Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Ctrip, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Morgan Stanley, Yelp, Yum China and More

October 9, 2017 by Jon C. Ogg

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Stocks were indicated to open higher on Monday morning, partly led by overseas markets and a gain in China. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average hit all-time highs yet again last week, and this week will mark the start of third-quarter earnings reporting season. The undeniable trend of this more than eight year bull market is that investors have kept 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 these daily analyst reports cover stocks to buy, but 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 Monday, October 9, 2017.

Ctrip.com International Ltd. (NASDAQ: CTRP) was started as Overweight and assigned a $62 price target (versus a $55.71 prior close) at Barclays. Ctrip’s American depositary shares have a 52-week trading range of $39.71 to $60.05, and the consensus analyst price target is $60.35.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse, with the downgrade being based on valuation rather than fundamentals. Goldman Sachs has a 52-week range of $165.51 to $255.15, and it has a consensus target price of $239.76.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $149 price target (versus a $133.22 close) at Wells Fargo. Johnson & Johnson has a consensus price target of $137.60, and its 52-week range is $109.32 to $137.08.

Medtronic PLC (NYSE: MDT) was maintained as Buy but the price target was lowered to $85 from $90 (versus a $79.81 close) at RBC Capital Markets. Stifel maintained its Hold rating on Medtronic but lowered its price target to $83 from $91. The shares were indicated down 2.6% at $77.70 on Monday.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) was raised to Outperform from Neutral with a $54 price target (versus a $49.76 close) at Credit Suisse. It has a 52-week range of $30.96 to $50.14 and a consensus price target of $50.21.

Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight with a $44 price target (versus a $46.73 close) at Cantor Fitzgerald. Yelp has a 52-week range of $26.93 to $46.76 and a consensus price target of $40.87.

Yum China Holdings Inc. (NYSE: YUMC) was started with a Buy rating and given a $51.50 price target (versus a $40.82 close) at Instinet. The 52-week range is $23.79 to $42.12, and the consensus analyst target is $40.82.

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Other top analyst calls were seen as follows:

Almost Family Inc. (NASDAQ: AFAM) was started with a Neutral rating and assigned a $54 price target (versus a $50.60 close) at JMP Securities.

Conn’s Inc. (NASDAQ: CONN) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel. It was up 1.45% at $27.95 on Friday but was indicated down 3.6% at $26.95 on Monday.

E*Trade Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: ETFC) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $49 price objective (versus a $43.95 close) at Merrill Lynch. Its shares were down over 2.3% on Friday but were up 0.65% at $44.24 on Monday in the early indications.

Express Scripts Holding Co. (NASDAQ: ESRX) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

Immunomedics Inc. (NASDAQ: IMMU) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $16 from $14 (versus an $11.66 close) at Jefferies. Immunomedics was down 5.8% on Friday.

INC Research Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: INCR) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $69.00 from $62.50 (versus a $54.45 close) at Jefferies. The firm noted its modest late-stage improvement and a compelling risk/reward opportunity, and its shares were indicated up almost 2% more at $55.45 on Monday morning.

ObsEva S.A. (NASDAQ: OBSV) was assumed with an Outperform rating at Credit Suisse, but the firm’s previous target of $27 was reset lower at $16.

Onconova Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ONTX) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $6 price target (versus $1.75 close) at H.C. Wainwright.

Solaris Oilfield Infrastructure Inc. (NYSE: SOI) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $20 from $16 (versus a $17.07 close) at Oppenheimer.

SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse.

Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $42 price target (versus a $38.49 close) at Mizuho.

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen.

Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup.

YPF S.A. (NYSE: YPF) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $28 price target (versus a $22.25 close) at Citigroup.

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Friday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Albermarle, Anadarko, Costco, Cree, Kraft Heinz, Netflix, Valero, Walt Disney and many more.