Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Abbott Labs, Alphabet, AMD, FireEye, Gap, Golar LNG, Nike and More

October 18, 2018 by 247lee

Source: MicroStockHub / Getty Images
The futures traded lower again Thursday morning as investors continue to ride what has been a roller-coaster of a week in the markets. With many of the third-quarter earnings reports from the top companies coming in strong, the overall consensus for the rest of the year remains positive. The stock market’s all-time highs are still within striking distance, but investors have seen lower upside from buying immediately after the big market pullbacks in 2018 than in prior years.

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 others 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 Thursday, October 18, 2018.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) saw its target price raised to $80 from $74 at Jefferies, and the firm reiterated a Buy rating on the shares. That compares with the Wall Street consensus price target of $77.76. The company posted inline third-quarter results but had 8% underlying sales growth for the second consecutive quarter. The stock closed Wednesday at $70.23.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) saw its price target raised to $33 from $30 at Cowen. The consensus price target for the semiconductor leader is posted at $25.64. The stock closed trading on Wednesday at $27.30 a share.

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) was started with an Outperform rating and a price target of $1,350 at Wedbush. That compares with the consensus price objective of $1,354. The shares closed trading on Wednesday at $1,115.69.

Dana Inc. (NYSE: DAN) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $15.89 to $35.27, and the consensus price objective is set at $24. The stock ended trading on Wednesday at $16.44.

EnLink Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE: ENLK) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup. The 52-week trading range for the shares is $12.75 to $19.45, and the consensus price target is set at $18.25. Given that the stock closed at $18.34, this may be a valuation call.

FireEye Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE) was started with an Outperform rating at Baird. The 52-week trading range for the security software company is $13.40 to $19.36. The consensus price target is $9.43. The shares ended trading on Wednesday at $17.84.

Fluor Corp. (NYSE: FLR) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. The 52-week trading range for the stock is $42.27 to $62.09, and the consensus price target is $60.71. The stock was hammered recently after the company posted disappointing third-quarter results, and shares closed Wednesday at $46.74.

Golar LNG Ltd. (NASDAQ: GLNG) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch. The stock has traded between $19.32 and $35.54 apiece over the past year. The consensus price target for the shares is $36.63. The stock ended trading on Wednesday at $27.95.

Follow @Jonogg on Twitter to receive the daily analyst calls and other market research calls directly on your feed.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Oppenheimer. The 52-week trading range for the shoe and apparel giant is $51.48 to $86.04. The consensus price target is $87.69. The stock closed trading on Wednesday at $76.48.

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) was downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. The clothing retailer has traded in a 52-week range of $25.36 to $35.68, and the consensus price target is $32.53. Shares closed trading on Wednesday at $27.13.

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

BJ Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BJ) was started with a Perform rating at Oppenheimer. The 52-week trading range is $20.56 to $32.92, and the consensus price target is $29.69. The shares closed way below that level on Wednesday at $23.98.

Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) was started with a Buy rating at Loop Capital. The 52-week trading range for the shares is $129.90 to $194.18. The consensus price target is set at $159.50, and the stock closed trading Wednesday at $146.19.

Healthcare Realty Inc. (NYSE: HR) was started with an Underperform rating at Raymond James. The stock has traded between $26.09 and $33.08 over the past year, and the consensus price target is set at $30.56. The shares ended trading at $28.10 on Wednesday.

Mimecast Ltd. (NASDAQ: MIME) was started with an Outperform rating at Baird. The 52-week trading range is $26.50 to $46.87. The posted consensus price target is $48.77. The stock ended trading on Wednesday at $36.94 a share.

Norfolk Southern Inc. (NYSE: NSC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch. The 52-week trading range for the railroad transport giant is $125.59 to $186.91. The consensus price target is set at $187.68, and the stock closed trading on Wednesday at $169.

PACCAR Inc. (NYSE: PCAR) was started with a Hold rating at Loop Capital. The shares have traded between $59.82 and $79.69 over the past year. The consensus price target is set at $71.50, and the stock ended trading on Wednesday at $61.74.

PulteGroup Inc. (NYSE: PHM) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch. The 52-trading range is $22.53 to $35.21, and the consensus price objective is posted at $30.94. There are concerns across Wall Street for the homebuilders as mortgage rates are at the highest level in seven years.

Teradyne Inc. (NYSE: TER) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $32.06 to $50.48, and the consensus price objective is $44.47. The stock ended trading Wednesday at $34.14.

Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Cree, Goldman Sachs, Home Depot, IBM, Lennar, NetApp, Netflix, Starbucks, United Continental and many more.

I'm interested in the Newsletter