Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Applied Materials, Campbell Soup, Ceridien HCM, Dillard’s, Energizer, nLIGHT, Snap, Turtle Beach and More

May 21, 2018 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were indicated to open higher now that certain tariffs have been lightened up or suspended during trade negotiations. The trend of endlessly buying the dips has not worked as well as it has in prior years and 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 have been added on most of the daily analyst reports. The consensus analyst price targets mentioned 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, May 21, 2018.

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (NYSE: AEO) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

AMAG Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAG) was started as Market Perform with a $26 price target (versus a $24.65 prior close) at Leerink.

AppFolio Inc. (NASDAQ: APPF) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight with a $52 price target (versus a $57.80 close) at Morgan Stanley. Its consensus target price had been $52.00 and its shares were indicated down 2.6% at $56.30 on Monday in the premarket.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) was reiterated as Strong Buy but the target was raised to $72 from $68 at Needham. This is after’s Friday’s drop of 8.25% to $49.51 on the heels of earnings and after many analysts cut their target prices after earnings and guidance.

Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral with a $31 price objective (versus a $34.37 close) at Merrill Lynch. The shares were down 12.3% on Friday and the shares were indicated down 1.3% at $33.92 on Monday, with the 52-week low of $34.09 also happening on Friday.

Ceridian HCM Holding Inc. (NYSE: CDAY) has seen its post-IPO quiet period end. After pricing at $22.00 per share, its post-IPO range is $28.65 to $38.87 with Friday’s closing price at $36.82. The seen analyst calls for Ceridian HCM Holding were seen as follows:

  • Barclays started it as Equal Weight with a $36 target.
  • Canaccord Genuity started it as Hold with a $36 target.
  • Deutsche Bank started it as Hold with a $40 target.
  • Goldman Sachs started it as Neutral with a $34 target.
  • JPMorgan started it as Neutral with a $34 target.
  • Piper Jaffray started it as Overweight with a $41 target.
  • Robert W. Baird started it as Outperform with a $41 target.
  • Wells Fargo started it as Outperform with a $46 target.

Dillard’s Inc. (NYSE: DDS) was raised to Buy from Underperform with an $89 price objective (versus a $77.37 close) at Merrill Lynch.

Energizer Corp. (NYSE: ENR) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $70 price target (versus a $56.47 close) at Jefferies.

Flowers Foods Inc. (NYSE: FLO) was started with a Hold rating and assigned a $19 price target (versus a $19.29 close) at Berenberg.

HCP Inc. (NYSE: HCP) was downgraded to Underperform from In-Line with a $24 price target (versus a $23.02 close) at Evercore ISI.

Hortonworks Inc. (NASDAQ: HDP) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $25 price target (versus $17.07 close) at Monnes Crespi Hardt.

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Hostess Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: TWNK) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $15 price target (versus a $12.70 close) at Berenberg.

Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. (NYSE: KNX) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $48 price target (versus a $40.85 close) at Stifel.

Nano Dimension Ltd. (NASDAQ: NNDM) was started as Buy with a $2 price target (versus a $1.37 close, after a 5.4% gain) at Canaccord Genuity.

nLIGHT Inc. (NASDAQ: LASR) has seen multiple buy ratings issued after a quiet period expiration versus a $29.97 closing price on Friday. These were seen as follows:

  • nLIGHT was started as Buy with a $40 price target at Stifel.
  • Canaccord Genuity started it with a Buy rating and assigned a $35 target.
  • D.A. Davidson started it as Buy and assigned a $40 price target.
  • Needham started it as Buy with a $34 price target.

Prothena Corp. (NASDAQ: PRTA) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight with a $12 price target (versus $15.28 close) at Barclays. Prothena closed down 2% on Friday, but its shares were down 6.7% at $14.25 ahead of Monday’s opening bell.

Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $119 price target (versus a $101.97 close).

Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) was raised to Neutral from Sell at MoffettNathanson.

Spectra Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: SEP) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.

Turtle Beach Corp. (NASDAQ: HEAR) has seen shares rise exponentially on the back of Fortnite and other video game drivers. Wedbush Securities reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $20 after a $15.97 close. Turtle Beach has a 52-week range of $1.64 to $20.36.

VEREIT Inc. (NYSE: VER) was downgraded to In-Line from Outperform with a $7.25 price target (versus a $6.86 close) at Evercore ISI. VEREI also comes with a yield of more than 7%.

VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $101 price target (versus an $80.07 close) at Argus. It has an $81.63 consensus target price.

VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $155 from $140 (versus $138.99 close) at Credit Suisse. VMware shares were up over 1% on the news.

Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

Williams Partners L.P. (NYSE: WPZ) was downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James.

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