Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AMD, Amazon, Capital One, Costco, Delphi, Twitter and Many More

December 18, 2017 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were already at all-time highs going into the tax reform deal, but Monday’s gains had the Dow Jones Industrial Average up over 100 points and the S&P 500 up about 10 points more. The bull market is now nearing nine years old, and the trend that continues to prevail is for investors to buy all the big market sell-offs. That trend has worked for all of 2017 and most of the past five years. 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 18, 2017.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Macquarie. The shares were up 1.6% at $10.29 on Friday and were indicated up another 1.75% at $10.47 on Monday. AMD has a 52-week trading range of $9.42 to $15.65, and it had a $14.27 consensus analyst price target.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) was reiterated as Overweight and the price target was raised to $1,375 from $1,220 at JPMorgan. The firm sees numerous growth opportunities driving revenue along with higher margins.

Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) was raised to Neutral from Underweight at Piper Jaffray. Merrill Lynch raised its rating to Buy from Neutral with a $107 price objective on Capital One. The bank and credit card issuer was already up 2.4% at $96.31 on Friday’s closing price, in a 52-week range of $76.05 to $97.31.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $215 price target (versus a $192.73 prior close) at BMO Capital Markets. Costco has a 52-week range of $150.00 to $195.35 and a consensus target price of $194.09.

Delphi Technologies PLC (NYSE: DLPH) was started as Buy with a $60 price target (versus a $50.95 close) at Jefferies. The firm sees the post-spin-off from Aptiv as the new Delphi is a leading powertrain supplier that will deliver above industry performance driven by gas and hybrid/electric content growth.

Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) was raised to Overweight from Neutral and the price target was raised to $27 from $20 at JPMorgan. It was also started as Buy with a $26 price target at a firm called Summit Redstone Partners. Twitter shares were indicated up 4.7% at $23.28 on Monday morning, in a 52-week range of $14.12 to $23.24.

There have been $100 billion worth of fresh new stock buyback announcements in the last few weeks.

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Other key analyst calls were seen in the following:

Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXN) was raised to Outperform from Neutral with a $150 price target (versus a $115.76 close) at Robert W. Baird.

Aptiv PLC (NASDAQ: APTV) was maintained as Buy but the new post-spin price target was adjusted to $100 from $118 (versus an $84.40 close) at Jefferies.

Boston Beer Co. (NYSE: SAM) was raised to Hold from Sell at Berenberg.

Discover Financial (NYSE: DFS) was raised to Buy from Neutral with an $83 price objective (versus a $74.59 close) at Merrill Lynch.

Domino’s Pizza Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) was started as Buy with a $210 price target (versus a $185.04 close) at Deutsche Bank.

Fairmount Santrol Holdings Inc. (NYSE: FMSA) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim.

Jabil Inc. (NYSE: JBL) was raised to Buy from Hold at Argus.

KLA-Tencor Corp. (NASDAQ: KLAC) was raised to Overweight from Sector Weight with a $134 price target (versus a $105.63 close) at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Netgear Inc. (NASDAQ: NTGR) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

Papa John’s International (NASDAQ: PZZA) was started as Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Phillips 66 Partners (NYSE: PSXP) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Quanex Building Products Corp. (NYSE: NX) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Wedbush Securities as the $24.05 share price is right at the $24 price target.

Ryanair Holdings PLC (NASDAQ: RYAAY) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse. The firm worries about rising costs after agreeing to talks that may recognize unions.

Sunoco L.P. (NYSE: SUN) was raised to Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs. Sunoco’s unit price was down 1.27% at $28.75 on Friday but indicated up 1.75% at $29.25 on Monday.

Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $52 price objective (versus a $37.19 close) at Merrill Lynch.

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) was started as Neutral and assigned a $103 price target at JPMorgan.

Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NASDAQ: FOX) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital Markets.

VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) was raised to Overweight from Sector Weight with a $142 price target (versus a $123.80 close) at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ: WING) was started as Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Friday’s top analyst calls included Delta Air Lines, Express Scripts, Marathon Oil, Under Armour, Valeant Pharmaceuticals and many more.

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