Top Analyst Upgrades & Downgrades: American Superconductor, Chipotle, Groupon, J&J, Juniper, Occidental, Wells Fargo and Many More

courtesy of Jon Ogg

Stocks have pulled back a tad from all-time highs, and the market indexes were indicated to have a slight drop on Friday morning. Still, indexes remain right at all time highs and this bull market is over 8 years old. Investors are digesting mixed earnings on a week where there have been little economic numbers guiding the markets. Investors have proven that every big sell-off has been a buying opportunity. Those same investors also are searching for new investing ideas and trading ideas for gains and income ahead.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day. Our goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while 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 Friday, July 21, 2017.

American Superconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: AMSC) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with a $6 target price (versus $4.21 close, after a 2.3% drop) at FBR Capital Markets. American Superconductor has a 52-week range of $3.88 to $9.38 and its market cap is a mere $81 million.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) has been hit hard this week on new illnesses and rodent news and several downgrades had already been seen. On Friday, the independent research firm Argus downgraded Chipotle to Hold from Buy. Chipotle closed down 4.5% at $365.05 on Thursday against a 52-week range of $352.96 to $499.00, but its shares were actually indicated to open up less than 0.2% higher on Friday.

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) was started as Underperform with a $3.50 price objective (versus a $3.83 close, after a 4% drop) at BofA Merrill Lynch. Groupon was indicated down another 1.3% at $3.78 on Friday, versus a 52-week range of $2.90 to $5.94 and versus a prior consensus target of $4.26.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $110 price target at BTIG. Johnson & Johnson closed up 1% at $136.57 on Thursday after a positive report from Credit Suisse, but it was indicated down 0.7% at $135.70 on Friday. J&J has a 52-week range of $109.32 to $137.08 and a consensus analyst target of about $138.50.

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James. While price target information was not seen early on, Juniper closed down 0.5% at $29.22 on Thursday and was indicated to open up 1.2% at $29.56 on Friday. Juniper has a consensus analyst target price of $31.09 and a 52-week range of $22.12 to $30.96.

KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) may have fallen more than 3% after earnings, but D.A. Davidson raised KeyCorp to Buy from Neutral and the CEO was also featured positively in a Jim Cramer interview on his Mad Money show on CNBC.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $58 target price (versus $60.52 close) at Citigroup. Occidental was down 0.6% on Thursday and was indicated another 1% lower at $59.90 on Friday. Its consensus analyst target was $65.64 and the 52-week range is $57.20 to $78.48.

Proofpoint, Inc. (NASDAQ: PFPT) was started with a Buy rating and was assigned a $115 price target (versus $92.48 close) at Needham & Company.

Revance Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: RVNC) was started as Overweight and was assigned a $50 price target (versus $22.80 close) at Cantor Fitzgerald. Revance had a consensus analyst target price of $37.20 and it had a 52-week range of $12.35 to $28.30.

Rexnord Corporation (NYSE: RXN) was started with a Buy rating and was assigned a $27 fair value estimate (versus $23.87 close0 at Janney. The firm sees significant opportunity for margin expansion throughout its forecast cycle and beyond from its specialized and highly engineered process and from its motion control equipment and water management solutions.

SLM Corp. (NYSE: SLM) sold off handily after earnings but was defended by Wedbush Securities. After falling 7% to $10.98, Wedbush reiterated its Outperform rating with a $14.50 target price. The firm feels that SLM’s status as being the largest in school originator in the country should allow it to sustain or even increase its market share and benefit from any de-emphasis out of the Department of Education on student lending.

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral and its already sub-current price target of $45 was reportedly cut down to a $35 price target in the call (versus $54.88 close) at Berenberg Securities. The firm believes that Wells Fargo’s competitive advantages have eroded and that its franchises face limited or no real growth, and its size was also large enough that Wells Fargo is likely to fight industry trends.

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Thursday’s was jammed full of major analyst upgrades and downgrades from the likes of BHP Billiton, HP, Kinder Morgan, Marathon Petroleum, Nike, Pfizer, Rite Aid, Tesla and about a dozen more companies.

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