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.