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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AVEO, Boeing, Canopy Growth, Coty, Kimberly-Clark, Lululemon, Macy's, Sysco, Teladoc and More

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Stocks were indicated to open handily higher after strong Walmart earnings and after reports that China is engaging in new trade talks. Earnings season is now about 85% over, and it has been quite strong with over 70% of the companies exceeding expectations. That said, the stock market volatility in 2018 has created less rewarding trades by buying the dips, which had been so reliable in prior years. Many investors are also trying to decide how they want their investments positioned ahead of the midterm elections and given international trade concerns.

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 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 are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Thursday, August 14, 2018.

Avalara Inc. (NYSE: AVLR) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $45 price target at Goldman Sachs. It closed down almost 4% at $34.67 on Wednesday but was indicated up 9.5% at $38.00 early Thursday.

AVEO Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AVEO) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $6.50 price target at H.C. Wainwright. Shares closed down 6% at $2.18 on Wednesday and were indicated up 10% at $2.40 on Thursday. This is two days after AVEO announced that the Chinese National Drug Administration accepted CANbridge investigational new drug application for its antibody against esophageal squamous cell cancer.

AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE: AZN) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $515 price target (versus a $339.14 prior close) at UBS. Boeing has a 52-week range of $234.29 to $374.48, and the consensus target price was $403.22 prior to the call.

Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE: CGC) was up 30% at $32.11 on Wednesday after Constellation Brands took a large minority stake in the cannabis company. Canaccord Genuity raised it to a Speculative Buy rating from Hold.

Conn’s Inc. (NASDAQ: CONN) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $44 price target (versus a $33.85 close, after a 4.4% drop) at Jefferies.

Coty Inc. (NYSE: COTY) was down 2.9% at $11.43 on Wednesday and was down another 3.7% at $11.00 on Thursday. Coty took a two-notch downgrade from Merrill Lynch, to Underperform from Buy, and its price objective was slashed to $10 from $16.

Embraer S.A. (NYSE: ERJ) was raised to Overweight with a $23.50 price target (versus an $18.65 close, after a 2.5% drop) at Morgan Stanley. Its American depositary shares have a 52-week trading range of $18.29 to $28.55, and the consensus target price was closer to $24.50.

GreenSky Inc. (NASDAQ: GSKY) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Cowen. Shares closed up 3.4% at $15.91 on Wednesday and were indicated up another 5% at $16.70 on Thursday.

Himax Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: HIMX) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform and the target price was slashed to $6 from $12 (versus a $5.98 close, after an 8% drop) at Macquarie.

Invacare Corp. (NYSE: IVC) was downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Kimberly-Clark Corp. (NYSE: KMB) was up 4.8% at $116.46 on Wednesday after announcing a price hike on certain products. JPMorgan now has raised the consumer products giant to Neutral from Underweight with a $114 price target.

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L3 Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LLL) was started as Neutral with a $230 price target (versus a $208.11 close) at UBS.

Lockheed Martin Corp.  (NYSE: LMT) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $400 price target at UBS.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) was raised to Buy from Hold at Argus. Lululemon was down 2.3% at $126.45 on Wednesday, and the stock was indicated up 2.4% at $129.50 on Thursday.

Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) closed down almost 16% at $35.15 on Wednesday despite an earnings beat. Morgan Stanley maintained it as Underweight but raised the price target to $27 from $25.

Nanometrics Inc. (NASDAQ: NANO) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at D.A. Davidson.

Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) was started as Neutral with a $315 price target at UBS.

Raytheon Co. (NYSE: RTN) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $250 price target (versus a $194.93 close) at UBS.

Spirit Aerosystems Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SPR) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $110 price target (versus an $84.57 close) at UBS.

Stryker Corp. (NYSE: SYK) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $187 price target (versus a $166.78 close) at BTIG.

Sysco Corp. (NYSE: SYY) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $86 from $67 (versus a $74.89 close) at Argus.

TechnipFMC PLC (NYSE: FTI) was raised to Buy from Hold at Jefferies.

Teladoc Health Inc. (NYSE: TDOC) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $90 target price (versus a $70.75 close) at Leerink.

TransDigm Group Inc. (NYSE: TDG) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $430 price target (versus a $351.43 close) at UBS.

Triumph Group Inc. (NYSE: TGI) was started with a Sell rating and assigned a $19 target price (versus a $21.10 close) at UBS.

Ultrapar Participacoes S.A. (NYSE: UGP) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. The stock was down almost 4% to $10.88 on Wednesday but was indicated up 6.6% at $11.60 on Thursday. The 52-week trading range is $10.41 to $26.48, and the consensus target price was closer to $17.20 before this call.

Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. (NYSE: WAIR) was started with a Sell rating and assigned an $11 price target at UBS.

Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZBH) was started with a Neutral rating at BTIG.

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