Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Apple, Applied Materials, Biogen, CyberArk, Electronic Arts, Marathon, Nike, NXP Semiconductors and More

December 21, 2018 by 247lee

The futures traded higher Friday morning as the fallout from the Federal Reserve raising rates yet again lingered over the market. With all the major indexes having the worst quarter in years, many investors can’t wait for the new year. One trend that has been impossible to ignore in 2018 and during weeks of selling is that investors also have seen less upside from buying immediately after the big market sell-offs than in prior years. Now investors have to consider how they want to have their investments and assets positioned for 2019.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week in an effort 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 color and commentary also has been added on some of these daily analyst calls. The consensus analyst price target data are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Friday, December 21, 2018.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was removed from the Best Ideas List at Wedbush. The technology giant has traded in a 52-week range of $150.24 to $233.47, and the Wedbush price target is $275. The consensus price target on Wall Street is $221.07. The stock closed Thursday at $156.83.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) was started with a Buy rating a $45 price target at Needham. The consensus target price is $48.23. The stock closed Thursday at $30.90, but shares traded up almost 2% in premarket action.

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) was started with a Buy rating at BTIG Research. The biotech leader has traded in a 52-week range of $249.17 to $388.67. The consensus price target is $386.37. The stock closed on Thursday at $292.33.

Century Aluminum Co. (NASDAQ: CENX) was started with an Equal Weight rating at Morgan Stanley. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $7.32 to $24.77, and the consensus price target is $14.33. The stock closed Thursday at $7.56.

CyberArk Software Ltd. (NASDAQ: CYBR) was raised to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank. Shares of the software cybersecurity stock have traded between $40.63 and $84.321 over the past year. The consensus price target is $89.68. The stock closed Thursday at $69.37.

Continental Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLR) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup. The 52-week trading range is $38.51 to $71.95, and the consensus price objective is $689.51. The stock closed on Thursday at $38.86, down almost 5% on the day.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) was removed from the Best Ideas List at Wedbush. The stock remains rated Overweight with a $133 price target. The consensus target is $120.60, and the stock closed Thursday at $77.44.

Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO) was raised to Buy from Neutral to Buy at Citigroup. The shares have traded between $13.42 and $24.20 over the past year. The consensus price objective is $23.06 and shares closed Thursday at $13.61.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan and to Buy from Hold at Pivotal Research Group. The company posted solid fiscal second-quarter results on Thursday. The consensus price target for the shoe and apparel giant is $87.06. Its stock closed Thursday at $67.53. Shares are up almost 6% in premarket trading.

NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) was started with an Overweight rating at Piper Jaffray. The 52-week trading range is $69.72 to $125.93, and the consensus price target is $101.58. The shares closed Thursday at $71.95, but were up almost 2% in the premarket trading.

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

CalAmp Corp. (NASDAQ: CAMP) was raised to Buy from Hold at Craig Hallum; however, the firm lowered the price target to $17. That compares with a consensus target of $23. The stock closed on Thursday at $12.69. Shares were down almost 10% in the premarket, despite the company beating third-quarter earnings estimates on Thursday.

Celgene Inc. (NASDAQ: CELG) was resumed in coverage at BTIG with a Neutral rating. The consensus price target is $106.73. The stock closed Thursday at $64.52, but shares are higher in the premarket.

Green Plains Partners L.P. (NYSE: GPP) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo. The consensus price target is $18, and shares closed Thursday at $13.79.

Parsley Energy Inc. (NYSE: PE) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup. The 52-week range is $14.95 to $33.43, and the consensus price target is $34.64. Shares closed Thursday at $14.99, down almost 4%.

Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) was removed from the Best Idea List at Wedbush. It is still rated Overweight with a $75 price target. The consensus target is $60.12, and the stock closed Thursday at $46.13.

Teradyne Inc. (NYSE: TER) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird. The 52-week trading range is $29.89 to $50.68, and the consensus price target is $38.20. Shares closed Thursday at $30.69.

In case you missed it: Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Apple, Arconic, Chipotle Mexican Grill, GrubHub, Halliburton, Humana, Yelp and many more.

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