Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: CBS, Ford, Pivotal Software, Spotify, Symantec, Ulta Beauty and More

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The futures traded lower Tuesday morning on some renewed trade worries and perhaps profit-taking. The Dow Jones industrial average was able to rack up its eighth day in a row of positive gains on Monday, but that streak looks in jeopardy. Still, after a solid run, May 2018 is shaping up to be the best May recorded since 2009.

Some investors have reconsidered what the nine-year bull market may bring in 2018 and beyond. It has become clear that the multiyear trend of buying pullbacks is now more vulnerable to sellers, volatility and each major news headline. Many investors are finding it harder to decide how they want their assets positioned for the longer term.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of the top analyst reports cover stocks to buy. Others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional color and commentary have 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 were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein. The 52-week trading range for the broadcasting giant is $47.54 to $68.75. The Wall Street consensus price target is $63.50, and the shares closed Monday at $53.65.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray. The 52-week trading range is $10.14 to $13.48. The shares closed trading on Monday at $11.18.

Intellia Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: NTLA) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Chardan Capital Markets, which raised its price target to a whopping $57.50 from $20.00. Chardan as a firm is overweight the gene-editing space on “scarcity value.” The analysts feel there are far fewer credible companies in gene editing than there are maturing opportunities to meet demand, and they see the likelihood that big biopharma recognizes this scarcity value and continues to increase exposure. The 52-week trading range for the shares is $11.15 to $35.99. The consensus price target is $40.43. The shares closed trading on Monday at $24.59.

Pivotal Software Inc. (NYSE: PVTL) was a successful new IPO last month and multiple firms start coverage today. RBC started it at Sector Perform with a $21 target. Credit Suisse started the shares at Outperform with a $22 target. Morgan Stanley initiates coverage with a $24 price objective, Goldman Sachs started it at a Buy rating and a $21 price target. The stock has traded between $15.11 and $19.62 since the IPO priced. The shares closed Monday at $18.89. The stock traded higher in Tuesday’s premarket on the initiations.

Spotify Inc. (NASDAQ: SPOT) was started with a Sell rating and a $120 price target at Loop Capital. That compares with the consensus price target of $156.76. The company went public in a highly anticipated, but oddly structured IPO in early April, and shares have traded between $135.51 to $171.23. The stock closed Monday at $159.97.

Symantec Inc. (NASDAQ: SYMC) was raised to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies. The 52-week trading range is $18.85 to $34.20. The stock was absolutely eviscerated when it was announced there was an ongoing internal investigation at the security software firm. The shares closed Monday at $21.40, up almost 10% on the day, and were higher in the premarket this morning.

Ulta Beauty Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA) was raised to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer. The 52-week trading range for the beauty care retail giant is $187.96 to $314.86. The stock closed Monday at $247.04.

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