Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: 3M, AMD, CenturyLink, Chipotle, F5 Networks, Raymond James, Symantec and More

May 16, 2018 by 247lee

The futures were slightly lower again Wednesday morning as traders tried to regroup from a sell-off on Tuesday that ended the Dow Jones industrial average’s eight-day winning streak. Rising interest rates were cited as the culprit, although they still are historically very low and probably headed higher.

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 ideas and trading ideas for our readers. Some of the top analyst reports cover stocks to buy. Other calls 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 targets are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Wednesday, May 16, 2018.

3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies. The 52-week trading range for the stock is $191.44 to $259.77. The Wall Street consensus price target for the venerable diversified industrial giant is $218.15. Its shares closed Tuesday’s trading at $202.41.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) was raised to Neutral from Negative at Susquehanna. The 52-week trading range for the chip company is $9.04 to $15.65. AMD has had a host of positive news on the back of blow-out earnings posted in April. The consensus analyst price target is $13.87. The shares closed Tuesday at $12.45, and they traded higher in Wednesday’s premarket action.

CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie. The 52-week trading range is $13.76 to $27.61. The consensus price objective is $19.74, and the stock closed trading on Tuesday at $19.37 a share.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was raised to Buy from Hold at Argus. The 52-week trading range for the volatile restaurant chain is $247.52 to $496.14, and the consensus price target was last seen at $364.60. The shares closed way above that level Tuesday at $426.56.

F5 Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at D.A. Davidson. The 52-week trading range is $114.63 to $172.96, and the consensus price target is $154.53. The stock closed trading on Tuesday at $171.20.

LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (NYSE: LYB) was raised to Buy from Hold at Jefferies. The 52-week trading range for the chemical giant is $78.01 to $121.95. The consensus price target is $115.82, and the stock closed Tuesday at $112.17.

Raymond James Financial Inc. (NYSE: RJF) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. The 52-week trading range for the brokerage firm is $71.35 to $99.26. The posted consensus price target is $107.25. The stock closed trading most recently at $93.95.

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Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs. The stock has stabilized some after being pounded on reports of an internal investigation. Its 52-week trading range is $18.85 to $34.20, and the consensus price target is $29.94. The stock closed at $22.03 on Tuesday.

T. Rowe Price Inc. (NASDAQ: TROW) was raised to Buy from Hold at Jefferies, and Deutsche Bank also raised the giant mutual fund and money management company to Buy from Hold. Credit Suisse upgraded the shares to Outperform from Neutral. The 52-week trading range is $67.62 to $120.07. The consensus price target is $116.23, and the stock closed at $117.14 on Tuesday.

Other key analysts upgrades and downgrades were seen in the following.

AES Corp. (NYSE: AES) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Merrill Lynch. The 52-week trading range is $9.87 to $12.45. The consensus price objective is $12.94, and shares ended trading Tuesday at $12.30.

Apergy Corp. (NYSE: APY) was started with a Buy rating at Citigroup. The company had a recent IPO that priced late in April. The stock has traded in a range of $33.34 to $43.11 since the deal priced. The shares closed most recently at $40.00.

Alkermes PLC (NASDAQ: ALKS) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup. The 52-week trading range for the drug company is $41.15 to $71.22. Its consensus price objective is $54.45, and the stock closed on Tuesday at $46.24.

KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE: KKR) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup. The 52-week trading range is $17.61 to $24.50. The consensus price target is set at $25.69, and the shares closed Tuesday at $21.60.

PPG Industries Inc. (NYSE: PPG) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies. The 52-week trading range is $100.36 to $109.47, and the consensus price target is $123.04. The shares closed Tuesday at $103.03.

Vipshop Holding Ltd. (NASDAQ: VIPS) was downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc Capital Markets. Its 52-week trading range is $7.79 to $19.14, and the consensus price target is $19.64. The stock closed Tuesday at $12.08, down almost 20% on a mixed earnings report.

Wisdom Tree Investments Inc. (NASDAQ: WETF) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank. The 52-week trading range for the ETF specialty shop is $8.37 to $13.41. The consensus price target is $10.68, and the stock closed Tuesday at $11.54.

In case you missed it, Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included CBS, Ford, Pivotal Software, Spotify, Symantec, Ulta Beauty and more.

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