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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: ADM, BlackRock, DexCom, Mallinckrodt, McDonald's, Philip Morris, Redfin and More

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Stocks were indicated to open lower on Thursday, but the indexes remains very close to all-time highs. The trend that has prevailed during this eight-year bull market is that investors keep finding new reasons to buy stocks after every market sell-off. Those same investors also are 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 to find new investing ideas and trading ideas for our readers. Some of the top analyst reports cover stocks to buy. Other calls cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional color and commentary has been added on some of these daily analyst calls. The 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 Thursday, September 28, 2017.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (NYSE: ADM) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup. Shares closed down 1% at $43.05 on Wednesday and were indicated down almost 2% at $42.25 on Thursday. ADM has a 52-week trading range of $40.22 to $47.88 and has a consensus analyst target price of $42.77.

BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK) was raised to the Conviction Buy list from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. The asset management giant was given a $500 price target, versus a $438.40 closing price, and its market cap is $71 billion. BlackRock has a consensus target price of $470.50 and a 52-week range of $336.84 to $442.84.

DexCom Inc. (NASDAQ: DXCM) saw its shares down over 25% around $49.50 on Thursday morning, after the FDA approved Abbott Laboratories’ rival glucose monitoring device for adults with diabetes to test blood sugar levels without the finger-prick. DexCom was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James, but Wedbush Securities maintained its Outperform rating and $76 price target. JPMorgan cut its rating to Neutral from Overweight with a $71 price target.

Mallinckrodt PLC (NYSE: MNK) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $55 price target (versus a $35.39 prior close) at Goldman Sachs. It was indicated up 3.5% at $36.64 after the news and has a consensus analyst target of closer to $59 and a 52-week range of $33.61 to $72.49.

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $183 price target (versus a $154.05 close) at Longbow Research. The consensus target price is $171.21, and the 52-week range is $110.33 to $161.72.

Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM) was already rated as Buy but was added to the prized Conviction Buy list with a $135 price target (versus a $111.61 close) at Goldman Sachs. Its 52-week range is $86.78 to $123.55 and its consensus target price is $126.00.

Redfin Corp. (NASDAQ: RDFN) was started as Neutral with a $26 price target (versus a $25.24 close) at Piper Jaffray. Redfin has a post-IPO range of $15.82 to $33.49 and a consensus target price of $26.60.

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Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades were seen in the following:

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $198 from $183 (versus a $184.88 close) at Mizuho.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $63 from $61 at B. Riley.

Agrium Inc. (NYSE: AGU) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $134 price target (versus a $107.92 close) at TD Securities.

Arista Networks Inc. (NYSE: ANET) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital Markets.

AutoNation Inc. (NYSE: AN) was downgraded to Negative from Neutral with a $38 price target (versus a $48.28 close) at Susquehanna.

Bunge Ltd. (NYSE: BG) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Diageo PLC (NYSE: DEO) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $152 price target at Evercore ISI.

Eastman Chemical Co. (NYSE: EMN) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $101 price target (versus an $87.35 close) at Goldman Sachs.

Encana Corp. (NYSE: ECA) was raised to Outperform from Neutral (versus an $11.80 close) at Macquarie.

Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL) was started as Neutral at D.A. Davidson.

Endo International PLC (NASDAQ: ENDP) was started as Sell with a $7 price target (versus a $9.04 close) at Goldman Sachs. Its shares were down 4.5% at $8.63 after the call.

Horizon Pharma PLC (NASDAQ: HZNP) was started as Buy with a $16 price target (versus a $12.51 close) at Goldman Sachs. Shares were up 3% at $12.89 after the call.

Huntsman Corp. (NYSE: HUN) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $32 price target (versus a $26.94 close) at Wells Fargo.

Invesco Ltd. (NYSE: IVZ) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Lear Corp. (NYSE: LEA) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $197 price target (versus a $172.69 close) at Jefferies.

MediWound Ltd. (NASDAQ: MDWD) was started as Outperform and assigned a $9 price target (versus a $4.90 close) at Cowen, but the prior consensus target price was $10.50 after a recent stock offering raised about $22 million.

Oxford Immunotec Global PLC (NASDAQ: OXFD) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $21 price target (versus a $16.76 close) at BTIG.

Pier 1 Imports Inc. (NYSE: PIR) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $4.00 price target (versus a $4.49 close) at Loop Capital.

Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (NYSE: POT) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $24 price target (versus a $19.30 close) at TD Securities. The shares were indicated up 1% at $19.50 on Thursday morning.

Potbelly Corp. (NASDAQ: PBPB) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a $17 price target (versus an $11.50 close) at Piper Jaffray.

Syros Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: SYRS) was raised to Market Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities. Syros closed down 7.6% at $13.52 on Wednesday and was indicated up 3.5% at $14.00 on Thursday.

T. Rowe Price Group Inc. (NASDAQ: TROW) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $100 price target (versus an $88.08 close) at Goldman Sachs.

Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO) was reiterated with an Outperform rating at Cowen, but the price target was raised to $90 from $70. The shares were already at $75.47 ahead of the call, and they were above $76 at last look, with a new 52-week high of $76.26.

Visteon Corp. (NYSE: VC) was started as Hold with a $135 target price (versus a $124.00 close) at Jefferies.

Vistra Energy Corp. (NYSE: VST) was started with a Buy rating and was given a $22 price target (versus an $18.70 close) at Citigroup.

Nomura/Instinet is saying to stick with value in regional banks. It downgraded U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) to Neutral based on negative revision risks. The firm listed its top picks as Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC), Huntington Bancorp (NASDAQ: HBAN) and KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY). The report said:

We view the risk of significant negative revisions as relatively low across the regional banks, with little downside from rates and loan growth; benign credit conditions and a favorable outlook for capital return add to their appeal, but we don’t view valuations as particularly compelling. Higher rates, lower taxes, and infrastructure spending could drive upside, but Washington gridlock tempers our optimism.

Jefferies has opined about the value of the market, calling it value without the trap. The firm noted:

The S&P 500 sits near multi-year valuation highs, and though it’s the most expensive stocks that have driven much of that expansion, there are actually still plenty of “cheap” stocks. Of course, those “cheap” stocks could be more expensive than they appear if numbers are coming down, and that’s why we’ve identified 32 Buy-rated stocks which are cheaper than the S&P and which have seen flat or up forward earnings revisions for at least the last two quarters.

Wednesday’s top analyst calls included Axovant, Carnival, Micron Technology, Nike, SunPower, Vivint Solar, Walgreens and many more.

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