Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Apple, Caterpillar, Pfizer, Royal Caribbean, Shopify, Under Armour, Walmart and More

Stocks were indicated to open higher yet again on Wednesday for all-time highs on the Dow and S&P 500, with the Dow challenging 22,000 for the first time ever after strong gains in Apple. The bull market is now well over eight years old and many pundits are talking about valuation concerns. Still, the one theme that has persisted through all the caution and worrying is that investors keep finding new reasons to buy the stock market after every sell-off. Those same investors are also searching for new investing and trading ideas.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, and some cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional color and commentary has 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, August 2, 2017.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) beat earnings and gave solid guidance and its shares are leading the Dow to test 22,000 for the first time. Merrill Lynch reiterated its Buy rating with a $180 price objective. Credit Suisse reiterated Apple’s Outperform rating and raised its target to $175 from $170. BMO reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $180 from $170. Bernstein raised its target to $175 from $170 with an Outperform rating. Apple was up 0.9% at $150.05 ahead of earnings, in a 52-week trading range of $102.53 to $156.65. Shares were indicated to open up over 6% at $159.30 for a new all-time high after earnings.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) already has seen analysts chase up targets further after earnings. Now Argus is reiterating its Buy rating and $130 price target (versus a $113.10 prior close). Caterpillar’s 52-week range is $79.93 to $114.90.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform and the price target was raised to $37 from $33 (versus a $33.08 close) at BMO Capital Markets. Pfizer has a 52-week range of $29.83 to $35.95, and it had a consensus analyst target price of $37.40. Pfizer’s dividend yield is now almost 3.9%.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) was raised to Neutral from Sell with a $115 target price (versus a $116.87 close) at Goldman Sachs. Wedbush Securities took a more positive stance here by reiterating its Outperform rating and $129 price target noting that the cruise line impressively ratcheted up the full-year EPS and yield guide for the second straight quarter. The stock was up 3.3% at $116.87 on Tuesday and was indicated up another 2.6% at $119.90 on Wednesday. Royal Caribbean has a 52-week range of $65.10 to $120.00 and a consensus target price of $120.97.

Shopify Inc. (NYSE: SHOP) closed up 12.7% higher at $104.08 on Tuesday and was indicated up another 1.4% at $105.60 on Wednesday. Shopify was reiterated as Outperform with a $115 target at Wedbush. The firm noted that Shopify continued to exceed lofty expectations on another beat and raise quarter and that the company is firing on all cylinders across every aspect of its business. Other key target hikes were seen from CIBC to $120 from $105, Barclays to $90 from $70, RBC to $99 from $78, Morgan Stanley to $109 from $87, and Raymond James to $110 from $93.

Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UAA) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $21 price target at Citigroup. Wedbush maintained its Neutral rating and $17 price target, noting concerns around the fourth quarter weighted outlook and its growth and margin story. Stifel cut its target to $19 from $18 and Instinet slashed its target to $13 from $15. Barclays still sees upside to $20 in Under Armour, but that is down from a $22 target, and D.A. Davidson is keeping a bullish target of $23, versus a prior $28 target. Under Armour closed down 8.6% at $18.30 after earnings, and its new 52-week range is $18.01 to $43.85. If this reaction was a surprise, Under Armour was just featured in an exclusive piece as one of 11 companies that have lost their narratives.

Walmart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) was initiated with an Outperform rating and given a $90 price target (versus an $80.50 close) at Oppenheimer. The firm believes that Walmart is positioned for an accelerating sales and profit recovery. The 52-week range is $65.28 to $80.73, and the consensus target price is $80.59. Walmart’s stock is now at the highest level since late in 2014.

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