Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Amazon, Chipotle, Facebook, General Electric, Intel, Microsoft, Nike, Snap, Symantec and More

April 27, 2018 by Jon C. Ogg

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Stocks were indicated to have a mixed open on Friday, but the technology-driven Nasdaq was expected to open higher on strong earnings from major tech stocks. Gross domestic product came in above expectations, and the Korean peninsula finally may be working toward an accord. Many investors have considered how they want their investments positioned for the longer term.

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 Friday, April 27, 2018.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) delivered strong earnings and shares were last seen trading up 9% at $1,660, after closing up almost 4% at $1,517.96 ahead of earnings. Amazon was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $1,800 from $1,750 at Wedbush Securities. Canaccord Genuity reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $1,800 from $1650. JMP Securities reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $1,840 from $1,600. Stifel reiterated its Buy rating but raised its target to $2020 from $1800. Amazon’s prior all-time high was $1,617.54.

Brinker International Inc. (NYSE: EAT) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform with a $49 price target (versus a $41.37 prior close) at RBC Capital Markets.

California Resources Corp. (NYSE: CRC) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Societe Generale.

Carbonite Inc. (NASDAQ: CARB) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $36 from $30 at JMP Securities. The stock closed up 2.5% at $30.85 on Thursday, and it had a consensus target price of just $30.57.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $435 price target (versus a $422.50 close) at Maxim Group. This call is after a slew of upgrades and price target hikes after stronger earnings, but many ratings remain quite cautious despite the recovery of about 60% from its 52-week lows at the peak of its food-panic issues.

Coeur Mining Inc. (NYSE: CDE) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $9 price target (versus an $8.13 close) at Roth Capital.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $202 from $175 at Stifel, with the firm saying that the shares are now too cheap to ignore. The stock closed up 9% at $174.16 on Thursday due to better earnings and lower pressure over users and data, and it was indicated up another 1.7% at $177.16 on Friday. Facebook has a 52-week trading range of $144.42 to $195.32.

Flex Ltd. (NASDAQ: FLEX) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James. Stifel maintained its Buy rating but cut its target to $19 from $22.

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) was maintained as Hold at Stifel, but the firm did raise its price target to $15 from $13. Shares have a consensus analyst target of $17.40 and a 52-week range of $12.73 to $29.47.

Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY) was downgraded to Sell from Hold with an $85 price target (versus a $93.29 close) at Societe Generale.

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) closed at $53.05 on Thursday but the shares were indicated up 7% at $56.80 on Friday. Bernstein raised it to Market Perform from Underperform. Stifel maintained a Hold rating but raised its target to $57 from $53. KeyBanc reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target to $65 from $60.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) was last seen trading up 3.4% at $97.50 on Friday after beating earnings expectations. JPMorgan raised its rating to Overweight and its target price to $110 from $94, after having been at a Neutral for over two years. Microsoft was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $107 from $105 at Stifel. Canaccord Genuity reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $110 from $105.

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Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) was raised to Buy from Hold and lifted its price target to $77 from $74 (versus a $68.05 close) at HSBC, with the firm noting the resilience of the athleisure trends. Nike has a 52-week range of $50.35 to $70.25 and a consensus target price of $71.27.

NovoCure Ltd. (NASDAQ: NVCR) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $33 from $29 (versus a $26.50 close, after a 9.7% gain) at Wedbush. The firm sees a ramp up creating a strong start for 2018 and is positive on its expansion into targeting mesothelioma.

NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) was raised to Buy from Hold at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. The shares closed up 1.3% at $102.49 on Thursday and were indicated up 1.4% at $103.88 on Friday. The consensus target price is closer to $119.

Oaktree Capital Group LLC (NYSE: OAK) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with a $4 price target at Keefe Bruyette & Woods.

Oil States International Inc. (NYSE: OIS) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight with a $32 price target (versus a $37.15 close) at JPMorgan.

Proofpoint Inc. (NASDAQ: PFPT) was last seen down 1.3% at $122.00 on Friday, despite record revenues and earnings for the first quarter. Wedbush reiterated its Outperform rating with a $136 price target.

Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) was maintained as Neutral with a $12.50 price target (versus a $14.70 close) at Wedbush, although the firm did project that Snap revenue growth is likely to be above consensus despite a redesign backlash. Snap has a consensus target price of $15.42 and a 52-week range of $11.28 to $23.57.

Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK) was raised to Outperform with a $118 price target (versus a $100.92 close) at Wedbush. The firm sees Splunk as becoming a must-have in security.

Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) was up almost 3% at $59.38 ahead of earnings but was down over 1% at $58.64 on Friday morning. Starbucks was maintained as Neutral with a $58 price target (versus a $59.38 close) at Wedbush. The 52-week range is $52.58 to $64.87.

Sunoco L.P. (NYSE: SUN) was downgraded to Underperform from Hold with a $22 price target (versus a $27.75 close) at Jefferies.

Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities. The stock closed at $28.64 and has a 52-week range of $24.93 to $34.20.

USG Corp. (NYSE: USG) was raised to Neutral from Underperform with a $38 price target (versus a $40.21 close) at Credit Suisse.

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $110 from $105 (versus an $87.91 close) at Stifel. Western Digital has a 52-week range of $76.59 to $106.96 and a consensus target price of $117.54.

Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Amazon, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Facebook, General Electric, Intel, Microsoft, Nike, Snap, Symantec and many more.

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