Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Apple, Baker Hughes, Blackbaud, Box, CSX, Intuit, Mylan, Tesla, Vodafone, Walmart and More

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Stocks were looking to open lower on Tuesday after a mixed bag with the Dow Jones industrials rising and S&P 500 and Nasdaq falling on Monday. U.S. equity indexes are still quite close to all-time highs despite the rapid rise in long-term interest rates over the past two weeks. One trend that cannot be ignored is that investors have seen lower upside from buying on market pullbacks than in prior years. Now the investing community has to consider how to position their investments for the rest of 2018 and into 2019.

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 of them 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 Tuesday, October 9, 2018.

Alliant Energy Corp. (NYSE: LNT) was started as Neutral and assigned a $44 price target (versus a $43.61 prior close) at Mizuho.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was reiterated as Buy with a $256 price objective (versus a $224.29 close) at Merrill Lynch. The firm’s survey showed wide-based iPhone dominance, with rising iPhone demand, user stickiness that is better than the competition and material room to grow in emerging markets.

Arcus Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ: RCUS) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $22 price target (versus a $12.96 close) at Wedbush Securities. The firm’s call for about 70% upside is based on robust in-house immuno-oncology assets and a comprehensive and rational combination development programs.

Baker Hughes, a GE Company (NYSE: BHGE) was Raised to Buy from Hold at Jefferies. It closed down one cent at $31.89 on Monday, and it has a 52-week range of $25.53 to $37.76 and a consensus target price of $37.52.

Blackbaud Inc. (NYSE: BLKB) was down 3.7% at $90.01 on Monday with the soft market, but its shares were indicated down about 19% at $73.00 on Tuesday after lowering revenue and earnings guidance. Raymond James downgraded the shares to Market Perform from Outperform, JMP Securities downgraded them to Market Perform from Market Outperform and Stifel cut the stock to Hold from Buy.

Box Inc. (NYSE: BOX) was started as Hold and assigned a $22 target price (versus a $19.93 close) at Deutsche Bank.

BRP Inc. (NASDAQ: DOOO) was started as Outperform and assigned a $50 price target (versus a $41.90 close) at Robert W. Baird.

Cision Ltd. (NYSE: CISN) was downgraded to Hold from Buy but the price target was raised to $18 from $16 (versus a $15.92 close) at Deutsche Bank.

CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX) was maintained as Underweight but the price target was raised to $55 from $52 at Morgan Stanley.

Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. (NASDAQ: DNKN) was reiterated as Overweight and the price target was raised to $78 from $75 (versus a $71.53 close) at Barclays.

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $59 price objective (versus a $50.08 close) at Merrill Lynch.

Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: HOV) was raised to Market Perform from Market Underperform at JMP Securities. Shares closed up 2.5% at $1.60 on Monday and were indicated up by a penny at $1.61 on Tuesday.

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