Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AMD, Alcoa, AT&T, Darden, Micron, New Age Beverages, Nike, Novavax, Pier 1, Under Armour and More

Stocks were indicated marginally higher on Friday, but this as after the Dow Jones industrials and S&P 500 hit all-time high closes on Thursday. International markets were also higher on Friday, but many international and emerging markets are still very far away from their all-time highs. As many investors have seen lower upside from buying on market pullbacks than in prior years, they have to consider how they want to have their investments positioned for the rest of 2018 and as 2019 approaches.

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 Friday, September 21, 2018.

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACAD) was raised to Overweight from Neutral and the price target was raised to $25 from $16 at Piper Jaffray.

Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE: AYI) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform and the price target was raised to $187 from $140 at Wells Fargo.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) has seen multiple price target hikes in recent days, and now Jefferies has raised its target to $36 from $30 with a reiterated Buy rating. The firm sees supply constraints at Intel helping AMD grow its revenue and market share in some markets. AMD was indicated up 0.5% at $31.34, and the 52-week trading range is $9.04 to $34.14.

Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA) was started as Buy and assigned a $54 price target (versus a $42.93 prior close) at Berenberg.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price target was raised to $38 from $33 at UBS. The firm sees incredibly low valuations and an expected return to earnings growth in the years ahead.

Beazer Homes USA Inc. (NYSE: BZH) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Copart Inc. (NASDAQ: CPRT) was downgraded to Underweight from Neutral and the target price was just cut to $47 from $48 at JPMorgan.

CRISPR Therapeutics A.G. (NASDAQ: CRSP) was started with an Underperform rating at Raymond James.

Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) was down 1.2% at $116.45 ahead of beating earnings. It has seen several target price hikes: Canaccord Genuity to $125 from $120, Mizuho to $125 from $115 and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey to $137 from $117.

Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. (NYSE: DO) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $20.80 from $18.80 at HSBC.

Eaton Corp. PLC (NYSE: ETN) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price target was raised to $100 from $91 (versus an $88.32 close) at UBS.

Editas Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ: EDIT) was started with an Outperform rating and the price target was set at $40 (versus a $32.57 close) at Raymond James.

Forescout Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: FSCT) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $47 target price (versus a $39.47 close) at Needham.

Harmonic Inc. (NASDAQ: HLIT) was started with a Buy rating and assigned an $8.25 price target (versus a $5.20 close) at Loop Capital.

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