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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Accenture, Ally, Diageo, Harley-Davidson, KB Home, NetApp, Nike, Sirius XM, Walgreens and More

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Stocks were looking for a stronger open on Friday for the last trading day of the second quarter of 2018. That said, the year-to-date performance has been down 2% for the Dow Jones industrial average and a 1.5% gain for the S&P 500. The trend of buying the dips has not worked as well as it has in prior years, and many investors have been considering 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 investing and trading ideas. 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 seen on Friday, June 29, 2018.

Acceleron Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: XLRN) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $60 from $55 at Credit Suisse after the company showed that its Luspatercept MDS Phase 3 trial should be viewed as positive and that the drug ultimately will be approved.

Accenture PLC (NYSE: ACN) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $171 price objective (versus a $164.51 prior close) at Merrill Lynch, with the firm noting that its shares have significantly outperformed and trade at a 40% premium to the S&P 500, versus a 21% premium historical average. Credit Suisse maintained its Neutral rating but raised its target price to $160 from $151, and Deutsche Bank maintained its Buy rating while raising its target to $170 from $165. Argus reiterated its Buy rating on Accenture and raised its target price to $185 from $175.

Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) was upgraded to Buy from Neutral and the fair value estimate was raised to $36 from $33 at Janney after being allowed to boost its payouts. The stock closed up 1.8% at $25.71 on Thursday and has a consensus target price of $33.25.

Cision Ltd. (NYSE: CISN) was started as Outperform and assigned a $19 price target (versus a $14.69 close) at Cowen. The consensus target price is $18.25, and the 52-week range is $10.00 to $17.07.

CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT) was started with a Buy rating at Compass Point. The stock closed up 0.4% at $49.64 on Thursday, and it has a 52-week trading range of $43.25 to $56.14 and a consensus analyst target of $55.85.

C&J Energy Services Inc. (NYSE: CJ) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wels Fargo. Shares closed down almost 2% at $23.75 on Thursday and were indicated down 1% at $23.50 on Friday.

Diageo PLC (NYSE: DEO) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with a $149 price target (versus a $144.01 close) at Bernstein.

Harley-Davidson Inc. (NYSE: HOG) has had some trouble this week, with announcing some production would move closer to international markets. Morgan Stanley maintained its Overweight rating but cut its target price to $53 from $54 (versus a $41.90 close). Harley-Davidson had a consensus target price of $46.92 on last look, and its 52-week range is $39.34 to $56.50.

KB Home (NYSE: KBH) was up 1.7% at $25.38 ahead of earnings and its shares were indicated up 7% at $27.20 on Friday morning after earnings. It was raised to Buy from Underperform at Merrill Lynch, and the firm raised its price objective to $37 from $32 in the call.

Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL) was reiterated as Buy with a $28 price target (versus a $21.77 close) at Argus. The independent research firm noted that the freshly approved acquisition of Cavium Networks will allow Marvell to become a much more diverse company in a range of fast-growing markets.

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Nabors Industries Ltd. (NYSE: NBR) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo. The stock closed down 0.6% at $6.40 on Thursday and was indicated up 2% at $6.52 on Friday morning. The 52-week trading range is $5.32 to $8.87, and the consensus target price is $9.65.

NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) was reiterated as Buy at Merrill Lynch. The price objective also was raised to $88 from $84 in the call, with the firm noting that AI workloads can bring upside to the company’s product revenues. NetApp shares closed up 1.3% at $77.30 on Thursday. The 52-week trading range is $37.55 to $79.15, and the consensus target price is $75.13.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) was last seen trading up close to 10% after beating earnings and announcing a large stock buyback plan. Wedbush Securities maintained its Outperform rating and raised its target price to $85 from $82. Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $90 from $78, while Deutsche Bank reiterated its Buy rating and lifted its target price to $87 from $84.

Pier 1 Imports Inc. (NYSE: PIR) was down 19% at $2.43 on Thursday on disappointing same-store sales. Wedbush Securities maintained its Neutral rating but lowered its target price to $2.25 from $3.00. The 52-week trading range is $2.15 to $5.92.

Ryder System Inc. (NYSE: R) was started with a Buy rating and assigned an $85 price target at Mizuho. The stock closed down 0.3% at $70.18 on Thursday, and it has a 52-week range of $65.65 to $90.26 and had a consensus target price of $80.89.

Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SC) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the fair value estimate was raised to $24 from $21 at Janney, after being allowed to boost its dividend handily. Santander closed up 1.6% at $19.08 on Thursday and has a consensus target price of $21.38.

Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with an $8 price target (versus a $6.82 close) at Barrington Research. Shares closed up 2.5% at $6.82 on Thursday and were indicated up another 1.1% at $6.90 on Friday. The 52-week range is $5.17 to $7.70, and the consensus target price is $6.65.

Tenet Healthcare Corp. (NYSE: THC) was downgraded to Hold from Buy but the price target was raised to $38 from $28 (versus a $34.61 close) at Jefferies. The stock was indicated down almost 2% at $33.95 on Friday morning, in a 52-week range of $12.25 to $38.81 and with a consensus target price of $31.24.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) was down sharply on Thursday as Amazon confirmed it is getting into the prescription drug delivery. Jefferies downgraded Walgreens to Hold from Buy and cut the target to $65 from $85, and Robert W. Baird downgraded it to Neutral from Outperform with a lower $64 target price.

Thursday’s top analyst calls include CBS, Walt Disney, Regions Financial, Salesforce.com, T-Mobile and many more.

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