Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Freeport-McMoran, Gilead, FuelCell, Oracle, Take-Two, Tesla, Waste Management and More

October 4, 2017 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were indicated to open lower on Wednesday, but this is on the heels of having hit all-time highs into and right after the start of the fourth quarter. The one trend that keeps on trucking in this more than eight year bull market is that investors have managed to keep finding new reasons to buy stocks after every market sell-off. Those same investors are also on the hunt for new investing and trading ideas with their capital.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day. Our goal is to find new investing 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.

The consensus analyst price target data and valuation metrics are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service. Additional color and commentary has been added on most of these daily analyst calls.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Wednesday, October 4, 2017.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) was maintained as Buy but the target price was cut to $19 from $23 (versus a $14.34 prior close) at Jefferies. The firm is concerned that negotiations between FCX and Indonesia regarding the sale of a majority stake in PT-FI to locals have become more contentious.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) was reinstated with a Hold rating and was given a $93 target price (versus an $83.19 close) at Jefferies. Still, the firm has a fundamental positive and underlying view that KITE Axi-cel sales will get off to a good start and build some momentum while investors wait to see how HCV volumes and prices settle out in the second half of this year.

FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $4 price target (versus a $1.89 close) at Oppenheimer. It was indicated up almost 6% at $2.00 after the call, and the stock has a 52-week range of $0.80 to $5.67 and a consensus analyst price target of $2.70. More detail is now available on this call.

Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) was started with an Overweight rating and assigned a $55 price target (versus a $48.69 close) at Piper Jaffray. Oracle has a 52-week range of $37.62 to $53.14 and a consensus price target of $56.52.

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) was started as Overweight with a $115 price target (versus a $101.07 close) at Barclays. The consensus target price is $99.94, and the 52-week range is $41.70 to $103.73.

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $500 price target at Nomura, which is above the prior street-high analyst target price of $464 and compares to a prior closing price of $348.14. Tesla has a 52-week range of $178.19 to $389.61, and it previously had a consensus price target of $318.63.

Waste Management Inc. (NYSE: WM) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel. the shares closed up 0.6% at $79.28 on Tuesday and were indicated to open down 0.5% at $78.90 on Wednesday. The stock has a 52-week range of $61.08 to $79.28 and a consensus target price of $79.60.

Follow @Jonogg on Twitter to receive the daily analyst calls and other market research calls directly on your feed.

Other top analyst calls were seen as follows:

Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) was started as Equal Weight and assigned a $65 price target (versus a $63.45 close) at Barclays.

Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP) was downgraded to Market Perform from Strong Buy (versus a $98.98 close) at Raymond James.

ARRIS International PLC (NASDAQ: ARRS) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $38 from $34 (versus a $28.99 close) at Jefferies.

Capstone Turbine Corp. (NASDAQ: CPST) was raised to Outperform from Perform with a $2 price target (versus a $0.70 close) at Oppenheimer. The shares were up 10% at $0.77 on the call, in a 52-week range of $0.58 to $1.48. More specific details have been added on this call.

Domino’s Pizza Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) was started as Neutral with a $200 price target (versus a $202.81 close) at Credit Suisse.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) was started as Overweight with a $129 price target at Barclays. Shares of EA closed at $117.96 on Tuesday and were up above $118.15 on last look. EA has a consensus analyst target price of $126.43.

FirstCash Inc. (NYSE: FCFS) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $73 price target (versus a $63.00 close) at Credit Suisse. The 52-week range is $39.80 to $63.60, and the consensus price target is $65.57.

FMSA Holdings Inc. (NYSE: FMSA) was maintained as Buy with a $5 target price (versus a $4.57 close) at Jefferies, with the call being on the heels of Bloomberg reporting that the company may be acquired by a Belgian miner.

Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $64 price target (versus a $55.35 close) at MKM Partners.

Middlesex Water Co. (NASDAQ: MSEX) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $44 fair value target (versus a $40.47 close) at Janney. The firm called it undervalued with strong earnings growth expected after big investments were made.

PRA Group Inc. (NASDAQ: PRAA) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral and the fair value estimate was cut to $22 from $27 at Janney.

Republic Services Inc. (NYSE: RSG) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel.

Sherwin-Williams Co. (NYSE: SHW) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $410 from $375 (versus a $374.37 close) at Credit Suisse. Jefferies also reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target price to $400 from $364.

Simply Good Foods Co. (NASDAQ: SMPL) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $16 target price (versus an $11.80 close) at Goldman Sachs. This is the parent of the Atkins brand.

Texas Capital Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: TCBI) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with an $87 price target (versus an $86.65 close) at Wedbush Securities, noting that the firm’s price target had been reached.

Union Pacific Corp. (NYSE: UNP) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $120 price target (versus a $114.89 close) at Citigroup on Wednesday, just a day after Morgan Stanley cut its rating to Equal Weight with a $100 price target.

Winnebago Industries Inc. (NYSE: WGO) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel.

Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Accenture, Ericsson, General Motors, Phillips 66, United Rentals, Urban Outfitters, Xerox, Yum Brands and many more.

I'm interested in the Newsletter