Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Albermarle, BB&T, Cheniere, Chesapeake Energy, Kinder Morgan, Red Hat, Roku and More

March 27, 2018 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks surged higher on Monday after it appears that the trade war risks may have been somewhat overblown. Stocks were indicated to open higher on Tuesday as well. The bull market is now over nine years old and the trend that has prevailed so far has been for investors to buy the pullbacks. Investors are still trying to decide how they want their allocations positioned for the rest of 2018 and beyond.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week in an effort to find new ideas for investors and traders alike. Some of the daily analyst and research reports cover stocks to buy. Others 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 Tuesday, March 27, 2018.

Adamas Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ADMS) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $39 price objective (versus a $24.40 prior close) at Merrill Lynch.

Albemarle Corp. (NYSE: ALB) was maintained as Buy but the price target was cut to $125 from $148 (versus a $94.36 close) at Argus. The independent research firm said the cut is based on a reduction in its long-term EPS growth forecast.

American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AXL) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $20 price target (versus a $15.34 close) at Citigroup.

AnaptysBio Inc. (NASDAQ: ANAB) was reiterated as Outperform with a $151 price target (versus a $113.83 close) at Wedbush Securities.

Aratana Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: PETX) was raised to Buy from Hold with an $8 price target (versus a $3.87 close) at Stifel.

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARWR) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $10 price target (versus a $6.94 close) at Jefferies.

BB&T Corp. (NYSE: BBT) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $59 price target (versus a $52.22 close) at B. Riley. Wells Fargo raised it to Outperform from Market Perform and has a $63 price target.

Brookfield Property Partners L.P. (NYSE: BPY) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $24 price target (versus a $19.39 close) at Canaccord Genuity.

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) was downgraded to Underweight from Neutral but the price target was maintained at $17 (versus a $17.51 close) at JPMorgan. Canadian Solar was indicated down 3% at $16.99, and it has a 52-week trading range of $11.31 to $19.09 and a consensus analyst price target of $19.40.

Cheniere Energy Inc. (NYSEAMERICAN: LNG) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $63 price target (versus a $52.51 close) at Bernstein.

Cheniere Energy Partners L.P. (NYSEAMERICAN: CQP) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $35 price target (versus a $28.16 close) at Bernstein.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform and the price target was cut to $2.50 from $4.00 at Bernstein. Shares closed up 1.6% at $3.12 on Monday and were down 0.6% at $3.10 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $2.53 to $6.59 and with a consensus price target of $4.13.

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China Unicom Ltd. (NYSE: CHU) was raised to Overweight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley.

Cintas Corp. (NASDAQ: CTAS) was started on the prized Conviction Buy List with a $210 price target (versus a $170.98 close) at Goldman Sachs.

Eldorado Gold Corp. (NYSE: EGO) was maintained as Neutral but the price target was cut to $1.25 from $1.60 (versus a $0.87 close) at Credit Suisse, with the firm noting lower production on Eldorado.

Finish Line Inc. (NASDAQ: FINL) was raised to Neutral from Sell and the price target was raised to $14 from $10 at Citigroup now that it is being acquired. Finish Line closed up 31% at $13.83 on Monday’s post-buyout offer reaction. It has a 52-week trading range of $6.90 to $16.38.

H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) was started as Neutral and assigned a $28 price target (versus a $25.79 close) at Goldman Sachs. The 52-week range is $22.40 to $31.80, and the consensus price target is $28.67.

Iron Mountain Inc. (NYSE: IRM) was started as Buy and assigned a $41 price target (versus a $31.27 close) at Goldman Sachs. It has a 52-week range of $30.78 to $41.53 and as a consensus price target of $37.50.

Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $21 price target (versus a $15.13 close) at Citigroup. The 52-week range is $14.82 to $21.92. The consensus analyst target is $22.00.

MEDNAX Inc. (NYSE: MD) was started as Neutral and assigned a $57 price target (versus a $55.06 close) at Credit Suisse. $57

Prologis Inc. (NYSE: PLD) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a $68 price target (versus a $61.23 close) at JPMorgan. It has a 52-week range of $49.44 to $67.53 and a consensus price target of $69.11.

Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ: RMBS) was started as Buy and assigned a $17 price target (versus a $13.49 close) at Deutsche Bank. It has a 52-week range of $11.30 to $15.50 and a consensus price target of $16.95.

Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) was up 3.5% at $153.09 ahead of earnings on Monday and was indicated up 6% at $162.50 on Tuesday. BMP Capital Markets maintained its Market Perform rating but raised its target price to $180 from $172. Other target price hikes have been seen as follows: Credit Suisse to $150 from $120, RBC to $172 from $160, Evercore ISI to $170 from $160, JMP Securities to $175 from $145 and Raymond James to $166 from $164.

Resonant Inc. (NASDAQ: RESN) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $6 price target (versus a $3.48 close) at Needham.

Roku Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) was raised to Neutral from Sell with a $36 price target at Citigroup. Roku closed up 7.9% at $34.59 on Monday and was indicated down 2.7% at $33.65 on Tuesday. Roku has a post-IPO range of $15.75 to $58.80 and a consensus price target of $38.60.

Sierra Wireless Inc. (NASDAQ: SWIR) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $22 price target (versus a $15.80 close) at Roth Capital.

Verona Pharma PLC (NASDAQ: VRNA) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $55 from $48 (versus a $20.97 close) at Wedbush. The target hike is based on the nebulized RPL554 for maintenance therapy of COPD having projected peak worldwide gross sales of $997 million (out in 2027). Verona Pharma has a $287 million market cap, but its shares were up 31% on Monday’s news reaction.

Monday’s top analyst calls included AMD, Broadcom, D.R. Horton, Dollar Tree, Jack in the Box, Zebra Technologies and many more.

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