Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alphabet, Cognex, Facebook, Monsanto, Netflix, Nvidia, Tesla, Ulta, Zscaler and More

April 10, 2018 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks closed up on Monday, but far lower than the midday highs. Stocks were then indicated up large on Tuesday morning in an effort to recapture those gains. The bull market is now over nine years old, and the trend of buying pullbacks has become much more vulnerable to sellers and volatility trades. The climate has become more difficult for investors trying 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. Our goal is to find new ideas for investors and traders alike. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy and some 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, April 10, 2018.

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) was maintained as Overweight but the price target was cut to $1,175 from $1,200 (versus a $1,020.09 prior close) at Morgan Stanley. Alphabet has a 52-week trading range of $834.60 to $1,198.00 and it had a consensus analyst target price of $1,278.81.

Becton Dickinson & Co. (NYSE: BDX) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price target was raised to $251 from $237 at Citigroup.

CBOE Global Markets Inc. (NASDAQ: CBOE) was started as Market Perform at Bernstein.

CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME) was started as Outperform at Bernstein.

Cognex Corp. (NASDAQ: CGNX) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the target price was cut to $55 from $78 at Goldman Sachs. The stock closed up 0.8% at $49.70 on Monday, with a 52-week range of $39.74 to $72.99 and a consensus target price of $65.68.

Credit Acceptance Corp. (NASDAQ: CACC) was reiterated as Underperform at Credit Suisse, with the firm noting that there is more downside potential to loan yields.

EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG) was reiterated as Buy with a $133 price target at Argus.

Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE: ESNT) was down 15% at $35.61 on Monday, and multiple price target cuts have been seen: KBW to $50 from $57, Deutsche Bank to $55 from $61 and RBC to $48 from $59.

E*Trade Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: ETFC) was started as Outperform at Bernstein.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) was maintained as Outperform but the price target was cut to $205 from $200 at Evercore ISI. Similar target cuts have been seen, but only with minimal formal downgrading during its privacy of data woes. Shares were up 0.5% at $157.93 on Monday and indicated up 0.3% at $158.49 on Tuesday. The 52-week range is $138.81 to $195.32.

Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral and the price target was cut to $90 from $106 at UBS.

Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE: ITW) was already rated as Buy but it was added to the prized Conviction Buy list with a $177 price target at Goldman Sachs.

Kinross Gold Corp. (NYSE: KGC) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital Markets.

LGI Homes Inc. (NASDAQ: LGIH) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Wedbush Securities after the firm’s $73 price target was achieved.

MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE: MTG) was down 17% at $10.62 on Monday. RBC downgraded it to Sector Perform from Outperform and slashed its price target to $12 from $20.

Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital Markets. It closed up 6.2% at $125.15 on Monday after news came out that the Justice Department would be clearing its acquisition by Bayer.

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Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) was reiterated as Overweight and the price target was raised to $328 from $285 at JPMorgan. The firm sees a strong first quarter and sees it isolated from many of the other online regulatory and privacy concerns. Raymond James raised its target price to $330 from $290. Shares closed up 0.3% at $289.93 on Monday and were indicated up 2.9% at $298.30 on Tuesday.

Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $258 price target at Morgan Stanley. The stock closed up 0.5% at $215.41 on Monday and was indicated up 3.7% at $223.50 on Tuesday.

Radian Group Inc. (NYSE: RDN) was down 15.8% at $16.11 on Monday. RBC Capital Markets downgraded Radian to Sector Perform from Outperform and cut its target to $19 from $28. KBW cut its target to $26 from $29, and Deutsche Bank cut its target to $25.50 from $30.

RSP Permian Inc. (NYSE: RSPP) is being acquired and analysts keep downgrading their ratings now that it will become part of a larger company. Stifel was the latest: to Hold from Buy.

TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: AMTD) was started as Outperform at Bernstein.

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) was maintained as Sell with a $195 price target at Goldman Sachs, with the tax credit phase-out coming and as competition heats up for electric vehicles.

Ulta Beauty Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA) was raised to Overweight from Neutral and the price target was raised to $236 from $212 at Piper Jaffray.

Zscaler Inc. (NASDAQ: ZS) has seen its post-IPO quiet period come to an end. Deutsche Bank started it as Hold with a $29 target. Credit Suisse started it as Outperform with a $33 target, and Robert W. Baird started it as Outperform with a $34 price target. Barclays assigned an Equal Weight rating and a $30 target.

Credit Suisse’s Global Emerging Market Equity Strategy team raised Mexico to 5% Overweight from 10% Underweight based on its optimism on NAFTA negotiations, its economy is reaccelerating, earnings outlook is improving, the Mexican peso is stabilizing and valuations are very attractive.

Monday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades were in Alcoa, Cemex, Comerica, Facebook, General Motors, Incyte, Proofpoint, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and many more.

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