Stocks were looking for a very strong open on Thursday after the Independence Day holiday had U.S. markets closed on Wednesday. The prior trend of buying the dips has been less reliable during most of 2018 than in prior years. Many investors have been considering how they want their investments positioned ahead of the midterm elections and also 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 for readers. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, and some cover stocks to sell or avoid.
Additional color and commentary have been added on most of the daily analyst reports. The consensus analyst price targets 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 Thursday, July 5, 2018.
Allergan PLC (NYSE: AGN) was reiterated as Hold at Argus, with the independent research firm noting that the competitive risks warrant caution.
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P. (NYSE: BIP) was raised to Outperform from Neutral with a $46 price target (versus a $38.73 prior close) at Credit Suisse.
Cheniere Energy Inc. (NYSEARCA: LNG) was reiterated as Overweight and the price target was raised to $77 from $65 at Barclays.
Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James. Its shares closed up 1.6% at $3.71 on Tuesday but were indicated down 4% at $3.56 on Thursday.
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) was reiterated as Buy but the price target was raised to $275 from $175 at BTIG, with much emphasis on Instagram and ad adoption. Facebook closed down 2.3% at $192.73 on Tuesday but was indicated up 1.3% at $195.15 on Thursday. Its consensus target price is near $225.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $23 price target at Jefferies. The shares were down 1% at $18.90 on Tuesday, but the stock was indicated up about 6% at $20.10 on Thursday.
Geron Corp. (NASDAQ: GERN) was started as Buy and assigned a $5.75 price target (versus a $3.55 close) at FBR.
Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS) was maintained as Buy at Argus, but the firm lowered the price target to $170 from $196. It noted that the recent weakness offers a buying opportunity for new holders in the shares.
Hexcel Corp. (NYSE: HXL) was raised to Buy from Hold with an $80 price target (versus a $67.05 close) at Canaccord Genuity.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) was maintained as Overweight but the price target was cut to $60 from $65 at KeyBanc Capital Markets. Intel has a 52-week range of $33.23 to $57.60 and a consensus target price of $59.03.
Kosmos Energy Ltd. (NYSE: KOS) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform with a $10 price target (versus an $8.03 close) at RBC Capital Markets.
NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $90 from $76 at Argus. The firm noted that new offerings with Cisco in the FlexPod solutions have a big jump in health care and the firm came up with a blended analysis of earnings and valuation that could be north of $100 for the stock.
Qorvo Inc. (NASDAQ: QRVO) was raised to Overweight from Sector Weight with a $95 price target (versus a $77.44 close) at KeyBanc Capital Markets.
Valeritas Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: VLRX) was started as Outperform and assigned a $3.50 price target (versus a $1.35 close) at Oppenheimer. Valeritas was indicated up over 6% at $1.44 on Thursday morning, but this is a microcap stock.
WellCare Health Plans Inc. (NYSE: WCG) was reiterated as Overweight and the price target was raised to $275 from $235 at Cantor Fitzgerald.
Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Amazon, Albermarle, Chevron, CVS, PepsiCo, Roku, United Continental, VMware and Zafgen.
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