Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Avis Budget, Blue Apron, Chipotle, Domino's, Northrop Grumman, Pepsi, Rio Tinto, T-Mobile, Valero and More

Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $400 price target (versus a $343.36 close) at Jefferies.

Okt Inc. (NASDAQ: OKTA) was started as Buy with a $38 price target (versus a $31.57 close) at Needham.

Patterson-UTI Energy (NASDAQ: PTEN) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $24 price target (versus a $17.80 close) at BMO Capital Markets.

Pepsico Inc. (NYSE: PEP) was downgraded to In-Line from Outperform at Evercore ISI. Pepsico shares closed up 0.2% at $112.14 on Tuesday, and the consensus target price is $125.09. The 52-week range is $104.77 to $122.51.

Post Holdings Inc. (NYSE: POST) was started as Overweight with a $90 price target (versus a $72.36 close) at Barclays.

Rio Tinto PLC (NYSE: RIO) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $61 from $52 at Argus, with the firm raising its 2018 earnings forecast to $4.90 from $4.49 per American depositary share and setting a 2019 estimate of $5.03.

S&P Global Financial Inc. (NYSE: SPGI) was reiterated as Buy and the target price was raised to $210 from $178 (versus a $181.94 close) at Argus.

Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: TTPH) was last seen down almost 50% at $2.75 after a drug in Phase 3 trials failed to meet a number of endpoints. BMO Capital Markets downgraded Tetraphase to Market Perform from Outperform. Stifel slashed its target price to $6 from $13. The previous 52-week range was $4.91 to $6.97.

T-Mobile US Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) was reiterated as Buy with a target price of $78 (versus a $57.69 close) at Argus. The independent research firm believes that T-Mobile remains the best positioned of the national carriers to take market share through another handset adoption and upgrade super-cycle, even as industry competitive conditions have normalized.

Union Pacific Corp. (NYSE: UNP) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $152 price target (versus a $128.30 close) at Citigroup.

Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $114 price target (versus an $89.48 close) at Citigroup.

Merrill Lynch has issued an update to its late-January call that noted its technical sell signal due to such crazy inflows into stocks in January. Its February RIC report was released, and Merrill Lynch noted several issues. They call stocks as being down but not out, and the firm sticks with its view on equities over bonds. This is considered a pullback rather than the peak, and they believe the Federal Reserve will look past the recent market gyrations. They even noted that market volatility is normal and was overdue as the market fundamentals remain supportive. While growth is key to the thesis, the firm did note that interest rates and the dollar could add to volatility. The more worrisome issue would be rising deficits bear market signposts.

Tuesday’s top analyst calls were in shares of ADT, CBOE, Celgene, JPMorgan, 3M, NetApp, Total, Tyson Foods, Weatherford and many more.

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