Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AbbVie, Apple, Exact Sciences, Freeport-McMoran, Laboratory Corp, Splunk and More

Print Email

With a landslide of earnings on tap for this week, the futures are trading lower this morning as the S&P 500 is still on track for a gain for January. More than 20% of S&P 500 companies will be posting fourth-quarter results this week, ranging from technology giants to health care to big oil. If January stays positive, it would be the 10th month of gains for the Dow Jones Industrials and S&P, which would represent the best consecutive monthly winning streak since 1959.

The one trend that has dominated this bull market is that investors keep finding new reasons to buy stocks after every single sell-off. Those same investors are looking for new investment and trading ideas to generate gains and income.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of the top analyst reports cover stocks to buy. Other calls cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional color and commentary has also been added on some of these daily analyst calls. The consensus analyst price target data are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Monday, January 29, 2018.

AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital Markets. The 52-week trading range for the pharmaceutical giant is $59.27 50 $125.86. The Wall Street consensus price target is posted at $110.55. The shares closed Friday at $123.21.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) saw its target price raised to $220 from $200 at Cascend Securities. The analysts cite upside potential to iPhones, iPads and iMacs. The 52-week trading range for the tech behemoth is $120.62 to $180.10. The consensus price objective is set at $189.48. The shares closed trading last Friday at $171.51.

Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (NYSE: APD) saw its target price raised at Monness Crespi and Hardt to $190 from $180. The analysts noted that while first-quarter results were so-so in comparison, they feel that the company’s growth will only accelerate from here. The 52-week range for that stock is $133.53 to $175.17. The consensus price target is posted at $177.26, The stock closed Friday at $169.85.

Exact Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ: EXAS) was started with a Neutral rating at Goldman Sachs. The 52-week trading range is $17.77 to $63.60. The consensus price objective is set at $59.60. The stock closed last Friday at $50.07.

Freeport-McMoran Inc. (NYSE: FCX) is reiterated with an Outperform rating at Cowen. The analysts feel the company is making positive progress in Indonesia, with the biggest incremental development being that company management is comfortable that a reasonable fair market price will be paid for any divestment of Grasberg. The 52-week range for the company is $11.05 to $20.25. The consensus price target is $19.16. The stock closed Friday at $19.54.

Laboratory Corp. Inc. (NYSE: LH) had coverage resumed at Goldman Sachs as the stock was returned to the firm’s Conviction Buy list. The 52-week trading range is $128 to $177.80. The consensus price objective is $181.69. The shares closed Friday at $176.41.

Mercadolibre Inc. (NASDAQ: MELI) saw its price target raised to $415 from $350 at Stifel. The analysts believe strong sales momentum continued through the holiday season particularly in Brazil and Mexico on the back of investments in free shipping, customer loyalty and marketing. The 52-week range for the shares is $180.22 to $383.69. The consensus price objective is posted at $305.64. Shares closed way above that level on Friday at $381.66.

Myriad Genetics Inc. (NASDAQ: MYGN) was started with a Sell rating at Goldman Sachs. The 52-week range is $15.15 to $41.57. The consensus price target is $31.22. The shares closed Friday at $41.01.