Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alarm.com, Biogen, Blue Apron, Cisco, Lowe’s, Pandora, Waste Management and More

February 16, 2018 by Jon C. Ogg

This week has been a wild ride, and stocks were looking for direction based on more inflationary concerns after the import prices were hotter than expected. The bull market is now just three weeks shy of being nine years old. No trend can last forever, but the one that keeps proving to be right is that investors have been rewarded handily buying the pullbacks. Now investors still have to decide how they want to be positioned for 2018 and beyond.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week to find new ideas for investors and traders alike. Some 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 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 Friday, February 16, 2018.

Acorda Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ACOR) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a $37 price target (versus a $25.10 prior close) at Piper Jaffray.

Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $81 from $70 at Argus.

Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AERI) was started as Buy with a $78 price target (versus a $53.65 close) at H.C. Wainwright.

Alarm.com Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: ALRM) was raised to Outperform from In-Line with a $45 price target (versus a $37.88 close) at Imperial Capital.

Amber Road Inc. (NYSE: AMBR) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $10 price target (versus a $9.74 close) at Canaccord Genuity.

Azul S.A. (NYSE: AZUL) was started as Buy at UBS.

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus, with the independent research firm citing a challenging outlook.

Blue Apron Holdings Inc. (NYSE: APRN) was raised to Neutral from Sell at Northcoast Securities. The stock closed down 4.6% at $3.31 on Thursday but was indicated up almost 4% at $3.43 on Friday morning.

Calithera Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ: CALA) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $14 price target (versus a $6.95 close) at Citigroup.

Canadian National Railway Co. (NYSE: CNI) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus.

Chesapeake Lodging Trust (NYSE: CHSP) was reiterated as Buy with a fair value estimate of $32 (versus a $26.32 close) at Janney.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was up after earnings and saw multiple analysts raise their target prices. Now Argus has reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $50.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) was reiterated as Buy and the $65 target price (versus a $54.54 close) was maintained at Argus.

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Continental Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLR) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $70 from $65 at Credit Suisse, with the call after it pre-released fourth-quarter oil volumes at 4% above Wall Street expectations and handily beat its guidance range.

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HLT) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $100 from $94 at Argus.

Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. (NYSE: HII) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised to $335 from $241 at Credit Suisse.

Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ: JACK) was maintained as Outperform but the price objective was cut to $115 from $125 at Oppenheimer, with the firm noting that perception might not reflect reality and investors should buy into weakness in the shares.

KIMCO Realty Corp. (NYSE: KIM) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch.

Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $115 from $110 at Oppenheimer. Lowe’s closed at $96.51 and a consensus analyst target price of $109.83.

Maxwell Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: MXWL) was started as Outperform with a $7 price target at Oppenheimer, with the firm noting a positive growth trajectory and catalysts ahead.

MuleSoft Inc. (NYSE: MULE) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a $35 price target (versus a $26.13 close) at JPMorgan. Shares were indicated up over 11% at $29.05 after earnings.

Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) was down 6.6% at $77.28 on Thursday after a mixed earnings report. Omnicom was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $90 price target at BMO Capital Markets. Macquarie raised it to Neutral from Underperform with a $77 price target.

Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) was maintained as Outperform with a $12 price target (versus a $5.05 close) at Wedbush Securities, with the call being a favorable endorsement ahead of next week’s earnings.

Trinity Industries Inc. (NYSE: TRN) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $53 price target (versus a $34.06 close) at Wells Fargo.

Volaris, or Controladora Vuela Compañía de Aviacion (NYSE: VLRS), was started as Buy at UBS.

Waste Management Inc. (NYSE: WM) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $92 from $87 at Oppenheimer. Waste Management was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

Wendy’s Co. (NASDAQ: WEN) was raised to Buy from Neutral with an $18 price target (versus a $15.70 close) at Guggenheim.

Thursday’s top analyst calls included AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Baidu, Cisco, General Electric, Honeywell, 3M, Salesforce.com, SunPower, United Technologies and many more.