Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AIG, Bunge, Cardlytics, Cisco, Citigroup, Deere, Dell, Edison, Newmont, Oracle, PG&E and More

January 15, 2019 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were looking for direction on Tuesday after a small drop in the major equity indexes on Monday. It is important to keep in mind that the Dow Jones industrial average had bounced more than 1,300 points from its lows during the first week of 2019, and investors cannot ignore that the long prior trend of buying all the dips generally has been followed by less upside or additional losses. This and the added volatility at the end of 2018 have made some investors less comfortable with how to position their assets for 2019 and beyond.

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 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 Tuesday, January 15, 2019.

American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) was started with a Neutral rating at Compass Point. AIG closed most recently up 0.8% on the day to $42.00, and it had a $52 consensus target price.

Bunge Ltd. (NYSE: BG) was maintained as Outperform while its earnings estimates were lowered by Credit Suisse. The firm noted that its turnaround is just getting started but also that an inability to fetch a premium for Bunge’s assets from strategic buyers is the largest risk to the firm’s $77 target price. The stock closed down 2% at $54.56 ahead of this call, and it has a $79.75 consensus target price.

Canadian National Railway Co. (NYSE: CNI) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $95 from $90 (versus an $81.51 prior close) at Credit Suisse, which called it the gold standard of rail businesses at this time.

Cara Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CARA) was started with a Neutral rating and assigned a $19 price objective (versus a $15.13 close) at Merrill Lynch. It had a consensus target price of $26.89, but its shares were down 4.4% ahead of this call.

Cardlytics Inc. (NASDAQ: CDLX) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch. The stock closed up 11.7% at $15.00 ahead of this call and after preliminary earnings, and it had a consensus target price of $24.33.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was reiterated as Buy with a $55 price target at Argus. The firm’s report comes after Cisco acquired Luxtera to enhance its optical capabilities as networks prepare for a tripling in traffic over the 2017 to 2022 timeframe, and the firm sees multiple positives in Cisco’s outlook from its Catalyst 9000 and campus, an increasing contribution from recurring revenue, higher revenue percentage in subscription software and exceptional cash flow funding the company’s capital returns.

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) ended up rising almost 4% to $58.93 after earnings beat and book value rose, but it was initially weak based on light revenues. Credit Suisse it reiterated as Outperform with an $80 price target. BMO Capital Markets raised its rating to Outperform from Market Perform after the earnings report.

Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) was reiterated as Outperform and as a Top Pick with a $211 price target (versus a $157.41 close) at Credit Suisse. The firm met with management and, while the outlook for the large agriculture equipment market remains uncertain over trade war fears, Credit Suisse sees upside to its outlook if that is resolved and it further sees even more upside in fiscal 2020 and beyond.

Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE: DELL) was started with a Neutral rating and assigned a $48 price target (versus a $42.80 close) at UBS. Its consensus target price was last seen at $58.83.

Edison International (NYSE: EIX) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral with a $61 price target (versus a $58.15 close) at Merrill Lynch.

Elanco Animal Health Inc. (NYSE: ELAN) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $37 price target (versus a $31.56 close) at Argus. The firm’s report sees Elanco as likely to experience some initial growing pains as a standalone public company but it should generate strong earnings growth over time.

Newmont Mining Co. (NYSE: NEM) closed down 8.9% at $31.78 as it acquired Goldcorp to become the world’s largest pure-play gold miner. Canaccord Genuity raised the stock to Buy from Hold and boosted its price target to $42 from $37. Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating with a $46 price target.

News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWSA) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) was downgraded Equal Weight from Overweight and the target price was lowered to $53 from $57 (versus a $48.18 prior close) at Morgan Stanley. The consensus target price was $52.38 ahead of the call, and the 52-week trading range is $42.40 to $53.48.

PG&E Corp. (NYSE: PCG) was down 52% at $8.38 on Monday on word that it plans to file for bankruptcy at the end of the month. Argus downgraded it to Sell from Buy, and other analysts have slashed and burned their ratings as well.

Tencent Music Entertainment Group (NYSE: TME) was started as Equal Weight and assigned a $15 price target (versus a $12.20 close, after a 5.3% drop) at Morgan Stanley.

VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) was reiterated as Outperform at Credit Suisse. The firm noted that the stock has pulled back 18% since the second-quarter earnings report on fears that the Vans momentum is slowing against tougher second-half comparisons. The firm expects some modest slowing in Vans but thinks there is upside potential for the North Face and Timberland brands, and it also remains positive on VF’s aggressive value creation agenda.

W.W. Grainger Inc. (NYSE: GWW) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie. Shares closed down 1.1% at $281.21 ahead of the call, and the consensus target price was $309.81. The 52-week trading range is $223.25 to $372.06.

Raymond James believes that master limited partnerships will offer large upside in 2019 for energy infrastructure investors. There may even be some upside to the yield-equivalents ahead.

Monday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades were in Annaly Capital Management, Alcoa, Carvana, Crown Castle, Delta Air Lines, Northrup Grumman, PG&E, Snap, Teradyne, Western Digital, XPO Logistics and many more.