Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Aflac, Akamai, BioMarin, Caesars Entertainment, CBS, Crocs, GW Pharma, Medtronic, Netflix, Sirius XM and More
Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) was started as Overweight and assigned a $29 price target at Morgan Stanley. Goldman Sachs started coverage as Buy with a $25 target, and Oppenheimer started it as Outperform with a $27 target. Merrill Lynch started the stock as Buy and assigned a $20 price objective, while Piper Jaffray started Moderna as Overweight with a $24 target price. The prior closing price was $15.27, but the recent IPO price was $23 per share.
Medtronic PLC (NYSE: MDT) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the price target was lowered to $96 from $109 (versus a $90.96 close) at Citigroup.
Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) was trading down 2% in early trading indications on the first trading day of 2019 after SunTrust Robinson lowered its price target to $355 from $410 (versus a $267.66 close, after a 4.5% gain), with the firm noting that Netflix was likely to see subscriber additions in the key fourth quarter to come in under the consensus and also under the company’s prior guidance.
Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC) was reiterated as Buy with a $180 price target (versus a $149.54 close) at Argus, with the firm noting that its recent weakness offers a buying opportunity.
Shoe Carnival Inc. (NASDAQ: SCVL) was raised to Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna. The stock closed down 5.6% at $33.51 on the last day of 2018, compared to a consensus target price of $44.00 prior to this call.
Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) was raised to Overweight from Underweight and the price target was raised to $7 from $6 (versus a $5.71 close) at JPMorgan. The consensus target price is $6.93 and the 52-week range is $5.17 to $7.70.
Synthorx Inc. (NASDAQ: THOR) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $21 price target (versus a $17.38 close) at Jefferies.
Torchmark Corp. (NYSE: TMK) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.
Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: RARE) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James. The shares closed up 3.8% at $43.48 ahead of this call, but the shares were indicated down 3.1% at $42.10 afterward.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James. The stock was up 2.6% at $165.71 on the last day of 2018, while the consensus target price is $198.64.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) was raised to Sector Perform from Underperform with a $48 price target (versus a $46.08 close) at RBC Capital Markets.
Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZBH) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the target price was raised to $127 from $122 (versus a $103.72 close) at Citigroup. Zimmer Biomet had a consensus target price of $132.73 ahead of the call.
In our annual preview, 24/7 Wall St. has shown how the Dow Jones industrial average could still rise back to new highs and perhaps approaching 28,000 in 2019. Frankly, the initial thought here is that analysts are going to have to dial down their expectations in 2019. A lot of things would have to not go wrong for that forecast to occur.
Also, see 15 of the top IPOs to watch for in 2019.