Buy with a target price of $1,085 (versus a $968.72 prior close) at Argus. While the bears have been negative on mobile, Argus sees its mobile search advertising growing strongly but with lower margins. Also, its businesses of YouTube, Google Cloud and Google Play have all begun to generate significant revenue growth.
Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a $240 price target (versus a $206.23 close) at JPMorgan. Boeing has a 52-week trading range of $126.31 to $208.61, and it had a consensus analyst target price of $196.79.
CyberArk Software Ltd. (NASDAQ: CYBR) is feeling the sting of a lower revenue forecast due to weakness in Europe and Middle East orders. It was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $45 price target at Deutsche Bank. It also was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight with a $42 price target. Shares closed up 1.1% at $51.00 but were last seen down 18% at $41.70 on Friday morning. CyberArk’s prior 52-week range was $44.57 to $59.28, and its consensus target was $58.45.
Eiger BioPharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: EIGR) was given another exponentially higher analyst price target on Friday. The stock was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $32 price target (versus a $7.45 close) at BTIG.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE) was reinstated with a Hold rating and assigned an $18 price target (versus a $17.09 close) at Maxim Group. The consensus target price is $19.61, and the 52-week range is $14.72 to $19.16.
Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with a price target of $17 (versus a $15.69 close) at Cowen. Snap analysts have been all over the place, and its post-IPO range has been $15.21 to $29.44.
Ulta Beauty Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA) was raised to the prized Conviction Buy list at Goldman Sachs from a prior Neutral rating. What looked unusual here was that the prior $321 target price went down to $310 in the call despite such a strong upgrade. Ulta closed at $257.54, its 52-week range is $225.13 to $314.86 and it has a consensus target price of $324.95.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) was raised to the prized Conviction Buy list from Neutral at Goldman Sachs with an $84 price target. Wal-Mart closed at $75.05 a share, has a 52-week range of $65.28 to $80.47 and had a consensus analyst target of $80.38.
Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades were seen in the following:
AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACRX) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $7 price target (versus a $2.25 close) at Jefferies. The firm believes that Dsuvia is a promising pain drug that is likely to pass regulatory scrutiny.
Avnet Inc. (NYSE: AVT) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral with a $40 price objective (versus a $39.79 close) at Merrill Lynch.
B.J.’s Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ: BJRI) was raised to Buy from Hold at Canaccord Genuity.
Cornerstone OnDemand Inc. (NASDAQ: CSOD) was raised to Strong Buy from Buy with a $48 price target at Needham.
F5 Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight with a $136 price target (versus a $128.29 close) at Piper Jaffray.
Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG) was maintained as Hold but the target price was cut to $55 from $61 (versus a $51.42 close) at Stifel.
Himax Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: HIMX) was downgraded to Underperform from Perform with a $4 price target (versus an $8.01 close) at Oppenheimer. Himax has a 52-week range of $4.88 to $10.95, and it had a consensus target price of $8.26. The prior lowest price target was $6.00.
Supernus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: SUPN) was started as Neutral with a $47 fair value estimate (versus a $44.05 close) at Janney.
Thursday’s top analyst calls were in Agilent Technologies, AT&T, Halcon Resources, HP, International Paper, Seagate Technology, Snap and many more.
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