Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Agilent, Biogen, CB&I, Dick's, Home Depot, Mylan, Teva and More

Jon C. Ogg

The one trend that dominated more than half of the eight-year bull market is that investors have managed to keep finding new reasons to buy stocks 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. Our goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of the top analyst reports cover stocks to buy, but some calls 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 16, 2017.

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) was reiterated as Buy at Janney and the price target was raised to $70 from $65, and Jefferies reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $70 from $66. Agilent beat expectations top to bottom with 7.5% organic growth that was about two full points higher than consensus estimates as it continues to win more market share. The shares closed at $59.38 and were indicated to open at $61.75, just under its all-time high of $61.84.

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) was already rated as Buy at Goldman Sachs, but the firm added Biogen to the prized Conviction Buy List with a $338 price target (versus a $287.92 prior closing price).

Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. N.V. (NYSE: CBI) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the price target was slashed to $12 from $35 (versus an $11.19 close) at Jefferies. This stock has been slaughtered lately, and with turbine cost overruns persisting three quarters in a row, the firm believes that overruns could reemerge while it deleverages and cuts costs.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS) was downgraded to Hold from Outperform with a $29 price target (versus a $27.27 close) at Wedbush Securities. While there had been modest sales gains, the firm feels that Dick’s will need to keep a higher level of promotional activity to drive the business and the continued weakness in the hunt, fish and apparel sectors. Deutsche Bank also cut its rating to Hold from Buy.

Edison International (NYSE: EIX) was maintained a Buy with a $90 target price (versus a $79.92 close) at Jefferies. The firm noted the Edison and intervenors filed recommendations in the SONGS proceeding after failing to reach a revised settlement agreement, and after a long road the ultimate outcome likely will not be materially different from the original settlement.

Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) managed to turn in stronger numbers than expected again, but the stock closed down 2.6% at $150.17 on Tuesday. Raymond James raised its rating to Outperform from Market Perform. Wedbush maintained its Neutral rating but with a $165 price target, noting that while some investors may have picked at less than ideal incremental sales flow-through to profits and guidance benefiting from higher share repurchases, it was all in all a strong report. Shares closed were indicated to open higher at $151.00 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $119.20 to $160.86.

Mylan N.V. (NASDAQ: MYL) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $42 price target (versus a $30.13 close) at Citigroup. the shares were indicated to open up more than 3% at $31.10 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $29.39 to $49.42 and with a consensus analyst target price of $41.22.

Paychex Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) was raised to Equal Weight from Underweight with a $55 price target (versus a $55.59 close) at Morgan Stanley.

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: SPPI) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $14 price target (versus a $9.38 close) at H.C. Wainwright.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup in yet another capitulation downgrade. Shares closed up 4.7% at $17.97 on Tuesday, and the stock was indicated to open at $18.00 on Wednesday. Teva has a 52-week trading range of $16.81 to $53.96.

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