Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Amgen, Boeing, Chevron, Exxon, Foot Locker, Lowe’s, Nokia, PayPal, Sprint, Wells Fargo and More

February 5, 2018 by Jon C. Ogg

Investors have been reminded that the stock market can sell off after a near 666-point drop in the Dow on Friday, and the gap down was less than 1% after the major futures selling pressure abated some on Monday morning.

This bull market is now almost nine years old, and there has not been a 5% market correction in nearly two years. The trend that has proven itself the right trend over and over for the past five years or so has been for investors to buy the pullbacks. Investors are also still looking at how they should position their portfolios for this year and beyond into rising interest rates, tax reform, accelerated earnings and stronger GDP growth.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. The goal is to find new ideas for investors and traders alike. Some of these analyst reports and research reports cover stocks to buy. Other reports cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional color and commentary has been added on most of the daily analyst reports. 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, February 5, 2018.

Accenture PLC (NYSE: ACN) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight and the price target was raised to $180 from $159 (versus a $156.90 prior close) at Morgan Stanley.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Atlantic Equities. Amgen closed up 0.8% at $187.01 on Friday.

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $433 from $400 at Mizuho.

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was reiterated as Buy at Jefferies and the price target was raised to $400 from $339. Berenberg reiterated its Buy rating on Boeing and raised its target to $415 from $395. Shares closed down 2.25% at $348.91 on Friday, and they were indicated down 1.2% at $344.75 on Monday morning.

Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $460 price target (versus a $387.50 close) at Wells Fargo.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) was down 5.57% at $118.58 on Friday after poor earnings and many price target cuts were on Monday. Wells Fargo maintained its Outperform rating and cut the target to $125 from $129, and Jefferies maintained its Buy rating but cut its target down to $149 from $152. Goldman Sachs maintained its Buy rating on Chevron but removed it from the Conviction Buy list. The stock was indicated down 1.15% at $117.25 on Monday.

CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT) was raised to Market Perform from Underperform with a $49 price target (versus a $50.62 close) at BMO Capital Markets. CIT was maintained as Neutral at Credit Suisse, but the price target was raised to $54 from $50.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight and the price target was cut to $25 from $33 at Barclays.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) was down 5.1% at $84.53 on Friday after poor earnings, and the stock was indicated down 1.3% at $83.26 on Monday. Credit Suisse maintained its Neutral rating but lowered its target to $80 from $84, noting that it was cutting earnings and production forecasts. Wells Fargo lowered its target to $87 from $88, and Jefferies lowered its target price down to $87 from $90.

FirstCash Inc. (NYSE: FCFS) was reiterated as Outperform with an $83 price target (versus a $73.95 close) at Wedbush Securities. The firm believes that Latin America is going to continue offer the potential of 15% to 20% revenue growth and slightly higher earnings and EBITDA.

Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL) was reiterated as Outperform but was added to the Best Ideas List at Wedbush. The firm’s channel checks point to fourth-quarter numbers tracking at the high end of guidance and that downward pressures should abate in 2018.

GrubHub Inc. (NYSE: GRUB) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James. GrubHub closed down 3% at $70.65 on Friday and was indicated down 3.1% more at $68.50 on Monday.

Illumina Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price target was raised to $275 from $260 at Citigroup. Shares closed down 4.4% at $220.18 on Friday and were barely negative on Monday’s early indications.

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Infosys Ltd. (NYSE: INFY) was downgraded to Negative from Neutral with a $13 price target (versus a $17.75 close) at Susquehanna.

Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K) was started with a Buy rating and assigned an $80 price target (versus a $65.45 close) at Pivotal Research.

Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $129 price target (versus a $101.50 close) at Jefferies.

MBIA Inc. (NYSE: MBI) was started as Market Perform with a $7 price target (versus a $7.24 close, after a 3.5% drop) at Keefe Bruyette & Woods. MBIA has a 52-week range of $6.04 to $10.89.

Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: KORS) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $81 at Canaccord Genuity.

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) was raised to Buy from Hold at Merrill Lynch, noting an attractive valuation and solid position heading into the coming 5G upgrade cycle. Merrill Lynch’s target rose to €5.25 from €4.50 (implying 19% upside from its €4.40 close). Nokia’s American depositary shares were flat on Friday at $5.40 and were indicated up 2.5% at $5.53 on Monday, in a 52-week range of $4.51 to $6.65.

Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $375 from $335 at Argus.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: NCLH) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo.

Prestige Brands Holdings Inc. (NYSE: PBH) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at D.A. Davidson.

Redfin Corp. (NASDAQ: RDFN) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform with a $28 price target (versus a $19.76 close) at RBC Capital Markets.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) was raised to Sector Weight from Underweight at KeyBanc Capital Markets. Sprint shares closed up 5.1% on Friday despite the market sell-off, and it has a 52-week trading range of $4.91 to $9.44.

Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) took multiple downgrades last week, even after many targets had been cut ahead of earnings. FBN Securities has maintained its Outperform rating on Symantec, but the firm lowered its price target to $33 from $35.

Union Pacific Corp. (NYSE: UNP) was reiterated as Buy at Argus, with the independent research firm noting that the recent sell-off offers a buying opportunity. After closing down 2.3% at $129.36, its shares were down from a 52-week high of $143.05.

Unitil Corp. (NYSE: UTL) was reiterated as Buy with a $50 fair value estimate (versus a $43.44 close) at Janney.

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) was down 2.2% at $64.07 on Friday’s sell-off, but the regulatory size limit rules and penalties had shares down about 6.5% at $59.90 on Monday. Citigroup downgraded Wells Fargo to Neutral from Buy. BMO maintained its Market Perform rating but lowered its target to $62 from $60. Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to Underweight from Overweight. Credit Suisse maintained its Neutral rating and $65 target price.

Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $38 price target (versus a $31.63 close) at UBS.

Merrill Lynch’s technical team was the one noting a near-term bearish and way overbought trend last Thursday morning, and the firm has said that its view over the weekend was still tactically bearish, and it sees the next support levels on the S&P 500 at 2,715 (the 50-day moving average) and then down at 2,696 to 2,673.

Friday’s top analyst calls were in Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon.com, Amgen, Apple, Mastercard, Nokia, Shopify, U.S. Steel and over a dozen more.

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