Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Aetna, AIG, Applied Materials, Autozone, Delphi, First Solar, Toll Brothers and More

Stocks have hit new all-time highs after tax reform looks more and more certain, but stocks were lower on Wednesday morning on profit taking. There had been a rotational trading pattern seen in recent days, with the hot technology stocks being less favored over tax reform winners and value stocks. Still, the trend that has continued to prevail has been for investors to buy all the big market sell-offs. Investors are also looking 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. The goal is to find at least some of those new investing and trading ideas for investors and traders alike. Some of the daily analyst reports and research reports cover stocks to buy, while others 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 Wednesday, December 6, 2017.

Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) has been higher based on its proposed CVS merger. Analysts have been chiming in, and they by and large are not looking for a stalking bid. Aetna was downgraded to Hold from Buy by Argus, while Credit Suisse raised its target to $195 from $174.

American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) was last seen at $59.53, in a 52-week trading range of $57.90 to $67.47. Goldman Sachs started AIG as Neutral earlier in the week and now we have seen Deutsche Bank raise its rating to Hold from Sell. The consensus analyst target price is $66.38 for AIG.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) was started as Outperform and assigned a $65 price target at Wells Fargo. Shares closed at $50.08 on Tuesday, and the 52-week range is $31.29 to $60.89. Applied Materials also has a consensus target price of $68.09 due to strong opinions and gains seen before the recent tech sell-off.

AutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO) closed at $712.76 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $491.13 to $813.70. Now that earnings are out, we have seen multiple analysts ratchet their price targets higher, and the pre-move consensus analyst price target was about $690. Barclays raised its target to $800 from $710, Deutsche Bank raised its target to $700 from $625, JPMorgan raised its target to $815 from $800 and Morgan Stanley raised its target to $700 from $585.

Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) was down 1.9% at $65.94 on Tuesday but was indicated up almost 1% on Wednesday morning. Morgan Stanley raised its rating to Equal Weight from Underweight, and the price target was raised to $68 from $61. Carnival’s 52-week range is $50.77 to $69.89, and the consensus \target price was $72.71.

Delphi Technologies PLC (NYSE: DLPH-WI) has seen several analysts come out with positive valuations ahead of the spin-off. Now Merrill Lynch has issued a Buy rating and a $57 price objective, while Barclays started it as Overweight with a $64 price target. This follows positive valuation targets set at $57 by both Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley a day earlier.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) was up almost 7% more at $61.21 on Tuesday after issuing its 2018 earnings and sales projections. First Solar has seen several firms raise their price targets: Deutsche Bank to $75 from $65, JPMorgan to $59 from $58 and Robert W. Baird to $69 from $53.

L3 Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LLL) just hosted its investor day and projected that it wants to be considered among the top defense firms. Multiple analysts have raised their target prices. RBC raised its rating to Outperform from Sector Perform and its target price to $239 from $202. Other price target hikes were seen as follows: Cowen to $210 from $200, Jefferies to $201 from $188 and JPMorgan to $220 from $205. L3 closed up 1.1% at $195.05 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $143.54 to $199.97. Its consensus price target was $209.50 ahead of these target hikes.

Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL) was down over 7% to $46.93 on Tuesday after earnings and its shares were indicated down about 1% at $46.51 on Wednesday. Several firms have issued new targets, but they show some caution versus the current price. KeyBanc Capital Markets downgraded Toll to Sector Weight from Overweight. Target changes were seen as follows: Barclays raised to $40 from $37, JPMorgan raised to $48 from $45, KBW raised to $50 from $47, RBC raised to $54 from $52 and Wedbush raised to $45 from $40. Toll Brothers has a 52-week range of $30.45 to $51.08 and its pre-changed consensus price target was $45.97.

Five aerospace and defense firms are expected to be big winners from tax reform. Also, here are the Credit Suisse top 15 winners from tax reform.

Merrill Lynch has issued its top 11 stock picks for 2018 from its quant and fundamentals.

Tuesday’s top analyst calls included Bluebird Bio, Delphi, DowDuPont, Expedia, McDonald’s, Snap, Ulta Beauty, Vale and many more.

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