Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: ABB, AGCO, AT&T, Broadcom, Caterpillar, Costco, First Solar, Lululemon, Roku, Verizon, Xilinx and More

December 3, 2018 by Jon C. Ogg

Source:
Stocks surged higher on Monday after a delay to the tariffs against China have been extended for 90 days after a G20 dinner announcement. This follows last week’s gains as the recovery from Thanksgiving. While these gains have been impressive, investors have to keep in mind that there has been less upside from buying immediately after the big market sell-offs than in prior years. Now investors have to consider how they want their investments and assets positioned for 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 of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while 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 Monday, December 3, 2018.

ABB Ltd. (NYSE: ABB) was downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

AGCO Corp. (NYSE: AGCO) was raised to Neutral from Underperform with a $63 price objective at Merrill Lynch.

Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. (NYSE: ARE) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a $38 price target at JPMorgan. AT&T was up 2.2% at $31.24 on Friday and was indicated up 1.6% at $31.78 on Monday. Its consensus target price is $34.36.

Azul S.A. (NYSE: AZUL) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Belden Inc. (NYSE: BDC) was downgraded to Neutral with a $55 target price (versus a $55.78 prior close) at Goldman Sachs.

Bluebird Bio Inc. (NASDAQ: BLUE) was maintained as Buy at Janney, with the firm noting that the LentiGlobin updates were consistent with before and that early data from its bb21217 is promising. Wedbush Securities maintained its Outperform rating with a $166 target price.

Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGO) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the target price was raised to $300 from $250.00 (versus a $237.41 close) at B. Riley FBR.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price objective was raised to $163 from $140 (versus a $135.67 close, after a 4.2% gain) at Merrill Lynch. Caterpillar was indicated up over 4% more at $142.15 on Monday, and its consensus target price was last seen at $155.24.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and its target was lowered to $238 from $257 (versus a $231.28 close) at Citigroup. Costco had a consensus target price of $244.61.

Del Taco Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ: TACO) was added to the Best Ideas List at Wedbush. Correction: Obseva S.A. (NASDAQ: OBSV) was added to the Best Ideas List rather than replaced on the Best Ideas List.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $40 price target (versus a $35.98 close) at Citigroup.

EQT Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE: EQM) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel.

FirstCash Inc. (NASDAQ: FCFS) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $90 target (versus an $88.29 close) at Wedbush.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) was raised to Neutral from Sell and the price target was raised to $46 from $39 (versus a $44.45 close) at Goldman Sachs. The stock was indicated up 2.5% at $45.60 on Monday, and it had a consensus analyst target of $65.28.

Forum Energy Technologies Inc. (NYSE: FET) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch.

GW Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ: GWPH) was maintained as Overweight but the target was lowered to $193 from $211 at Cantor Fitzgerald.

Helmerich & Payne Inc. (NYSE: HP) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Merrill Lynch.

Huntsman Corp. (NYSE: HUN) was maintained as Overweight but the target was lowered to $32 from $36 (versus a $20.22 close) at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Lab Corp. of America (NYSE: LH) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $177 from $174 (versus a $132.55 close) at MKM Partners. This is a pre-earnings call, and Lululemon had a consensus target price of $163.14 ahead of this call.

Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch.

Roku Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $49 price target at D.A. Davidson. Shares were down 0.2% at $40.75 on Friday but indicated up over 5% at $42.85 on Monday. The consensus target price is $67.67.

Senior Housing Properties Trust (NYSE: SNH) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo, and its shares were indicated up 1.7% at $14.00 on Monday, after a 2.2% gain to $13.76 on Friday. Its consensus target price was $15.93.

Steven Madden Ltd. (NASDAQ: SHOO) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the price target was lowered to $34 from $38 (versus a $32.23 close, after a 2.4% gain) at Citigroup.

Timken Co. (NYSE: TKR) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price objective was raised to $50 from $45 at Merrill Lynch.

Tractor Supply Co. (NASDAQ: TSCO) was downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight with a $62 target price (versus a $60.30 close) at JPMorgan. Verizon has a 52-week range of $46.09 to $61.58 and a consensus target price of $58.29.

Workday Inc. (NASDAQ: WDAY) was reiterated as Overweight and that target price was raised to $165 from $154 at Morgan Stanley. It closed up almost 13% at $164.00 in a post-earnings trade on Friday.

Xilinx Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) was reiterated as Overweight and the target price was raised to $100 from $90 at KeyBanc Capital Markets. It was indicated up 2.7% at $95.00 on Monday and had a consensus target price of $86.82. This actually will make a 52-week high for Xilinx, unusual for a chip stock in the current climate.

Credit Suisse issued its Equity Strategy Navigator, noting that rates are just below the neutral level and that the markets expect two more Federal Reserve rate hikes. The synopsis said:

While many investors fret tighter monetary conditions, we believe that the successful renormalization of policy will be rewarded by the market in 2019. Stocks responded positively to soothing comments from Fed Chair Powell, but volatility remains heightened on trade concerns. We believe the recent rebound should continue into year-end.

Friday’s top analyst calls included Dollar Tree, Goldman Sachs, Palo Alto Networks, Sony, Under Armour and many more.

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