Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Avaya, AstraZeneca, HD Supply, HubSpot, Intel, Norfolk Southern, Ultimate Software, Valero Energy and More

January 25, 2019 by 247lee

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The futures spiked higher Friday morning as we wrap up a very volatile trading week. While there is some hope on the trade battle with China, and claims for unemployment Thursday were at the lowest in 49 years, the continuing government shutdown and mixed fourth-quarter results continue to weigh on the overall market sentiment. After so much volatility, investors should be rethinking and considering 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. The 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 and trading data have been added on some of the daily analyst reports. 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 Friday, January 25, 2019.

Avaya Holdings Corp. (NYSE: AVYA) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at Barclays. Over the past year, the stock has traded between $13.96 and $23.76 a share. The consensus price target across Wall Street is $23.25. The stock closed Thursday at $14.61.

AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE: AZN) was raised to Buy from Hold at Shore Capital. The 52-week trading range for the shares is $32.69 to $41.78, and the consensus price target is $42.22. The stock was last seen trading at $35.79.

HD Supply Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HDS) was raised to Buy from Hold at Baird. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $34.49 to $46.29, and the consensus price target is posted at $46.64. That compares to a Thursday close of $39.99.

HubSpot Inc. (NASDAQ: HUBS) was started with a Hold rating and a $150 price target at Deutsche Bank. The consensus price target is $157.39. The shares ended trading on Thursday at $149.92.

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) was downgraded to Market Perform from Buy at Charter Equity. The firm cited a steep decline in data center demand, falling memory average selling prices and faltering iPhone sales. The stock was also downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Susquehanna and to Hold from Buy at Needham. The 52-week trading range for the chip giant is $42.04 to $57.60, and the consensus price target is $54.58. The stock closed Thursday at $49.76, but shares were down over 6% in premarket trading.

FLIR Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Baird. The 52-week trading range is $40.52 to $63.88, and the consensus price objective is $56.62. The stock closed Thursday at $45.60.

Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank. The consensus price target for the railroad leader is $180.05, which compares with Thursday’s close of $165.94. The shares traded down over 3% in the premarket despite posting solid fourth-quarter results yesterday.

Rockwell Automation Inc. (NYSE: ROK) was raised to Buy from Reduce at HSBC Securities. The consensus price target is $166.70, and the stock closed just south of that figure Thursday at $162.74.

Ultimate Software Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTI) was started with a Buy rating at Deutsche Bank, which has a target price of $330. That compares to a consensus target of $315.38. The shares were closed at $267.32 on Thursday.

Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO) was raised to Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs. The refining giant has traded between $68.81 and $126.98 over the past year, and it has a consensus price target of $108.53. The stock ended Thursday’s trading at $78.95.

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

Aptiv PLC (NASDAQ: APTV) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray. The consensus price target is $90.74, and Thursday closing price was $71.82.

CalAmp Corp. (NASDAQ: CAMP) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. The 52-week trading range is $10.91 to $25.54. The consensus price target is $17.78. Shares ended trading on Thursday at $13.78 and were up over 3% in Friday’s premarket.

Capital Southwest Corp. (NASDAQ: CSWC) was started with a Neutral rating and a $23 price target at B. Riley FBR. That compares to a consensus target of $21. The stock was last seen trading at $21.50.

Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) was raised from Neutral to Outperform at Macquarie. The 52-week trading range for the cruise ship line is $45.64 to $72.70, and the consensus price target is $66.63. The shares ended trading on Thursday at $55.02.

SML Corp. (NASDAQ: SLM) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital Markets. The consensus price target is $13.57, and the stock closed Thursday at $10.73, up over 13% after solid earnings.

Triumph Group Inc. (NYSE: TGI) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen. The stock has traded between $11.16 and $30.05 over the past year, and the consensus price objective is $18.88. The shares closed on Thursday at $16.72, up a whopping 26% after news that it sold a unit of the company to Bombardier.

Thursday top analysts calls included Ally Financial, CenturyLink, Fiserv, LivePerson, Kimberly Clark, Palo Alto Networks, Procter & Gamble and many more.

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