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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