Investing

Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AECOM, Ciena, Evoqua Water Tech, Funko, GlaxoSmithKline, Square and Many More

courtesy of Jon Ogg

Stocks were directionless on Monday, with most Americans slowly trickling back into the office after an extended Thanksgiving break. Still, the major U.S. indexes remain close to all-time highs and the trend that has won over and over is for investors to buy every pullback. Investors continue to look for new investing and trading ideas to generate gains and income ahead.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these analyst reports and research notes cover stocks to buy. Others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

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

We have seen several post-underwriting quiet periods come to an end: Allena Pharmaceuticals, Altair Engineering, Evoqua Water Tech, Funko and Spero Therapeutics. These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Monday, November 27, 2017.

AECOM (NYSE: ACM) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $43 from $37 (versus a $36.10 prior close) at Argus, with the firm noting a substantial value. Argus noted that it expects AECOM earnings growth to improve with more project wins and noted the recently acquired Shimmick Construction (for $175 million) added about $1.35 billion to its project backlog. The 52-week trading range for the shares is $30.15 to $40.72, and the consensus analyst target price is $40.04.

Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $28 price objective (versus a $20.98 close) at Merrill Lynch. The stock was indicated up 2.5% at $21.50 a share on Monday, in a 52-week range of $19.40 to $27.98 and with a consensus target price of $28.79.

Evoqua Water Technologies Corp. (NYSE: AQUA) has seen its quiet period come to an end, and shares closed up 1% at $22.01 on Friday and were indicated up 0.6% higher at $22.14 on Monday. The stock was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $26 price target at Citigroup. It was also started as Outperform and assigned a $25 target price at RBC Capital Markets. Goldman Sachs started Evoqua as Neutral with a $22 target price, and it was started as Neutral at Robert W. Baird and as Hold at Stifel. Evoqua has a post-IPO range of $19.10 to $25.59.

Funko Inc. (NYSE: FNKO) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $12 price objective (versus an $8.20 close) at Merrill Lynch. Jefferies started Funko as Buy with a $13 price target. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and Stifel each started it as Buy with an $11 price target. Piper Jaffray started Funko as Overweight and assigned a $12 price target. Goldman Sachs started it as Buy with a $16 price target. JPMorgan started it as Overweight with a $14 price target, and BMO Capital Markets started Funk as Outperform with a $10 price target. Funko’s post-IPO range is $6.93 to $8.60.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC (NYSE: GSK) was raised to Buy from Neutral at UBS. Its American depositary shares closed at $35.04 on Friday and were indicated up 2.3% at $35.85 on Monday, in a 52-week range of $34.72 to $44.54 and with a consensus target price of $43.33.

Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) was downgraded to Sell from an already cautious Neutral rating at BTIG, and the firm has a $30 price target. The stock has a 52-week range of $12.38 to $49.56, and it had a consensus analyst target of $38.62. The market cap was $19 billion ahead of this downgrade, versus consensus estimates of almost $1 billion in revenues for 2017 and almost $1.3 billion in revenues for 2018.

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Other key analyst calls were seen as follows:

Allena Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNA) was started as Buy with a $22 price target (versus a $13.13 close) at Jefferies. The firm sees a blockbuster drug potential for ALN-177 in enteric hyperoxaluria and it is modeling $624 million in peak-adjusted sales. Allena was started as Outperform with a $30 price target at Wedbush Securities, which also noted blockbuster drug potential with up to $3 billion in sales all the way out in 2026. Cowen started it with an Outperform rating, while Credit Suisse started it with an Outperform rating and assigned a $22 target price.

Altair Engineering Inc. (NASDAQ: ALTR) was started as Buy with a $28 price target at Deutsche Bank. It was started as Outperform at William Blair. Canaccord Genuity started it with a Hold rating and assigned a $25 price target. JPMorgan started it as Neutral with a $25 price target. The stock closed up 4% at $24.90 a share on Friday ahead of the quiet period expiration.

Appian Corp. (NASDAQ: APPN) was started as Outperform at William Blair, but this call is after a follow-on stock offering where the firm was in the syndicate. Appian closed at $21.16, in a 52-week range of $14.60 to $28.65.

Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. (NASDAQ: BWLD) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS. Its shares were indicated down 0.6% at $145.00 on Monday after the downgrade.

Delphi Automotive PLC (NYSE: DLPH) was reiterated as Buy with a $118 price target (versus a $100.86 close) at Jefferies. The firm based the call on the pre-spin Aptiv & Delphi Technologies opportunities.

Invitation Homes Inc. (NYSE: INVH) was started as Outperform and assigned a price target of $25.50 (versus a $23.66 close) at Evercore ISI.

Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: IRWD) was started as Outperform with a $19 target price (versus a $15.64 close) at Credit Suisse. The firm noted that its drug pipeline is positioned to drive longer-term upside.

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (NYSE: JEC) was reiterated as Buy (and maintained on the Focus List) and the price target was raised to $73 from $62 (versus a $63.29 close) at Argus. The firm sees the multiyear turnaround finally taking hold despite continued macroeconomic pressures and weakness in end markets.

Kimco Realty (NYSE: KIM) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform and the price target was cut to $20 from $23 at Robert W. Baird.

Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James. It was indicated up 0.8% at $79.90, in a 52-week range of $69.92 to $86.25.

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC) was started with a Sell rating and assigned a $120 price target (versus a $130.01 close) at Loop Capital.

SolarEdge Technologies (NASDAQ: SEDG) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Spero Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRO) was started as Neutral with a $16 price objective at Merrill Lynch. Oppenheimer started the shares with an Outperform rating and assigned a $30 target price. Cowen started the stock with an Outperform rating, and Stifel started it as Buy with a $26 target price.

TerraForm Power Inc. (NASDAQ: TERP) was started as Neutral with a $13 price target (versus an $11.56 close) at Goldman Sachs. Its 52-week trading range is $10.99 to $14.50.

Zogenix Inc. (NASDAQ: ZGNX) was started as Market Perform at JMP Securities.

Jefferies has remained positive heading into year-end. The firm noted that the outlook for S&P 500 multinational revenues continues to brighten to make investing little bit easier going into year-end. The firm also noted that European macro data releases show no sign of slowing, while the dollar has failed to rally despite an imminent rate hike.

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