Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AEP, Facebook, Microsoft, PayPal, Philip Morris, Spotify, Under Armour and More

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Stocks were indicated lower on Friday on more China woes, but it’s been a choppy time of late. The investing community has had less faith and has seen lower rewards from buying the dips in 2018 than in prior years. Many of those same investors also have been concerned about how they want their investments positioned ahead of the midterm elections, into international trade concerns and into 2019 and beyond.

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 our readers. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy and some cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional commentary has been added on most of the daily analyst reports, along with trading history. 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 20, 2018.

American Electric Power Co. Inc. (NYSE: AEP) was raised to Buy from Neutral but the price target was cut to $74 from $76 at Goldman Sachs. AEP closed up 0.5% at $70.64 on Thursday and was indicated up 0.8% at $71.25 on Friday morning.

Anixter International Inc. (NYSE: AXE) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Longbow Research.

Citrix Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CTXS) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Robert W. Baird.

Entergy Corp. (NYSE: ETR) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price target was raised to $88 from $87 at Goldman Sachs.

Express Scripts Holding Co. (NASDAQ: ESRX) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Robert W. Baird.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $242 from $202 at Stifel.

First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) was reiterated as Overweight and the price target was raised to $28 from $24 at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Galmed Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (NASDAQ: GLMD) was started as Outperform with a $26 price target (versus a $15.02 prior close) at Raymond James. The shares were last seen indicated up 3.2% at $15.50 ahead of Friday’s open.

Intuitive Surgical Inc. (NASDAQ: ISRG) was reiterated as Buy but the price target was raised to $600 from $515 at Stifel. Morgan Stanley reiterated it as Overweight and raised its price target to $575 from $535.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) was down 0.7% at $104.40 ahead of earnings but strong guidance had shares up 3.5% at $108.00 in early Friday indications. Microsoft had a prior 52-week range of $71.28 to $106.50, so its stock is hitting all-time highs again. Stifel reiterated its Buy rating but raised its target to $118 from $107, and KeyBanc Capital Markets reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target to $123 from $110. Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target price to $125 from $115.

PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $101 from $90 at Citigroup.

Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM) was maintained as Buy but the price target was cut to $90 from $100 at Citigroup. Stifel maintained its Buy rating but lowered its target to $93 from $100. Cowen downgraded Philip Morris to Market Perform from Outperform.

Ra Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: RARX) was started as Outperform and assigned a $20 price target at BMO Capital Markets.

Six Flags Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: SIX) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform and the target price was cut to $70 from $76 at Wedbush Securities.

Skechers USA Inc. (NYSE: SKX) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo, and Susquehanna downgraded it to Neutral from Positive. Buckingham Research maintained its Buy rating but cut its target to $31 from $42. Wedbush maintained its Neutral rating but lowered its target to $28 from $33.

Spotify Technology S.A. (NYSE: SPOT) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $201 from $195 at Buckingham Research. The stock closed down 2.1% at $182.19 on Thursday, and its post-IPO range is $135.51 to $186.61.

Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UAA) was maintained as Neutral at Wedbush, but the firm did raise its price target to $18 from $15 in the call.

Yum China Holdings Inc. (NYSE: YUMC) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral and the price objective was cut to $34 from $44 at Merrill Lynch. Shares closed down 2.2% at $36.00 on Thursday and were indicated down 3.8% to $34.63 on Friday.

Thursday’s top analyst calls included Alcoa, Cisco, eBay, IBM, Procter & Gamble, Square, Tesla, United Continental, Visa and many more.

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