Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Apache, Caesars, Dell, Devon Energy, HPE, NetApp, Nordstrom, MetLife, Snap and More

January 16, 2019 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were indicated higher on Wednesday after two days of weaker opening indications. Still, the ultimate 155-point rally in the Dow Jones industrial average to 24,065 on Tuesday now made for more than a 1,400-point recovery since the lows seen on the second trading day of 2019. Investors have noticed that the longstanding prior trend of buying 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 about 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 Wednesday, January 16, 2019.

Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA) was started as Underweight and assigned a $29 price target (versus a $31.75 prior close) at Barclays. The stock has a 52-week range of $24.56 to $50.03 and a consensus target price of $39.17.

Callon Petroleum Co. (NYSE: CPE) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays.

Cimarex Energy Co. (NYSE: XEC) was started as Equal Weight with an $81 price target (versus a $73.32 close) at Barclays.

Caesars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ: CZR) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $9 price objective (versus an $8.75 close) at Merrill Lynch.

Columbia Sportswear Co. (NASDAQ: COLM) was reiterated as Outperform with a $104 price target (versus an $82.73 close) at Wedbush Securities. The firm noted that several drivers are poised to deliver upside and that the stock remains attractive heading into earnings in early February.

Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE: DELL) was started with an Equal Weight rating and a $49 price target at Morgan Stanley, just a day after UBS started Dell as Neutral.

Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight and its target price was lowered to $33 from $42 (versus a $26.40 close) at Barclays. The consensus target price is $38.06, and the 52-week trading range is $20.37 to $46.54.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight with a $15 target price (versus a $14.44 prior close) at Morgan Stanley.

Incyte Corp. (NASDAQ: INCY) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with an $82 price target (versus a $78.76 close, after a 7.1% gain) at UBS. The stock was indicated down over 1% on Wednesday, and its consensus target price was $83.56. The 52-week trading range is $57.00 to $96.44.

NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight with a $58 target price (versus a $62.46 close, after a 2% gain) at Morgan Stanley. The shares had a consensus target price of $84.75, and they were indicated down about 3% on Wednesday after the call.

Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) was last seen down almost 9% at $43.00 after reporting disappointing holiday sales at its key stores. Goldman Sachs downgraded it to Neutral from Buy. Telsey Advisory Group lowered its rating to Market Perform from Outperform, and Atlantic Equities lowered its rating to Neutral from Overweight. The old consensus analyst target was $59.00, but Nordstrom had a 52-week trading range of $43.70 to $67.75 coming into Wednesday’s newer lows.

IHS Markit Ltd. (NASDAQ: INFO) was reiterated as Hold at Argus, but the independent research firm sees it as on track for steady growth in 2019.

MetLife Inc. (NYSE: MET) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $53 price objective (versus a $44.06 close) at Merrill Lynch. It has a 52-week range of $37.76 to $55.21 and had a consensus target price of $50.81.

Parsley Energy Inc. (NYSE: PE) was started with an Overweight rating and assigned a $38 price target (versus an $18.70 close) at Barclays. The consensus target price is $29.76. The 52-week trading range is $14.17 to $33.43.

PG&E Corp. (NYSE: PCG) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform and the price target is now just $10 at Wells Fargo. This call is among many other analyst downgrades in recent days around the bankruptcy fears, and its shares were down yet another 17% at $6.91 on Tuesday and indicated down another 8% at $6.35 or so on Wednesday.

PTC Inc. (NASDAQ: PTC) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $115 target price (versus an $86.34 close) at Deutsche Bank.

Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SC) was downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. It was down 2.4% at $18.76 on Tuesday’s close, and it had a consensus target price of $22.20 and a 52-week trading range of $15.55 to $21.81.

SM Energy Co. (NYSE: SM) was started as Overweight and assigned a $27 target price (versus a $19.85 close) at Barclays.

Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) announced that CFO Tim Stone would be departing the company to pursue other opportunities. After a 3.6% gain to $6.54 on Tuesday, its shares were indicated down about 10% at $5.85 on Wednesday. Wedbush maintained its Outperform rating and $12.25 target price but warned that if the departure was because of an inability to mesh with other management then it would revisit its thesis about improving management quality. Also, RBC Capital Markets downgraded Snap to Sector Perform from Outperform with an $8 price target.

Sysco Corp. (NYSE: SYY) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch. After closing at $62.72, the stock had a consensus target price of $71.07, and its 52-week range is $56.01 to $75.98.

VBI Vaccines Inc. (NASDAQ: VBIV) was started as Outperform and assigned a $9 target price (versus a $1.77 close) at Oppenheimer. This one has a tiny market cap of just $172 million or so, and its shares were indicated up over 9% at $1.95 on Wednesday. The 52-week range is $1.14 to $4.42.

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) was reiterated as Hold at Argus after earnings, with the firm observing a slight earnings beat but noting that its revenue challenges continue to hamper the company. Shares closed down 1.5% at $47.67 on Tuesday after the earnings beat, which was seen as helped by stock buybacks.

SunTrust has five internet stock predictions for 2019.

Tuesday’s top analyst calls were in AIG, Bunge, Cardlytics, Cisco Systems, Citigroup, Deere, Dell Technologies, Edison International, Newmont Mining, Oracle, PG&E and many more.

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