Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: ADP, Bluebird Bio, DaVita, First Solar, Square, SunPower, US Steel and More

December 11, 2017 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks recently hit all-time highs, and they were indicated to open marginally higher on Monday. The trend that has continued to prevail is investors buying 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. Our goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for investors and traders alike. Some daily analyst reports and research reports 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. 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 Monday, December 11, 2017.

Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (NYSE: APD) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $185 from $166 (versus a $160.92 prior close) at Jefferies. The shares were up 1.4% at $163.17 on Monday morning.

Attunity Ltd. (NASDAQ: ATTU) was started as Buy and assigned a $13 price target (versus a $6.82 close) at Needham. This may be a call for the stock to double, but Attunity, a seller of big data management software solutions, had a market cap of only about $117 million and a consensus analyst target price of $11.83 on last look.

Automatic Data Processing Inc. (NASDAQ: ADP) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $135 price target (versus a $116.02 close) at Goldman Sachs. ADP has a 52-week trading range of $94.11 to $121.77 and a consensus target price of $112.95.

Bluebird Bio Inc. (NASDAQ: BLUE) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $211 from $130 (versus a $171.15 close) at Jefferies. Bluebird Bio was said to have compelling clinical data from its bb2121 program in multiple myeloma, and the firm thinks currently the durability is Darzalex-like and could improve further. Cantor Fitzgerald maintained its Underweight rating but raised its target price to $113 from $58.

Brookfield Property Partners L.P. (NYSE: BPY) was downgraded to In-Line from Outperform at Evercore ISI.

DaVita Inc. (NYSE: DVA) was raised to Buy from Neutral with an $82 price target (versus a $67.71 close) at Citigroup. The 52-week range is $52.51 to $70.16, and the consensus price target is $69.45.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays.

Essex Property Trust Inc. (NYSE: ESS) was raised to Outperform from In-Line at Evercore ISI.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) was raised to Outperform from Neutral with an $82 price target (versus z $70.02 close) at Robert W. Baird. It has a 52-week range of $25.56 to $70.27 and a consensus target price of $64.90.

Hologic Inc. (NASDAQ: HOLX) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen. Shares were indicated up 1.25% at $43.25 on Monday.

Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE: ITW) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $190 price objective (versus a $166.49 close) at Merrill Lynch.

Lexington Realty Trust (NYSE: LXP) was downgraded to In-Line from Outperform at Evercore ISI.

Macerich Co. (NYSE: MAC) was downgraded to Underperform from In-Line at Evercore ISI.

Magellan Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE: MMP) was started as Outperform with an $80 price target (versus a $67.10 close) at BMO Capital Markets.

Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ORMP) was started as Buy at B. Riley, and the $20 price target implied more than 100% upside from the $8.54 closing price. Its shares were indicated higher on Monday, but its market cap is only $122 million. The company’s product portfolio includes ORMD-0801 as an oral insulin capsule.

PACCAR Inc. (NASDAQ: PCAR) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Praxair Inc. (NYSE: PX) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $186 from $176 (versus a $151.41 close) at Jefferies.

SendGrid Inc. (NYSE: SEND) was up 10% at $21.36 on Friday ahead of the world’s largest email marketing platform’s quiet period expiration. The stock was started as Overweight with a $26 price target at KeyBanc. Stifel started it as a Buy with a $25 price target, while Morgan Stanley started it as Equal Weight. SendGrid’s post-IPO range is $13.61 to $22.21.

Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) was started as Market Perform with a $36 price target (versus a $38.09 close) at Cowen. The firm said that the current share price target already implies that its potential is fully valued and that interested investors should wait for a better price entry point in the share price. Square has a consensus target price of $38.97 and a 52-week range of $13.53 to $49.56.

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) was raised to Outperform from Neutral with a $10 price target (versus an $8.34 close) at Robert W. Baird. SunPower has a 52-week range of $5.84 to $11.70. The consensus analyst target is $9.04.

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: SNSS) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo. Shares closed up almost 14% at $2.48 on Friday and were indicated up 15% at $2.86 on Monday.

Tabula Rasa Healthcare Inc. (NASDAQ: TRHC) was started as Outperform at William Blair.

Total System Services Inc. (NYSE: TSS) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Trade Desk Inc. (NASDAQ: TTD) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $58 price target (versus a $45.25 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. Shares were indicated up about 4% at $47.00 on Monday.

United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) was raised to Hold from Sell at Axiom Capital. U.S. Steel has a 52-week range of $18.55 to $41.83 and a consensus target price of $31.00.

Waste Management Inc. (NYSE: WM) was raised to Buy from Hold at Stifel.

W.P. Carey (NYSE: WPC) was downgraded to Underperform from In-Line at Evercore ISI.

Commerzbank has opined that the euro will remain weak against the U.S. dollar in 2018 based on tax reform pushing up consumption and investment at a time that Fed rate hikes continue. At the same time, it sees the European Central Bank maintaining an expansionary policy that will keep the euro weak. The Commerzbank call sees the euro at 1.16 by the end of March of 2018, falling to 1.14 in June and then to 1.12 by the third quarter, and at the same level at the end of 2018.

Now that bitcoin has futures trading around it, some of the bitcoin-related stocks were way up and have sold back off ahead of and into the futures launch.

Friday’s top analyst calls were in Boston Scientific, Ciena, GoDaddy, Kratos, Lipocine, Repligen, Teladoc and many more.

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