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

IPG Photonics Corp. (NASDAQ: IPGP) was raised to Strong Buy from Market Perform at Raymond James. The stock was up 1.2% at $162.56 on Thursday and was indicated up 3.2% at $167.75 on Friday.

Lithia Motors Inc. (NYSE: LAD) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim.

Meritage Homes Corp. (NYSE: MTH) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) was up 2.2% at $46.06 ahead of earnings and initially traded higher, but shares were down 4.4% at $44.10 on Friday’s early indications. Morgan Stanley maintained its Equal Weight rating but cut the target to $48 from $65. Stifel maintained its Buy rating but lowered its price target to $103 from $108. Nomura/Instinet lowered its target to $65 from $100, and Needham lowered its target to $80 from $100.

NetEase Inc. (NASDAQ: NTES) was raised to Buy from Hold at Jefferies. Shares were up 4.1% at $213.19 on Thursday and up 3.2% at $220.00 on Friday.

New Age Beverages Corp. (NASDAQ: NBEV) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Maxim Group. This call is a day after shares rose 79% to $7.85 ahead of presenting CBD products at an upcoming convention, but the shares were up another 18% at $9.30 ahead of Friday’s open.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) was reiterated as Overweight and the target price was raised to $100 from $85 at Barclays. Nike closed up 1.1% at $85.37 on Thursday and was indicated up 0.7% at $85.95 on Friday.

Nightstar Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ: NITE) was reiterated as Buy with a $34 price target (versus a $27.78 close) at Wedbush Securities, but this is a stance ahead of a presentation this weekend on the initial XLRP data, with a stance that it should be overall positive and could guide a pivotal design.

Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) was raised to Overweight from Underweight at JPMorgan. It was up 2.8% at $1.47 on Thursday and was indicated up 11% at $1.64 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $0.96 to $2.75.

Penske Auto Group Inc. (NYSE: PAG) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim.

Pier 1 Imports Inc. (NYSE: PIR) was up 3.4% at $1.81 on Thursday but was indicated down 17% at $1.50 on Friday after reporting its preliminary financial results. UBS maintained it as Sell and cut the price target to $1 from $2. Citigroup maintained its Neutral rating on Pier 1 but cut its target to $1.80 from $3.10.

Proofpoint Inc. (NASDAQ: PFPT) was reiterated as Outperform along with a $136 price target (versus a $103.63 close) at Wedbush. The call is after recent price weakness, and the firm sees the situation as normal rather than pressured.

PulteGroup Inc. (NYSE: PHM) was downgraded to Underweight from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Roper Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ROP) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UAA) was raised to Neutral from Underweight and the target price was raised to $20 from $16 at JPMorgan. Shares closed up 5% at $18.15 on Thursday after it announced 3% layoffs, and the stock was indicated up 1.4% at $18.40 on Friday.

Venator Materials PLC (NYSE: VNTR) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Thursday’s top analyst calls were in AMD, Caterpillar, NRG Energy, Nvidia, Procter & Gamble, Square, Red Hat, Transocean, Viacom, Wisdom Tree and about 20 more.