Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AGCO, Ford, GM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Netflix, Visa and More

October 13, 2017 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were indicated to open higher on Friday the 13th after a small sell-off on Thursday. What investors know is that the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are all effectively at all-time highs. The primary trend that has refused to end for at least five years of this eight-and-a-half-year-old bull market is that investors keep finding new reasons to buy stocks immediately after every market sell-off. Investors are also hunting 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, while others 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 Friday, October 13, 2017.

AGCO Corp. (NYSE: AGCO) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral with a $70 price objective (versus a $74.65 prior close) at Merrill Lynch. The shares were indicated down 2.5% at $72.85 on Friday, in a 52-week trading range of $48.93 to $75.58 and with a consensus analyst target price of $72.71.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight with a $14 price target (versus a $12.12 close) at Barclays. Ford has a consensus target price of $11.91 and a 52-week range of $10.47 to $13.27.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $55 price target (versus a $44.89 close) at Barclays. The shares closed down 1.3% at $44.89 on Monday and were indicated up 1% at $45.34 on Friday. GM has a 52-week range of $30.21 to $45.59 and a consensus price target of $41.68.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $16 price target (versus a $14.80 close) at Citigroup. The stock was indicated down 1.3% at $14.60 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $12.26 to $15.12. The prior consensus target price was $15.55.

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $235 from $220 (versus a $195.86 close) at Goldman Sachs. The firm feels that the street’s subscriber estimates are too low ahead of earnings and guidance, and it may stand out now as the highest analyst target on Wall Street (prior high was $230). The consensus target price is $194.84. Netflix has a 52-week range of $98.38 to $199.40, and its shares were indicated up 1.25% at $198.30 on Friday morning.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) was started as Overweight and assigned a $125 price target (versus a $108.11 close) at Stephens. Visa has a 52-week range of $75.17 to $108.71, and its consensus target price was $113.79.

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Other top analyst calls were seen as follows:

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACRX) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the price target was slashed to $2.25 from $7.00 (versus a $2.15 close) at Jefferies. The firm noted that a one-plus year delay seems likely after the FDA issued a complete response letter for Dsuvia.

Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE: AYI) was started as Sector Weight at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ: PLAY) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $77 price target (versus a $46.34 close) at Longbow Research.

Dollar Tree Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with an $88 price target (versus a $91.37 close) at Loop Capital.

Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd.  (NASDAQ: HMY) was downgraded to Sell from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Hostess Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: TWNK) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with an $11 price target (versus a $13.43 close) at UBS.

HubSpot Inc. (NYSE: HUBS) was downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA) was started as Overweight and assigned a $165 price target (versus a $146.74 close) at Stephens.

Newfield Exploration Co. (NYSE: NFX) Cut to Market Perform From Outperform with a $32 price target (versus a $29.78 close) at BMO Capital Markets.

Newlink Genetics Corp. (NASDAQ: NLNK) was started as Buy with a $22 price objective (versus an $11.25 close) at Merrill Lynch. The firm believes that NewLink’s Indoximod is undervalued after its Phase 2 efficacy is in line with competition and could become a backbone therapy for cancer treatment if successful in development.

NOW Inc. (NYSE: DNOW) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $15 price target (versus a $13.19 close) at Robert W. Baird.

OneMain Holdings Inc. (NYSE: OMF) was reiterated as Buy and the price objective was raised to $35 (versus a $30.92 close) at Merrill lynch, noting that the current buyout speculation is fueling a lift for OneMain.

PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $80 from $70 (versus a $68.86 close) at Jefferies. The firm feels that “Pay with Venmo” can add significantly to earnings in 2020.

RPC Inc. (NYSE: RES) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse, on a valuation downgrade.

SecureWorks Corp. (NASDAQ: SCWX) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays.

Spark Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCE) was reiterated as Buy with a $95 price target (versus an $86.20 close) at Jefferies.

Williams-Sonoma Inc. (NYSE: WSM) was started as Hold with a $54 price target at Stifel.

Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Ardelyx, Juniper Networks, Kroger, Phillips 66, Square, Transocean, Walmart and many more.

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