Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AIG, Freeport-McMoRan, Frontier Communications, Noble Energy, Occidental, Spark Therapeutics, Target and More

November 7, 2018 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were indicated higher on Wednesday after the elections results basically went as the pre-vote polls had indicated. While there has been a big bounce off last week’s lows, investors have seen lower upside after buying immediately after the big market pullbacks than in prior years. The investing community needs to consider how to position their investments for the rest of the year and into 2019.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. Our goal is to find new ideas for investors and traders alike. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while 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 Wednesday, November 6, 2018.

Abiomed Inc. (NASDAQ: ABMD) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $496 price target (versus a $389.85 prior close) at Morgan Stanley.

American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) was downgraded to In-Line from Outperform with a $51 price target (versus a $44.90 close) at Evercore ISI. It had a consensus analyst target price of $56.60.

Diplomat Pharmacy Inc. (NASDAQ: DPLO) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral and the price target was slashed to $10 from $22 (versus a $20.34 close) at Robert W. Baird. The 52-week range is $14.50 to $28.74 and the consensus target price is $25.10

Emerald Expositions Events Inc. (NYSE: EEX) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $15 price target (versus a $12.71 close) at Goldman Sachs. The 52-week range is $11.50 to $24.45 and the consensus target price is $14.90.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) was downgraded to Underperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets. Shares closed at $12.20 but were indicated up 1.7% at $12.41 on Wednesday. The consensus target price is $16.51, and the 52-week trading range is $10.59 to $20.25.

Frontier Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: FTR) was up 5% at $5.26 ahead of earnings but was indicated down 16% at $4.42 after earnings. Now UBS has downgraded it to Sell from Neutral and slashed the price target to $3 from $6. Frontier had a prior consensus target price of $6.37, and its 52-week trading range was $4.26 to $11.64.

Infinera Corp. (NASDAQ: INFN) was last seen down about 27% at $4.54 after earnings. Nomura/Instinet downgraded it to Neutral from Buy and slashed the target price to $6 from $12. The 52-week range is $5.24 to $12.39 and the consensus target price is $9.58

Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: IRWD) saw its shares drop 9.5% to $12.78 after earnings on Tuesday. Now JPMorgan has downgraded it to Underweight from Neutral, and Credit Suisse downgraded it to Neutral from Outperform. The 52-week range is $12.67 to $21.20 and the consensus target price is $18.09.

MINDBODY Inc. (NASDAQ: MB) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight and the price target was cut to $31 from $48 at JPMorgan. The 52-week range is $28.70 to $45.50 and the consensus target price is $44.77.

Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

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Northern Trust Corp. (NASDAQ: NTRS) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $126 target price (versus a $95.81 close) at Wells Fargo. Northern Trust has a $114.25 consensus analyst target, and its 52-week trading range is $87.98 to $115.61.

Oasis Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OAS) was raised to Hold from Sell with an $11 price target (versus a $9.89 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. The 52-week range is $7.31 to $14.57 and the consensus target price is $16.53.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) was raised to Outperform from In-Line with an $88 price target (versus a $73.34 close, after a 4.8% gain) at Evercore ISI.

Progressive Corp. (NYSE: PGR) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with an $84 price target (versus a $69.78 close) at Morgan Stanley. The 52-week range is $50.14 to $72.72 and the consensus target price is $73.00.

RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: RNR) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $150 price target (versus a $126.55 close) at Deutsche Bank. The consensus target price is $139.90.

Spark Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCE) was last seen up 6% at $44.30 after reporting a narrower loss. Wedbush raised it to Neutral from Underperform with a $40 price target, noting that there are challenges ahead but also that Spark’s risk/reward scenario has improved. Raymond James raised Spark Therapeutics to Strong Buy from Outperform, and B. Riley raised it was to Buy from Neutral.

Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $100 target price (versus an $86.67 close) at Cowen. Target has a consensus target price of $89.51.

United Microelectronics Corp. (NYSE: UMC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS, a day after its shares rose 4% to $1.78. Its 52-week range is $1.69 to $3.14.

USA Compression Partners L.P. (NYSE: USAC) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform with a $21 price target (versus a $14.19 close) at RBC Capital Markets. The 52-week range is $14.01 to $19.33 and the consensus target price is $20.14.

Western Gas Partners L.P. (NYSE: WES) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $51 price objective (versus a $41.07 close) at Merrill Lynch. The 52-week range is $38.35 to $54.40. The consensus target price is $54.82.

Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ: ZION) was raised to Overweight from Neutral and the price target was lifted up to $57 from $54 (versus a $49.19 close) at Piper Jaffray. The consensus target price is $57.08.

Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades were in shares of AbbVie, AMAG Pharmaceutical, Crocs, HCA, Kellogg, Kosmos Energy, Mylan, Pandora Media, Square and many more.

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