Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AT&T, Charter Communications, Comcast, Darden Restaurants, Spotify, Wingstop and More


The futures traded higher again Thursday morning as investors continue to digest not only some sparkling economic data but the possibility for perhaps a breakthrough with China on trade talks. With summer right around the corner, investors can expect to see trading volumes start to dry up, and that often gives bearish investors the upper hand, especially if they look to sell stocks short.

Some investors are reconsidering what the nine-year bull market may bring for the rest of 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. Other analyst 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 target data are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Thursday, June 7, 2018.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies. The 52-week trading range for the telecommunication giant is $31.17 to $39.80. The Wall Street consensus price target is $37.82. The stock closed Wednesday’s trading at $33.38.

Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) was resumed in coverage with a Hold rating and a $300 price target at Jefferies. The consensus target is much higher at $376.94, and the stock closed Wednesday at $275.09.

Comcast Inc. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) was resumed in coverage at Jefferies with a Buy rating and a $41 price target. The consensus price target for the media and communications giant is $44.38 The stock ended trading on Wednesday at $32.27.

Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $110 price target at SunTrust. The consensus target for the restaurant giant is $101.19. The stock closed trading on Wednesday at $90.91.

Ensco PLC (NYSE: ESV) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at HSBC and given a $7.40 price objective. That compares with the consensus target of $6.49. The shares closed on Wednesday at $6.67.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) continued a string of downgrades this week as Goldman Sachs cut the shares to Sell, citing a “tough set-up,” and Vertical Group also downgraded the shares to sell with a $42 price target. The stock closed Wednesday at $55.53, down almost 5% on the day, and traded lower Thursday in the premarket.

Hartford Financial Inc. (NYSE: HIG) was started with an In-Line rating and a $57 price target at Evercore ISI. The consensus target is higher at $60.38. The stock closed Wednesday at $52.53.

Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE: LH) was raised to Overweight at KeyBanc Capital Markets, and they posted a $210 price target. That compares with the consensus target of $196.94. The 52-week trading range is $137.82 to $184.65, and shares closed Wednesday at $184.61.

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