Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Allergan, Apple, Carnival, Ciena, Juniper, Lockheed Martin, Plug Power, Take-Two, United Continental, Zynga and More

January 30, 2019 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were indicated to open higher on Wednesday with positive earnings reactions from Apple and Boeing. Earnings season has been off to a mixed start at the start of 2019, but the Dow Jones industrial average had popped some 2,000 points above its lows from the start of this year. Investors have seen less upside by jumping in after every sell-off and need to consider how they want their assets positioned 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 were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Wednesday, January 30, 2019.

AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) was reiterated as Buy and with a $95 price target (versus a $77.47 prior close) at Argus. The stock has sold off from $92 at the start of 2019, and its consensus target price is $95.76.

Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) was started with a Neutral rating and assigned a $50 price target (versus a $45.74 close) at Goldman Sachs.

AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Longbow, although its shares rose 4.8% to $2.83 on Tuesday. The consensus target price was $3.86.

Allergan PLC (NYSE: AGN) was down 8.5% at $145.12 on Tuesday after earnings and was indicated down another 1.5% at $142.98 on Wednesday. Morgan Stanley downgraded it to Equal Weight, and RBC Capital Markets downgraded it to Sector Perform.

Amicus Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: FOLD) was initiated with an Overweight rating and the price target was set at $20 at Cantor Fitzgerald. Shares closed up 1.1% at $11.34, and the consensus target price was $18.56.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was down 1% at $154.68 but its shares were indicated up almost 5% at $162.22 after earnings were deemed good enough after its big drop despite such weak iPhone orders. BMO Capital Markets maintained it as Market Perform with a $153 target, and Mizuho maintained its Neutral rating but lowered its target to $170 from $175. Canaccord Genuity maintained Apple as Buy but lowered the target to $185 from $190. UBS reiterated its Buy rating on Apple with a $185 price target, and Wedbush reiterated its Outperform rating and $200 price target.

Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Standpoint.

Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $42 price objective at Merrill Lynch.

Cimarex Energy Co. (NYSE: XEC) was started with a Neutral rating at Mizuho.

Concho Resources Inc. (NYSE: CXO) was started as Buy and assigned a $156 price target (versus a $117.26 close) at Mizuho.

Diamondback Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FANG) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $137 price target (versus a $100.16 close) at Mizuho.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) was started as Neutral and assigned a $99 price target (versus an $87.24 close) at Goldman Sachs.

Encana Corp. (NYSE: ECA) was started with a Neutral rating at Mizuho.

Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS) rose 8.8% to $155.22 on Tuesday after news that it beat earnings expectations. Argus reiterated it as Buy with a $170 price target, and Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating raised its price target to $178 from $176.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ICPT) was raised to Market Outperform from Market Perform with a $175 target price (versus a $112.35 close) at JMP Securities.

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) was indicated down over 11% at $24.80 on Wednesday and was the largest percentage loser on the New York Stock Exchange in Tuesday’s after-hours session after earnings. Merrill Lynch downgraded it to Underperform from Buy with a $25 price objective.

Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) was maintained as Buy at Argus, with the firm noting that recent weakness after earnings represents a buying opportunity.

Olin Corp. (NYSE: OLN) was downgraded to Reduce from Neutral with a $22 price target at Nomura/Instinet.

Parsley Energy Inc. (NYSE: PE) was started with a Neutral rating at Mizuho.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) was raised to Neutral from Sell with a $1.30 target price (versus a $1.40 close) at Roth Capital.

Stryker Corp. (NYSE: SYK) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $198 from $195 at Credit Suisse.

Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $37 price objective (versus a $29.65 close) at Merrill Lynch.

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $130 price target (versus a $100.81 close) at Goldman Sachs.

United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $101 price target at Argus. It has a consensus target price of $103.88 and a 52-week trading range of $60.44 to $97.85.

Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE: WLK) was downgraded to Reduce from Neutral with a $72 target price (versus a $76.72 close) at Nomura/Instinet.

Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR) was up over 9% at $136.49 after earnings on Tuesday, despite having opened on the day down at $116.77. RBC Capital Markets downgraded the stock to Underperform from Sector Perform, and Raymond James downgraded it to Market Perform from Outperform.

WPX Energy Inc. (NYSE: WPX) was started with a Neutral rating at Mizuho.

Zions Bancorp. (NASDAQ: ZION) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $54 from $51 (versus a $48.25 close) at Argus.

Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $5.30 price target (versus a $4.42 close) at Goldman Sachs. Shares were indicated up 2% at $4.50 on Wednesday, and the consensus target price is $4.68.

Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Activision Blizzard, AK Steel, Applied Materials, Cree, Dell Technologies, Etsy, Lam Research, Nvidia, Square, 3D Systems, Visa, Wayfair and many more.

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