Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Biogen, Carbonite, Celgene, Emerson Electric, Kinder Morgan, Netflix, UnitedHealth and Many More

October 17, 2017 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks hit a new high on Monday, and they were indicated to open slightly higher on Tuesday. The Dow is now knocking on 23,000’s door, and this bull market is now closer to nine years old than eight. The trend that has ruled without fail for more than five years is that investors keep finding new reasons to buy stocks after every market sell-off. Those same investors also are 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 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 Tuesday, October 17, 2017.

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $400 price target at Mizuho. Stifel raised its rating to Buy from Hold with a $415 price target. The shares closed down 0.6% at $335.68 on Monday and were indicated up 2% at $342.50 on Tuesday. The consensus analyst target was $336.79 ahead of the calls, and Biogen has a 52-week trading range of $244.28 to $344.37.

Carbonite Inc. (NASDAQ: CARB) was started as Market Outperform with a $30 price target (versus a $22.30 prior close) at JMP Securities. It has a 52-week range of $14.10 to $24.60 and had a consensus target price of $26.57.

Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG) was started as Outperform with a $162 price target (versus a $136.71 close) at Sanford Bernstein. It has a 52-week range of $96.93 to $147.17, and its consensus analyst target was $154.74.

Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE: EMR) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $79 price objective (versus a $64.44 close) at Merrill Lynch. The consensus target price was $62.28 prior to this call, and the 52-week range is $49.38 to $64.92.

Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $22 price target (versus an $18.81 close) at Goldman Sachs. Kinder Morgan’s consensus target price was $24.67, and it has a 52-week range of $18.23 to $23.01. The shares were indicated down 0.3% at $18.75 after this rating was cut.

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) was up 1.6% at $202.68 ahead of earnings and up only about 0.3% at $203.30 after earnings. Jefferies reiterated its Hold rating and raised its target to $190 from $180, and Wedbush maintained that embarrassing Underperform rating while raising its target to $93 from $88 based on cash flow burn. FBR Capital Markets reiterated its Buy rating but raised its target to $207 from $172. Loop Capital reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $242 from $228.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $250 price target (versus a $193.20 close) at BMO Capital Markets. It has a consensus target price of $211.78 and a 52-week range of $136.22 to $200.76. This is now the highest price target on Wall Street, as Thomson Reuters showed the prior street-high target at $235.

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:

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) was reiterated as Buy with a $70 price target (versus a $66.91 close) at Jefferies.

Commercial Metals Co. (NYSE: CMC) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $26 price target (versus a $20.50 close) at Jefferies, with higher margins ahead expected.

Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus, with the independent research firm noting that it sees decelerating comparable store sales.

Energy Transfer Partners L.P. (NYSE: ETP) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Halcon Resources Corp. (NYSE: HK) was raised to Buy from Neutral with an $8 price target (versus a $5.90 close) at Seaport Global Securities.

Legg Mason Inc. (NYSE: LM) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $44 price target (versus a $37.63 close) at Deutsche Bank.

Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE: OAS) was started as Overweight and assigned a $14 price target (versus an $8.67 close) at Piper Jaffray.

Owens Corning (NYSE: OC) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $90 from $77 at Credit Suisse, with the call being on improved outlook for its insulation sales ahead.

Phillips 66 Partners L.P. (NYSE: PSXP) was raised to Neutral from Sell with a $59 price target (versus a $51.91 close) at Goldman Sachs.

Prudential Financial Inc. (NYSE: PRU) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $123 price target (versus a $109.37 close) at Citigroup.

Spirit Airlines Inc. (NASDAQ: SAVE) was maintained as Buy but the price target was cut to $45 from $55 (versus a $33.47 close) at Stifel.

Spectra Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: SEP) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $41 price target (versus a $44.38 close) at Goldman Sachs.

Targa Resources Corp. (NYSE: TRGP) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $53 price target (versus a $45.69 close) at Goldman Sachs.

WEX Inc. (NYSE: WEX) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $145 price target (versus a $120.25 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

WisdomTree Investments Inc. (NASDAQ: WETF) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $13 price target (versus an $11.00 close) at Deutsche Bank.

Xoma Corp. (NASDAQ: XOMA) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $38 price target (versus a $22.04 close) at H.C. Wainwright. This stock was down 3.1% on Monday but was indicated up 3.2% at $22.75 on Tuesday.

Monday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Adobe, Apple, Bristol-Myers, Citigroup, Ford, Groupon, Phillips 66, United Rentals and many more.

I'm interested in the Newsletter