Stocks have been challenging their all-time highs heading into year’s end. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up about 25% and the S&P 500 has returned about 20%, if dividends are included. It’s now the last week of 2017 and investors have to figure out how they want their investments positioned for 2018 and beyond. It is important to keep in mind that this bull market is now nearing nine years old and that investors have continued to do well buying pullbacks. Those same investors continue to look for new investing and trading ideas.
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, while others cover stocks to sell or avoid.
We have included basic trading data on all analyst calls, with some having far more detail on each call. Consensus analyst price targets mentioned and other valuation metrics are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.
After today, there are only two trading days until 2018. These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Wednesday, December 27, 2017.
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P. (NYSE: BIP) was maintained as Neutral at Credit Suisse after it entered into a pact to sell a 27.8% interest in ETC Transmission to China Southern Power Grid for $1.3 billion.
Callaway Golf Co. (NYSE: ELY) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $13.50 price target (versus a $15.06 prior close) at Compass Point. The shares are up 50% since February, and their 52-week trading range is $9.93 to $15.63. The consensus analyst price target was $16.64 prior to this call.
Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) was maintained as Neutral at Credit Suisse after the bank and lender reduced its 2017 buyback authorization after it refiled the CCAR submission.
General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS) was reiterated as Hold at Argus, but it was also called a value stock. The call follows what were called solid fiscal earnings results despite some near-term challenges.
Sarepta Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SRPT) was reiterated as Outperform with a $76 price target at Oppenheimer. The firm sees a substantial 2018 approaching where competition is still a mishmash. The firm highlighted the 15 programs that Sarepta has ongoing, while it also seeks to take advantage of its first-mover advantage as a commercial Duchenne muscular dystrophy leader with a three to five year jump. Sarepta previously closed at $56.51 a share.
Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) was maintained as Sector Weight at KeyBanc Capital Markets, noting lowered sales expectations for Model 3 deliveries. The firm also believes that the Model 3 margin ramp will disappoint when investors will have to acknowledge lower growth that is not priced into Tesla shares. The stock closed down 2.4% at $317.29 on Tuesday and was indicated down 0.5% more at $315.80 on Wednesday.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) was reiterated as Outperform at Credit Suisse on the heels of it announcing last week that it would buy Empresas Banmédica, a leading health care provider and insurer serving Chile, Colombia and Peru. The $2.8 billion deal is said to be a testament that UnitedHealth will continue to use its strong balance sheet to be an opportunistic acquirer.
United Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: UTHR) was reiterated as Outperform at Wedbush Securities, but the firm raised its price target to $232 from $213. The $19 increase consisted of roughly $11 per share for the addition of RemoSynch and about $8 per share for time value. United Therapeutics closed at $150.03, so this is a 50% upside target call now, and it has a 52-week range of $114.60 to $168.42.
Wayfair Inc. (NYSE: W) was maintained as Outperform at Wedbush, with the firm noting that William Sonoma, Bed Bath & Beyond and Pier 1 continue to adapt to e-commerce but they continue to lose share to online retailers including Amazon and Wayfair.
24/7 Wall St. has tracked 13 big upside calls from oil and gas analysts for 2018 picks now that oil is challenging $60 per barrel again.
There are also four fresh picks in biotech and tech that could generate gains of up to 100% in 2018 if its analysts are correct.
Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Agnico Eagle Mines, Apple, Embraer, FedEx, Nike, Unitil and more.