Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: DSW, Dean Foods, Fluor, JD.com, Nvidia, Viper Energy, Walmart and More

August 17, 2018 by 247lee

The futures traded lower this Friday morning following Thursday’s huge run for the stock market. Encouraging news on the trade front, which indicated that the United States and China will be renewing trade talks later this month, was the fuse that lit the market for some of the biggest gains of this year. But the trend of buying the dips has not worked as well lately as it did in prior years, and many investors have considered how they want their investments positioned for the longer term.

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 of the top analyst reports cover stocks to buy. Other analyst calls cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional color and commentary have been added on some of these daily analyst calls. The consensus analyst price target data are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Friday, August 17, 2018.

Dean Foods Co. (NYSE: DF) was downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. The stock’s 52-week trading range is $8.03 to $12.09. The Wall Street consensus price target is $8.81, and shares ended trading on Thursday at $8.72.

DSW Inc. (NYSE: DSW) was downgraded to Negative from Neutral at Susquehanna. The 52-week trading range for shares is $15.14 to $29.27. The consensus price target for the stock is set at $25.27. The shares closed Thursday at $27.84, but traded down almost 3% in Friday’s premarket action.

Esperion Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ESPR) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup. The 52-week trading range is $33.06 to $82.68, and the consensus price target is $72.23. The stock ended trading on Thursday at $46.67.

Fluor Corp. (NYSE: FLR) was raised to Buy from Hold at Canaccord Genuity. The 52-week trading range is $37.04 to $62.09. The consensus price target is $58.57, and the stock ended trading Thursday at $55.86.

JD.com Inc. (NASDAQ: JD) saw its target price reduced at Stifel to $48 from $50. That compares with a consensus target of $46.01. Management at the company noted that sales growth slowed in July due to seasonality and a difficult prior-year comparison. The shares closed Thursday at $31.97.

Ligand Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: LGND) was started with a Neutral rating at Goldman Sachs with a $256 price target. The consensus target price is $251.35, and the stock closed Thursday at $239.66, down over 3% on the day.

Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) was raised to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer. The 52-week trading range for the chip giant is $157.37 to $269.20, and the consensus price target is set at $295.67. The company posted solid earnings but indicated some weakness for the next quarter due to crypto loss. The stock closed Thursday at $257.44, but the shares were down almost 3% in the premarket.

Retrophin Inc. (NASDAQ: RTRX) was started with a Buy rating and a $36 price target at Canaccord Genuity. The consensus price target is $38.67. The stock ended trading on Thursday at $27.05.

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Viper Energy Partners L.P. (NASDAQ: VNOM) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was boosted to $42 from $38 at Stifel. That compares with a consensus target of $40.8. The stock closed Thursday at $38.33.

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) was downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James. The 52-week trading range for the retail giant, which posted blowout quarterly results this week, is $77.50 to $109.58. The consensus price target is $99.44. The stock closed Thursday at $98.64, up almost 10% on the day.

Other key analysts upgrades and downgrades were seen in the following:

Colfax Corp. (NYSE: CFX) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen. Over the past year, the shares have traded in a range of $28.80 to $43.29, and they have a consensus price target of $35.50. The stock closed Thursday at $31.53 a share.

Cott Corp. (NYSE: COT) was started on the Action List with a Buy rating at TD Securities. Its 52-week trading range is a narrow $14.06 to $17.77, and the consensus price target is $19.13. The stock closed Thursday at $15.74.

Enbridge Inc. (NYSE: ENB) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch. The stock has traded between $29.00 and $42.10 over the past year. The consensus price target is posted at $45.03, and the stock closed Thursday at $34.90 per share.

First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at Atlantic Equities. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $14.73 to $24.83. The consensus price target is $26.78, and the stock ended trading Thursday at $24.16.

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HLT) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Bernstein. Shares of the lodging giant have traded in a 52-week range of $60.54 to $88.11. The consensus price target is $92.81, and the stock closed Thursday at $77.24.

Nutanix Inc. (NASDAQ: NTNX) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies. The 52-week trading range is $20.02 to $64.87, and the consensus price target is $59.50. The shares closed Thursday at $55.66.

WillScot Corp. (NYSE: WSC) was started with an Outperform rating and a $20 price objective at Credit Suisse. The consensus price target is $18.50, and the stock ended trading on Thursday at $15.90.

Yum China Holdings Inc. (NYSE: YUMC) was downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $42.10 to $48.75, and the consensus price objective is $41.90. The stock ended most recently at $35.33.

In case you missed it, Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Aveo, Boeing, Canopy Growth, Coty, Kimberly-Clark, Lululemon, Macy’s Sysco, Teladoc and more.

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