Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Akamai, Finisar, Helmerich & Payne, Kohl’s, Tiffany, Williams Partners and More

March 9, 2018 by 247lee

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The markets vacillated back and forth on Thursday, finally ending higher as investors kept an eye on a meeting at the White House with steel and aluminum workers, where the president officially announced trade tariffs but excluded Canada and Mexico. The futures on Friday morning looked higher on the back of a massive jobs report.

With the bull market now nine years old this week, the one trend that has prevailed for more than five years has been for investors to buy all the big pullbacks. Investors also still have to decide how they want to be positioned for the rest of 2018 and beyond.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning to find new trading and investing ideas for its readers. Some analyst calls cover stocks to buy, while others cover stocks to sell or 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 are this Friday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.

Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. The 52-week trading range is $44.65 to $75.19. The Wall Street consensus price target is $72.05. The stock closed Thursday at $75.08 a share.

CyberArk Software Ltd. (NASDAQ: CYBR) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch. The 52-week trading range is $39.34 to $55.63, and the consensus price target is set at $54.63. The stock closed Thursday at $50.31 a share.

Finisar Corp. (NASDAQ: FNSR) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham. The 52-week trading range is $16.64 to $29.41. The posted consensus price target is $22.77. The stock closed Thursday at $20.22. Shares traded down over 10% in Friday’s premarket.

Helmerich & Payne Inc. (NYSE: HP) was raised to Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna. The 52-week trading range for the oil services company is $42.16 to $75.02. The consensus price target is posted at $64.33. The stock closed Thursday at $65.02

Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen. The 52-week trading range for the discount retailer is $35.16 to $69.48. The consensus price target is set at $69. The shares closed Thursday at $62.19 apiece.

Telecom Italia SpA (NYSE: TI) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. The 52-week trading range for the stock is $7.57 to $10.53. The posted consensus price target is $19.35. The stock closed Thursday at $10.30.

Tiffany & Co. Inc. (NYSE: TIF) was started with a Neutral rating at Loop Capital, along with a $103 target price. That compares with the consensus price objective of $111.18. The 52-week trading range for the luxury jewelry store is $84.15 to $111.48. The stock closed Thursday at $102.09

Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN) was started with a Buy rating a Loop Capital, which put a $46 price target on it. The Wall Street consensus target is set at $37.73. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $16.19 to $38.28. The shares closed Thursday at $35.13.

Williams Partner L.P. (NYSE: WPZ) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. The 52-week range for the stock is $34.74 to $44.06. The consensus price target was last seen at $46.22. The shares closed the day on Thursday at $36.14.

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Other key analysts upgrades and downgrades were seen in the following.

Air Lease Corp. (NYSE: AL) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch. The 52-week trading range is $34.42 to $50.70. The posted consensus price target is $54.96. The shares ended the day on Thursday trading at $43.07 apiece.

Carvana Co. (NASDAQ: CVNA) was resumed with a Buy rating at Citigroup and raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Barrington Research. Its 52-week trading range is $8.14 to $24.89. The consensus price target was not available. The stock closed on Thursday at $17.01.

Commercial Metals Co. (NYSE: CMC) is raised to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. The 52-week trading range is $17.05 to $26.72, and the consensus price objective is $26.63. This is one company that should benefit from the steel tariffs.

Insys Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: INSY) was downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray. The 52-week trading range is $4.10 to $15.02, and the consensus price objective is $9.80. Shares closed trading on Thursday at $7.67 but were down 11% in premarket action.

Match Group Inc. (NASDAQ: MTCH) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $15.42 to $44.50. With the shares closing Thursday at $44.36, this could be a valuation call.

Mattel Inc. (NYSE: MAT) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays. The 52-week trading range for the venerable toy giant is $12.71 to $25.97. The consensus price objective is posted at $16.29. The stock ended the trading day on Thursday at $15.97.

Masimo Corp. (NASDAQ: MASI) was started with an Overweight rating and a $97 price target at Barclays. That compares with the consensus price target of $99.67. The 52-week trading range is $80.69 to $104.71. The stock closed Thursday at $86.49.

REV Group Inc. (NASDAQ: REVG) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo. The 52-week range for the stock is $23.38 to $33.15. The consensus target price is $43.00, and shares closed Thursday at $23.85, down over 12% on the day.

Veeva Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: VEEV) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan. The 52-week trading range is $44.51 to $78.28. The consensus price target is $71.73. With the shares closing Thursday at $77.69, this could be a valuation call.

Thursday’s top analyst calls included American Water Works, Berkshire Hathaway, Booking, CRISPR, Dollar Tree, U.S. Steel, Whiting Petroleum and more.

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