Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Charter Communications, Corning, Kohl’s, Lululemon, Nike, Verizon and More

June 21, 2018 by 247lee

The futures traded lower Thursday morning, and while some of the current political turmoil over immigration seems to be relieved, trade worries continue. Once again on Wednesday, the Russell 2000 index, which tracks the smaller capitalization companies, posted another record high. This streak of record highs for the index shows that many investors are moving capital to the companies that have a larger percentage of their sales and services business in the United States — a solid move if the tariff and trade war issues are prolonged.

Many investors are now reconsidering what the nine-year bull market may bring for the rest of this year and beyond. It has become very clear that the multiyear trend of buying every pullback 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 21, 2018.

Becton Dickinson and Co. (NYSE: BDX) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. The 52-week trading range for the stock is $191.53 to $248.39 a share. The Wall Street consensus price target is $252.19, and the shares closed Wednesday at $230.12.

Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. The 52-week trading range for the media and communications giant is $250.10 to $408.33. The consensus price target is set at $374.44. The stock closed Wednesday at $290.34 a share.

Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) was raised to Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs. The 52-week trading range for the optical leader is $26.11 to $35.10. The posted consensus price target is $33.45. The shares ended trading on Wednesday at $28.39 apiece.

Kohl’s Inc. (NYSE: KSS) was started with a Neutral rating and a $75 price objective at UBS. The consensus price target for the discount retailer is $76.07. The stock closed trading most recently at $76.46.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) was started with a Neutral rating and a $130 price target at UBS. That compares with the consensus target of $115.32. The shares closed Wednesday’s trading at $128.27.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS. The 52-week trading range for the stock is $50.35 to $75.91, and the consensus price target is $73.32. The stock closed Wednesday at $74.72.

PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at Atlantic Equities. The 52-week trading range is $52.52 to $85.97, and the consensus price target is $87.95. The stock closed just below that level on Wednesday at $85.95.

Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. The 52-week trading range for the satellite radio company is $5.17 to $7.70, and the consensus price target is set at $6.49. The stock closed Wednesday at $7.51 per share.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. The 52-week trading range for the telecommunications giant is $42.80 to $54.77, and the consensus price target is posted at $55.68. The stock ended trading on Wednesday at $48.09.

Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE: WLK) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein, which also had a $150 price target on the shares. The consensus target is set at $122.11, and the shares ended trading on Wednesday at $104.99.

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

AMC Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: AMCX) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Bernstein. The 52-week trading range is $46.89 to $69.02. The consensus price target is posted at $61.10, but the stock closed Wednesday at $67.42.

Actuant Inc. (NYSE: ATU) was downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. The 52-week trading range is $21.50 to $30, and the consensus price target is $26.13. With the shares closing at $29.05, this could be a valuation call.

NuVasive Inc. (NASDAQ: NUVA) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan. The stock has traded between $44.62 and $81.88 a share over the past year. The consensus price target was last seen at $59.56, and the shares ended Wednesday at $56.68 apiece.

Parker-Hannifin Corp. (NYSE: PH) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo. The 52-week trading range is $153.65 to $212.80, and the consensus price target is $196. The stock closed Wednesday at $164.47.

Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA) was removed from the Focus List at JPMorgan. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $33.73 to $61.18. The consensus price target is $49.85, but the shares closed Wednesday at $54.46.

Syntel Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNT) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo. The 52-week trading range is $15.88 to $34.18, and the consensus price objective is set at $28.80. The stock ended trading on Wednesday at $34.07.

Terex Corp. (NYSE: TEX) was raised to Buy from Hold at Jefferies. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $34.21 to $50.17. The consensus price target is $44.41, and the stock closed Wednesday at $39.92.

In case you missed it, Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Citigroup, Oracle, PTC Therapeutics, Starbucks, Tableau Software, Williams-Sonoma and more.

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