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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AT&T, E*Trade, PG&E, Plug Power, Priceline, Tiffany, VMware and More

Stocks set yet another record on the Dow and S&P on Thursday as tax reform looked closer, but some last-minute changes and forecasts have set uncertainty in on Friday morning. Stocks were swinging around the tax “yes/no” headlines on Friday. It is important to understand that the primary trend that has continued to prevail for more than five years is for investors to buy all the big market sell-offs. Many investors are also on the hunt 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. Our goal is to find at least some of those new investing and trading ideas for investors and traders alike. Some of these analyst reports and research notes cover stocks to buy. Other reports cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

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

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Friday, December 1, 2017.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was maintained as Buy at Jefferies with a $48 price target, almost 33% higher than the last closing price of $36.38. The call is on the heels of hosting meetings with AT&T management over video transition, wireless competition and strategy, 5G, FirstNet and tax reform. AT&T has a 52-week trading range of $32.55 to $43.03 and a consensus analyst price target of $39.40.

E*Trade Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: ETFC) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $56 price target (versus a $48.14 prior close) at Credit Suisse. The firm forecast significant upside potential to 2019 sell-side earnings, and the firm thinks it has an implied option because if numbers are weak it would become an M&A target. E*Trade shares have a 52-week range of $32.25 to $48.72 and a consensus price target of $48.94.

PG&E Corp. (NYSE: PCG) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $55 price target (versus a $54.24 close) at Mizuho. It has a 52-week range of $49.83 to $71.57 and a consensus price target of $65.08.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $5 target price at Canaccord Genuity, which implies more than 100% upside from the $2.37 prior close. The shares were indicated up over 8% at $2.57 on Friday morning, and the 52-week range is $0.83 to $3.21. The consensus target price was last seen at $3.09 prior to this call.

Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ: PCLN) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus. Shares closed at $1,739.71 on Thursday but were down 0.3% on Friday. The 52-week range is $1,459.49 to $2,067.99, and the consensus price target was $1,996.38.

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) was raised to Overweight from Sector Weight and given a $115 price target (versus a $94.50 close) at KeyBanc Capital Markets. Tiffany shares have a 52-week range of $76.08 to $97.29. The consensus price target is $97.89.

VMWare Inc. (NYSE: VMW) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $142 price target (versus a $120.11 close) at BMO Capital Markets. Maxim raised its target to $123 from $113, while Stifel raised its target to $152 from $150. VMware shares were indicated up 1.8% at $122.30 after beating earnings estimates, in a 52-week range of $76.81 to $127.60 and with a consensus price target of $121.35.

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Other key analyst calls were seen as follows:

ACM Research Inc. (NASDAQ: ACMR) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $10 price target (versus a $6.75 close) at Craig-Hallum.

Carvana Co. (NYSE: CVNA) was maintained as Neutral with a $14 price target (versus a $16.21 close) at Wedbush Securities. The firm noted that the infrastructure is in place for even faster growth, but Carvana must consider the optimal new market, advertising and inventory levels to drive growth but at the same time remain on plan to reach positive cash flow without raising additional capital.

Fortive Corp. (NYSE: FTV) was raised to Buy from Hold with a price target of $84 (versus a $74.65 close) at Argus.

Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) was up 6% at $25.86 on Thursday based on better earnings support. Argus reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target price up to $32 from $28.

Oxford Industries Inc. (NYSE: OXM) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham.

Redfin Corp. (NASDAQ: RDFN) was started with an Underweight rating and assigned a $17 price target (versus a $22.78 close) at Stephens. It has a post-IPO trading range of $15.82 to $33.49 so far in 2017. The consensus analyst target was previously listed as $23.71.

SK Telecom Co. Ltd. (NYSE: SKM) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup. This was after a 3.7% gain to $27.44 on Thursday, but its American depositary shares were indicated lower on Friday. The 52-week range is $20.44 to $28.13.

Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE: SF) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $64 price target (versus a $56.24 prior close) at Wells Fargo.

Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $44 from $40 (versus a $35.89 close) at Jefferies.

TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: AMTD) was started with an Underperform rating and assigned a $45 price target (versus a $51.17 close) at Credit Suisse.

Ulta Beauty Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA) was indicated down 5.7% at $209.12 on Friday morning after the prior day’s earnings report. It was maintained as Buy with a $300 price target at Jefferies, with the firm seeing Ulta delivering highly attractive sales and profit gains despite unanticipated headwinds.

UniQure N.V. (NASDAQ: QURE) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $28 price target (versus a $15.14 close) at H.C. Wainwright.

Vantiv Inc. (NYSE: VNTV) was raised to Outperform from Neutral with a $100 price target (versus a $75.00 prior close) at Wedbush.

Many of the top chip semiconductor and processing power tech companies have come under pressure in recent days, but Merrill Lynch is quite positive on five of the major winners for 2018.

Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Amazon.com, Barrick Gold, Boston Scientific, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Gap, Gilead Sciences, Goldcorp, Workday and many more.

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