Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alcoa, Apple, Netflix, Plains All American, Starbucks, Transocean, Vivint Solar, Vodafone, Walt Disney

Stocks indicated lower on Wednesday, but the Dow and S&P 500 are effectively at all-time highs and have barely pulled back off. Even though this bull market is now well over eight years old, the prevailing theme is that investors keep finding new reasons to buy stocks on weakness and 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 9, 2017.

Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA) was started as Neutral with a $42 price target at Credit Suisse, with the firm noting a rerating higher as it trades at a discount to peers. Still, it does cite aluminum price tracking risks for the stock. Alcoa closed up over 4% at $39.58 on Tuesday and was indicated down 0.2% at $39.45 on Wednesday. Alcoa has a 52-week trading range of $20.53 to $40.36.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was reiterated as Outperform with a $176 target price (versus a $160.08 prior close) at RBC Capital Markets. The firm expects big gains into and after the iPhone 8 launch based on its historic launches, and they even noted that Apple should become the first $1 trillion company in history (versus $827 billion today). Apple has a 52-week range of $102.53 to $161.83, and it has a consensus price target of $167.98.

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) shares were indicated down 3.7% at $171.80 after Disney announced it will be ending its Disney content deal with Netflix. Jefferies reiterated its Hold rating and kept its $165 target price on Netflix.

Plains All American Pipeline L.P. (NYSE: PAA) fell 19% to $20.32 and hit a 52-week low of $20.00 on Tuesday after unexpectedly cutting its distribution, casting more doubt on MLPs. It saw some downgrades on Tuesday, and now Morgan Stanley downgraded Plains All American to Equal Weight from Overweight with a $25 target price.

Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with a $56 price target (versus a $54.52 close) at BMO Capital Markets. Starbucks has a 52-week range of $50.84 to $64.87 and a consensus price target of $64.87.

Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) was raised to Neutral from Sell with a $9.75 price target (versus an $8.57 close) at Goldman Sachs. Transocean has a 52-week range of $7.67 to $16.66 and a consensus price target of $10.95.

Vivint Solar Inc. (NYSE: VSLR) saw its earnings beat expectations as its costs fell, but the loss was still $0.33 per share. The stock was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $7 from $6 at Oppenheimer. Deutsche Bank took the other side and downgraded Vivint Solar to Hold from Buy with a $5.50 price target. Shares were down 2% at $5.00 ahead of the report, and the stock was last seen down 5% at $4.75 ahead of Wednesday’s opening bell. Vivint Solar has a 52-week range of $2.50 to $6.09.

Vodafone Group PLC (NASDAQ: VOD) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch. The firm noted that Vodafone’s balance sheet optionality adds to improving fundamentals and that credit markets are embracing releveraging. This call was for the local shares, but the converted price objective of $32.56 per American depositary share compares with a $29.62 close. Vodafone has a 52-week range of $24.17 to $31.69 and a consensus price target of $34.26.

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) was last seen down 5% and was indicated to open around $101.30 after earnings and cutting its Netflix deal. Jefferies reiterated its Hold rating and $110 price target. Credit Suisse and lowered estimates and lowered its target price to $120 from $125. Merrill Lynch reiterated its Buy rating and $125 price objective on Disney.

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Tuesday’s top analyst calls included FibroGen, Foot Locker, GW Pharma, LendingClub, Lockheed Martin, Tesla, UPS and over a dozen more.

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