Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alcoa, Chevron, GM, Lam Research, Micron, NXP Semiconductors, Royal Bank of Scotland, Tiffany, Wayfair and More

September 12, 2018 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were looking for direction on Wednesday, ahead of a major hurricane and despite a lower than expected reading on wholesale inflation (PPI). The indexes remain near all-time highs in the United States, while most international markets are not. That said, investors have seen less upside when they have bought the market pullbacks than in prior years. Investors also need to consider how they want to have their investments positioned for the rest of 2018.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week to find new ideas for investors and traders alike. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, but 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 on Wednesday, September 12, 2018.

Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE: AYI) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $126 price target (versus a $158.21 prior close) at Goldman Sachs. The consensus target price is $156.44.

Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) was reiterated as Buy and its price objective was raised to $300 from $292 (versus a $267.00 close) at Merrill Lynch. The firm expects that Adobe will have $18 in earnings per share and $20 billion in revenues within five years.

Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $50 price target (versus a $40.87 close) at B. Riley. The stock was indicated up 0.5% at $41.05, and it had a consensus target price of $59.17.

BEST Inc. (NASDAQ: BSTI) was raised to Outperform from Neutral with a price target of $8.00 (versus a $6.35 close, after a 2.3% drop) at Macquarie. Shares were indicated up 3.6% at $6.55 on Wednesday.

Brinks Co. (NYSE: BCO) was started with a new Buy rating and assigned a $90 price target (versus a $71.40 close) at Berenberg.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) was raised to Buy from Hold at HSBC. Chevron closed up 0.5% at $115.02 on Tuesday and was indicated up at $116.00 on Wednesday. The 52-week range is $108.02 to $133.88, and the consensus target price is $147.12.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at BNP Paribas.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) was reiterated as Buy and with a $60 price objective at Merrill Lynch. GM was said to be the best positioned of the U.S. automakers.

Immersion Corp. (NASDAQ: IMMR) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $15 target price (versus a $10.20 close) at Craig-Hallum. It was last seen trading up 7% at $10.95 in early trading.

Lam Research Corp. (NASDAQ: LRCX) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $180 price target (versus a $155.40 close) at Goldman Sachs. It was indicated down another 2% at $152.00, and it had a consensus target price of $239.30.

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Maxim Integrated Products Inc. (NASDAQ: MXIM) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel.

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $50 price target (versus a $43.60 close, after almost a 3% drop) at Goldman Sachs. Micron was indicated down another 4% at $41.75, and it had a consensus target price of $83.60.

NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) was downgraded to Sell from Hold with an $84 price target (versus an $89.57 close, after a 4.4% drop) at Stifel. Merrill Lynch reiterated its Neutral rating but has a $110 price objective after its analyst day. Shares have a consensus target price of $107 and were indicated down another 1.5% at $88.25 on Wednesday.

Power Integrations Inc. (NASDAQ: POWI) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $75 price target (versus a $70.15 close) at Stifel. It has a $78.00 consensus target price and a 52-week range of $60.55 to $86.60.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (NYSE: RBS) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. The firm sees better medium-term cash returns and sees it at a discount to Lloyds despite having resolved many legacy issues. RBS saw its American depositary shares close down 1.07% at $6.49 on Tuesday, and it was indicated down 0.3% on Wednesday. The 52-week trading range is $6.13 to $8.74.

TerraForm Power Inc. (NASDAQ: TERP) was raised to Neutral from Sell with an $11 price target (versus an $11.04 close) at Goldman Sachs. The 52-week range is $9.90 to $14.20, and the consensus target price is $13.00.

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) was raised to Outperform from Perform and assigned a $152 price target (versus a $123.37 close) at Oppenheimer.

Wayfair Inc. (NYSE: W) was started as Market Perform and assigned a $150 price target (versus a $143.96 close) at Wells Fargo. The 52-week range is $55.33 to $144.35. The consensus analyst target is $121.00.

Worldpay Inc. (NYSE: WP) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $125 price target (versus a $99.26 close) at Mizuho. It has a consensus target price of $103.83 and was indicated up 1% at $99.00 on Wednesday.

Zealand Pharma A/S (NASDAQ: ZEAL) was started with an Overweight rating and assigned a $29 price target (versus a $17.39 close) at Morgan Stanley.

24/7 Wall St. has identified seven large international stock picks that are called to have big upside for U.S. investors willing to look at discounted overseas stocks.

Here is also how the hurricane winners and losers have traded since before Hurricane Florence was a definite threat.

Tuesday’s top analyst calls were in Baker Hughes, CBS, Generac, Halliburton, Nike, PG&E, Snap, Tesla, Weatherford, Western Digital and many more.

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