Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: BioCryst, Exxon, FCA, HPE, IAMGOLD, Mallinckrodt, Rockwell Collins and More


Stocks were indicated to open higher on Wednesday after Tuesday’s strong sell-off. The indexes still remain close to all-time highs, and the one trend that has prevailed for more than five years is that investors have managed to keep finding new reasons to buy stocks after every sell-off. Many of those investors are also looking for new investing and trading ideas to generate gains and income.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week in an effort to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these top analyst reports cover stocks to buy. Other analyst calls are reiterations of ratings, and some even 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, September 6, 2017.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: BCRX) was up for part of Tuesday after positive results from a mid-stage hereditary angioedema study. The stock was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a $9 price target (versus a $4.93 prior close) at JPMorgan. The shares have a 52-week trading range of $3.95 to $5.91 and a consensus analyst target price of $9.25.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) was raised to Neutral from Sell with a $76 price target at UBS. Exxon closed up 0.8% at $77.18 on Tuesday and was indicated up 0.5% at $77.60 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $76.05 to $93.22. Its consensus price target was closer to $82.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays. The American depositary shares closed down 2.1% at $15.53 on Tuesday and were indicated up almost 5% at $16.30 in early Wednesday trading. Deutsche Bank had just been positive on FCA earlier in the week.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Merrill Lynch. It was kept at Sector Perform at RBC, but the price target was cut to $15 from $20. The firm said the results were better than what was feared but worse than what was hoped for. HPE was maintained as Outperform at Oppenheimer, and Jefferies maintained its Buy rating but cut its target to $17.50 from $22.00. Shares were down 1.9% at $14.04 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $11.99 to $14.86. They were indicated up 0.2% at $14.43 on Wednesday.

IAMGOLD Corp. (NYSE: IAG) reported on Tuesday that its significant gold discovery at its Saramacca project exceeded its initial targets. The stock was raised to Outperform from Neutral at CIBC World Markets. Its shares rose 3.3% to $6.93 on Tuesday and were indicated up 1% at $7.00 on Wednesday.

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Other key analyst calls were seen in the following:

AAR Corp. (NYSE: AIR) was started as Hold at Canaccord Genuity.

Emerge Energy Services L.P. (NYSE: EMES) was started as Neutral with an $8 fair value estimate (versus a $6.83 close) at Janney.

Evolent Health Inc. (NYSE: EVH) was reiterated as Buy with a $28 price target (versus a $17.70  close) at Jefferies, with the firm noting that investors should buy the dip after a 27% drop since its early August earnings report.

Hi-Crush Partners L.P. (NYSE: HCLP) was started as Neutral with a $10 fair value estimate (versus an $8.20 close) at Janney.

Interpublic Group of Companies Inc. (NYSE: IPG) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Mallinckrodt PLC (NYSE: MNK) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.

Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE: NVO) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Merrill Lynch.

Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) was raised to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup.

PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) was reiterated as Buy with a $70 target price (versus a $61.27 close) at Jefferies.

Rockwell Collins Inc. (NYSE: COL) is being acquired and multiple firms have removed their Buy or Outperform ratings now. Canaccord Genuity and Drexel Hamilton both cut its rating to Hold after the merger announcement.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO) was started as Overweight with a $220 price target (versus a $186.02 close) at Morgan Stanley.

Other grouped research notes released in recent days were seen as follows:

JPMorgan has three top internet picks for the rest of 2017.

Four contrarian tech stocks could end up as huge winners for investors.

Merrill Lynch gets more positive on U.S. steel sector stocks.

Four stocks should be winners from the recovery and rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Harvey.

How YogaWorks could double off its fresh lows after a dismal IPO.

Merrill Lynch has five ultra-safe dividend stocks that would hold up quite well if the stock market were to get the elusive correction.

Tuesday’s top analyst calls included Chesapeake Energy, Lululemon Athletica, Oracle, U.S. Steel, Walt Disney, YogaWorks and many more.

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