Investing

Top Analyst Upgrades & Downgrades: Boeing, Chipotle, First Solar, Goldman Sachs, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Lululemon, Vertex and Many More

courtesy of Jon Ogg

Stocks were indicated to open only slightly higher on Wednesday after a mixed bag of corporate earnings. What investors need to understand is that the major equity indexes remain just under all-time highs, and this bull market is now well over eight years old. What also has to be kept in mind is that every big sell-off has been a buying opportunity. Investors are still searching for new investing and trading ideas for gains and income ahead.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day. The goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy. Other analyst reports cover stocks to sell or stocks to avoid

Additional color and commentary has also been added on most of the daily analyst calls. Consensus analyst price target data are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Wednesday, July 19, 2017.

The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) was raised to Neutral from Underperform and the price objective was raised to $225 from $150 at BofA Merrill Lynch. The firm noted that Boeing’s near-term cash generation outweighs cyclicality, and also that Boeing is offsetting a peaking market environment with better cash management and shareholder friendly capital deployment. Boeing shares closed down 0.36% at $208.24 on Tuesday but were indicated to open up 0.6% at $209.50 on Wednesday. Boeing has a 52-week range of $126.31 to $209.72 and had a consensus analyst target of $198.43.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was down handily on Tuesday (-4.3% or -$17.02 at $374.98) after reports of new illnesses. Chipotle was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital Markets. Wells Fargo downgraded Chipotle to Market Perform with a $370 target. Chipotle shares were down another 0.5% at $373.00 on Wednesday, versus a 52-week range of $352.96 to $499.00.

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) was raised to Buy from Hold at a firm named Axiom Capital. First Solar shares closed up 3% at $44.02 on Tuesday and its stock was indicated up another 3% at $45.40 on Wednesday. First Solar’s 52-week range is $25.56 to $49.50 and it had a consensus analyst target price of $39.09.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Keefe Bruyette & Woods. Credit Suisse maintained its Outperform rating and $240 target price. Goldman Sachs closed down 2.6% at $223.31 on Tuesday, versus a 52-week range of $155.37 to $255.15 and versus a consensus analyst target price of $239.13.

International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM) was down again after its 21st quarterly revenue decline. Jefferies reiterated its Underperform rating and $125 target. Credit Suisse reiterated its Underperform rating with a $110 price target. IBM shares closed at $154.00 on Tuesday, but on Wednesday morning the stock was down about 2.7% at $149.95. IBM has a 52-week range of $147.79 to $182.79 and it had a consensus analyst target price of $162.93 prior to the news.

Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) was reiterated as Buy and the target price was raised up to $320 at Argus. The call is after strong earnings and after Boeing disclosed an order backlog north of $100 billion. Credit Suisse has a Neutral rating but raised its target on Lockheed Martin to $300 from $280. RBC Capital Markets reiterated its Sector Perform rating but raised its price target to $289 from $263. Lockheed closed down 0.6% at $286.79 on Tuesday and it has a 52-week range of $228.50 to $292.97.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) was started with a Buy rating and was assigned a $67 price target (versus a $59.38 close) at Needham & Co. Lululemon Athletica has a 52-week range of $47.26 to $81.81 and a consensus target price of $60.67.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX) was up big after impressive Phase 2 results of the triple combinations in both homozygous F508del and F508del/Min patients and with acceptable side safety parameters. Vertex was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays. Janney raised Vertex to Buy from Neutral with a $190 fair value estimate. Credit Suisse reiterated an Outperform rating and raised its target to $195 from $125. Vertex closed up 2.3% at $132.16 ahead of Tuesday’s news but the stock was last seen up by over 25% at $166.25 on Wednesday morning. Vertex had a prior 52-week range of $71.46 to $137.26 and its consensus analyst target price was last seen at $129.74.

Other key analyst calls from this Wednesday were in the following companies:

Agile Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: AGRX) was started as Buy with a $10 price target (versus $4.17 close) at H.C. Wainwright. Agile has a 52-week range of $1.82 to $8.15 and its market cap was a mere $120 million heading into this analyst call.

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays. This stock closed up over 2% at $20.10 on Tuesday but was indicated down 0.75% at $19.95 on Wednesday.

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) was started with a Buy rating and was assigned a $130 price target (versus $107.70 close) at Deutsche Bank. Autodesk has a 52-week range of $56.80 to $114.68 and has a consensus analyst target price of $113.05.

Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSOD) was raised to Outperform from Neutral with a $49 price target (versus prior $43 target and $37.95 closing price) at Credit Suisse.

Dana Corp. (NYSE: DAN) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays.

Energizer Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ENR) was raised to Overweight from Sector Weight with a $55 target price (versus $46.82 close) at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR) was reiterated as Buy but was added to Merrill Lynch’s US 1 list due to an upside to core growth, a high asset quality and an attractive valuation.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) was started with a Hold rating at Needham & Co.

PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $60 price target (versus $58.96 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. The downgrade was based on valuation concerns more than for fundamental reasons.

PPL Corp. (NYSE: PPL) was raised to Buy from Hold at Jefferies. This call was said to be based on valuation, noting that PPL’s stock currently trades at an unwarranted 12% discount to peers. PPL closed at $37.69 and Jefferies raised its target price from  $39.50 to $42.00 in the call.

Quanex Building Products (NYSE: NX) was started with an Outperform rating and was assigned a $25 price target (versus $21.10 close) at Wedbush Securities.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) was added to the Merrill Lynch US 1 list and its rating was reiterated as Buy with a $593 price target. The firm talked up its deep pipeline as well as its track record. Regeneron closed at $497.63 on Tuesday, versus a 52-week range of $325.35 and $543.55 and versus a consensus analyst target price of $473.45.

Sonoco Products Company (NYSE: SON) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird.

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) was reinstated with a Neutral rating and with a $65 target price (versus $60.84 close) at Credit Suisse.

Wintrust Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: WTFC) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $91 (versus a $76.48 closing price) at Wedbush Securities.

You can follow @Jonogg on Twitter if you want the daily analyst calls and other market research calls directly on your feed.

Deutsche Bank has grown cautious on the chip sector run, but it still has 5 semiconductor stocks it is telling clients to buy for gains in 2017.

Tuesday’s top analyst calls were in Cameco, Carvana, Chipotle, Magellan Midstream, Netflix, Puma Bio, SeaWorld and many more companies.

Monday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades were in shares of Ally Financial, Citigroup, Devon, JPMorgan Chase, Restoration Hardware and more.

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