Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse. The downgrade was based on the firm’s concerns over growing competitive challenges to key diabetes products Trulicity (which is about 40% of sales) and Humalog.
EQT Corp. (NYSE: EQT) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $79 price target (versus a $56.03 close) at Citigroup.
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at CIBC, but the $22 price target still implied 10% upside from the $19.96 closing price.
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $17 price objective (versus a $16.26 close) at Merrill Lynch. While this call may be very late to the GE story, this represents losing one of the long-term bullish firms that had been defending upside in GE on a valuation and recovery basis.
Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $75 price target (versus a $53.01 close) at Guggenheim.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) was down on Friday after it was given poor marks despite seeing a revenue growth for the first time in over five years. Now the independent research firm Argus has reiterated its Buy rating and raised its price target to $185 from $175 (versus a $162.37 close).
Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) was raised to Outperform from Perform with a $33 price target (versus a $27.85 close) at Oppenheimer.
KMG Chemicals Inc. (NYSE: KMG) was started as Neutral and was given a $73 price target (versus a $64.16 close) at Goldman Sachs.
Kirby Corp. (NYSE: KEX) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with an $83 price target (versus a $74.55 close) at Wells Fargo.
Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.
MarketAxess Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: MKTX) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.
Meritage Homes Corp. (NYSE: MTH) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.
Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (NYSE: PEG) was raised to Outperform from Neutral with a $55 price target (versus a $49.80 close) at Macquarie.
Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $21.50 price target (versus an $18.67 close) at Sandler O’Neill.
Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at Atlantic Equities.
Sierra Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: SRRA) was reiterated as Outperform with a $5 price target (versus a $3.19 close) at Wedbush Securities, with the firm noting that its Prexasertib study shows proof of concept in BRCA wild-type ovarian cancer.
Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) was maintained as Outperform with a $70 price target (versus a $61.26 close) at Wedbush, noting that same-store sales growth should be in line with expectations and that the medium-term hurdle American same-store sales growth is also achievable.
Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse with a $30 price target (versus a $27.46 close) at Credit Suisse. The firm’s channel checks suggest meaningful risk of a mixed execution versus accelerating revenue expectations from the street. This is after Jefferies downgraded Symantec to Underperform with a $23 target just last week.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform with a $60 price target (versus a $51.91 close) at Scotia Capital.
Williams-Sonoma Inc. (NYSE: WSM) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $62 from $60 (versus a $55.29 close) at Argus, noting an expectation for a lower tax rate in fiscal 2019.
Worldpay Inc. (NYSE: WP) was reinstated as Overweight with a $93 price target (versus a $78.73 close) at Morgan Stanley. Worldpay was also reinstated as Outperform with an $87 price target at Credit Suisse.
Credit Suisse’s U.S. Equity Strategy team asserts that the stock market strength in January has not only been about taxes. The firm noted that the performance across regions and sectors does not support the consensus view that the strong S&P 500 gains in January were primarily due to tax reforms. Credit Suisse believes that a constructive economic and earnings backdrop is the true catalyst for the gains, and the importance of this note is that fundamentally driven rallies are far more sustainable.
Friday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Altria, American Express, Apple, Chipotle Mexican Grill, IBM, Netflix, Nike, Sirius XM, Switch and about two dozen more.
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