Investing

Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: American Tower, AutoNation, Biogen, CarMax, Chipotle, eBay, PG&E, Walgreens, Zions and More

PG&E Corp. (NYSE: PCG) was started as Equal Weight and assigned a $53 target price at Barclays. Shares closed up 0.1% at $45.09 on Friday, and the 52-week range is $37.30 to $71.57. The consensus target price is $48.50.

Regulus Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLS) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform and its price target was slashed to $3 from $1 (versus a $0.36 prior close) at Wedbush Securities.

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. (NYSE: RS) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $103 price target (versus a $90.05 close) at Jefferies.

Renasant Corp. (NASDAQ: RNST) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.

Sonic Automotive Inc. (NYSE: SAH) was downgraded to Underweight from Overweight and the price target was cut to $19 from $25 at Morgan Stanley.

U.S. Gold Corp. (NASDAQ: USAU) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $3 price target (versus a $1.32 close) at H.C. Wainwright. This is a mere $23 million company that is still in its infancy when it comes to revenues.

USD Partners L.P. (NYSE: USDP) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the target (fair value) was raised to $13 from $12 (versus a $10.65 close) at Janney. This master limited partnership also has a 13% current yield-equivalent, where the firm sees less contract risk and sees favorable Canada-U.S. oil trends for it.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) was downgraded to In-Line from Outperform at Evercore ISI. The firm sees only modest profit growth ahead unless the dollar weakens and operating income could be pressured. Walgreens closed up 0.7% at $63.73 on Monday, and its shares were indicated down 0.7% at $63.28 on Tuesday’s early trading indications. The 52-week range is $59.07 to $83.89, and the stock remains under pressure since Amazon’s acquisition of PillPack put brick-and-mortar’s retail nemesis in the pharmacy business, of sorts.

Western Alliance Bancorp. (NYSE: WAL) was started as Outperform and assigned a $67 price target (versus a $57.69 close) at Wedbush. The firm noted that its niche businesses are driving high risk-adjusted returns where fewer banks are competing in its areas of expertise.

William Lyon Homes (NYSE: WLH) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $35 from $32 (versus a $23.71 close) at Wedbush. The firm said it appears undervalued and raised the price target as it shifts its views to expected 2019 results.

Wright Medical Group N.V. (NASDAQ: WMGI) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform but the price target was raised to $28 from $25 at BMO Capital Markets. The stock closed at $25.95 on Monday and has a 52-week range of $19.01 to $29.89.

Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE: XEL) was started as Overweight and assigned a $53 price target at Barclays.

Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ: ZION) was raised to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James.

Credit Suisse has previewed upside for the earnings season about to kick off. The firm sees second-quarter earnings likely rising 23% to 24% and revenues likely to rise 8.2%. Earnings per share are generally expected to come in 3% to 4% higher than expectations. Taxes are expected to add 7% to 8%, and ex-tax benefit earnings per share should rise by 16% to 17%. Cyclicals are expected to deliver the best results. Excluding tax benefits, sectors such as technology, financials, energy, materials and internet retail are expected to provide double-digit earnings per share growth. Sectors such as telecom, staples and discretionary ex-internet retail are expected by the firm to deliver negative earnings per share growth.

Monday’s top analyst calls included Baidu, Capital One, Delphi Technologies, Dunkin’ Brands, FireEye, Walgreens Boots Alliance and many more.

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