Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Amazon, Boeing, Chesapeake Energy, Eli Lilly, Gilead, Micron, NVIDIA, P&G, Qualcomm and More

January 16, 2018 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were indicated higher on Tuesday morning, for basically more of the same in gains almost every day of the new year. Now that the bull market is nearly nine years old, investors are deciding how to position their portfolios for 2018 and beyond. Investors are also looking for new ideas to generate income and gains.

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 of the daily analyst reports and research reports cover stocks to buy. Other calls cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional color and commentary has been added to most of these analyst calls. 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 Tuesday, January 16, 2018.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) received two fresh target hikes (BMO and Oppenheimer) on Tuesday morning, with BMO now being at the street high target of $1,600. Analysts just keep finding various ways to chase their targets higher regardless of Amazon’s sky-high valuations. Amazon shares were indicated up 1% at $1,320 on Tuesday, and it had a consensus target price of $1,310.47 ahead of the call.

Aon PLC (NYSE: AON) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) was raised to Positive from Neutral with a $72 price target (versus a $53.45 close) at Susquehanna.

ASML Holding N.V. (NASDAQ: ASML) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $380 from $350

BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK) was reiterated as Buy and the target price was raised to $620 from $520 (versus a $555.53 close) at Argus.

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $415 from $320 (versus a $336.21 close) at Cowen. The shares closed up 2.5% on Friday and were up another 1.1% at $340 on Tuesday.

Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $57 price target (versus a $45.51 close) at Citigroup.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral with a $4.50 price target (versus a $4.28 close) at Mizuho.

Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: DRNA) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $14 price target (versus an $8.42 close) at Evercore ISI.

Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $95 price target (versus an $86.98 close) at Goldman Sachs.

Finisar Corp. (NASDAQ: FNSR) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $16 price target (versus a $22.74 close) at Goldman Sachs.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $96 price target (versus a $79.02 close) at Wells Fargo. Gilead was indicated up 1.1% at $79.90 on Tuesday, and it has a consensus target price of $85.63. The 52-week trading range is $70.05 to $82.47.

Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE: GG) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised to $19.00 from $15.50 at Credit Suisse.

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Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY) was downgraded to Sell from Buy with a $101 target price (versus a $109.27 close) at Goldman Sachs.

HollyFrontier Corp. (NYSE: HFC) was raised to Neutral from Underperform with a $49 price target (versus a $52.51 close) at Macquarie.

Hortonworks Inc. (NYSE: HDP) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform but the price target was raised to $23 from $20 at Credit Suisse.

Infosys Ltd. (NYSE: INFY) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.

Lam Research Corp. (NASDAQ: LRCX) was raised to Positive from Neutral with a $250 price target (versus a $188.51 close) at Susquehanna.

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) was maintained as Buy at Argus after it and Intel announced that they will cease collaborative development efforts and work independently on future generations of 3D NAND. The firm sees a minimal impact for Micron and has a $55 price target (versus a $42.81 close).

Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $42 price target (versus a $39.79 close) at Deutsche Bank.

NVIDIA Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $240 from $225 (versus a $222.98 close) at Mizuho.

ONEOK Inc. (NYSE: OKE) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform with a $68 price target (versus a $58.67 close) at RBC Capital Markets.

Paychex Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $75 from $73 (versus a $67.66 close) at Argus.

PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: PNC) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $170 from $150 (versus a $151.84 close) at Argus.

Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) was raised to Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs, noting that pressures have abated but also that long-term growth prospects may be muted.

Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $75 price target (versus a $65.38 close) at Instinet. Qualcomm had a consensus target price of $64.94 and a 52-week range of $48.92 to $69.28.

Rio Tinto PLC (NYSE: RIO) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at HSBC.

Southwestern Energy Co. (NYSE: SWN) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral with a $6 price target (versus a $5.47 close) at Mizuho.

Spark Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCE) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral with a $35 price target (versus a $52.66 close) at Wedbush Securities. Shares were indicated down 4% at $50.55.

Spirit Airlines Inc. (NYSE: SAVE) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $50 price target (versus a $44.99 close) at Stifel.

Sysco Corp. (NYSE: SYY) was raised to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley.

Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UAA) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral with an $8 price target (versus a $15.12 close) at Macquarie.

Vale S.A. (NYSE: VALE) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $12.50 price target (versus a $13.53 close) at Deutsche Bank.

Williams-Sonoma Inc. (NYSE: WSM) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $61 price target (versus a $55.49 close) at Goldman Sachs.

Friday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Alphabet, Amazon.com, Apple, Coca-Cola, Comcast, Electronic Arts, Etsy, Facebook, FuelCell, Snap, Walmart and many more.

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