Stocks had a strong end of the week for the last day of the first quarter, but the first day of the second quarter was looking to be off to a weak start. The bull market is now over nine years old, and while the trend of buying pullbacks has worked over and over, it now seems that the sellers and volatility are more able to win than they have been in years. This is making it ever harder for investors to decide how they want their assets 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 Monday, April 2, 2018.
Accenture PLC (NYSE: ACN) was reiterated as Outperform with a $180 price target (versus a $153.50 prior close) at Wedbush Securities. The firm said the stock went on sale after its earnings release and the margin concerns are likely a one-time event.
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) was reiterated as Overweight and the price target was raised to $95 from $90 (versus a $66.90 close) at Morgan Stanley.
Allstate Corp. (NYSE: ALL) was raised to Market Perform from Underperform and the price target was raised to $93 from $90 (versus a $94.80 close) at Keefe Bruyette & Woods.
Automatic Data Processing Inc. (NASDAQ: ADP) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform and the price target was raised to $130 from $119 (versus a $113.48 close) at RBC Capital Markets.
Baker Hughes, a GE Company (NYSE: BHGE) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price objective was maintained as $33 (versus a $27.77 close) at Merrill Lynch. The upgrade is in anticipation of LNG equipment FIDs later in 2018 or early 2019 for further benefit beyond 2020, and the firm thinks this is not priced in shares. Baker Hughes shares were indicated up 1.2% at $28.10 on Monday.
Cardinal Health Inc. (NYSE: CAH) was raised to Buy from Hold with an $85 price target at Argus. The independent research firm expects sustainable earnings growth based on its ability to improve margins in both pharmaceutical
distribution and medical segments.
CarMax Inc. (NYSE: KMX) was reiterated as Outperform with a $75 target price (versus a $61.94 close) at Wedbush. The firm noted that the risk into its earnings print remains, but pressures against it appear to be easing.
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