Stocks surged higher on Wednesday after strong post-earnings reactions from Apple and Boeing, and then Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell helped the markets by indicating that the Fed would be patient with rate hikes. The Dow Jones industrial average is now well above 2,000 points higher than its lows from the start of this year, and it seems hard to imagine that this is the last day of the month already. Now investors have to keep giving strong consideration about 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 in an effort 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 Thursday, January 31, 2019.
Allergan PLC (NYSE: AGN) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform and the target price was lowered to $161 from $197 (versus a $143.89 prior close) at Credit Suisse, with the firm noting that disappointing guidance raises concerns about the franchise value. The stock has a 52-week range of $125.84 to $197.00 and a consensus target price of $202.71.
Alliant Energy Corp. (NYSE: LNT) was raised to Underperform from Neutral with a $44 price objective (versus a $43.33 close) at Merrill Lynch. It has a consensus target price of $44.50 and a 52-week trading range of $36.84 to $46.58.
Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) surged after earnings, with a 6.25% gain to $387.72. Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its price target to $440 from $434, and it noted that the company is firing on all turbines. Boeing’s prior consensus target was $415.71.
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) was up 4.3% at $150.42 ahead of earnings, but it was last seen trading up 11% at $167.75 after beating earnings and showing some of the public concerns are not as great of concerns on the business side of the equation. Wedbush Securities maintained its Outperform rating but lowered its price target to $200 from $220, noting that it beat earnings and continues to get likes from users and advertisers alike. Canaccord Genuity reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $200 from $180, and Deutsche Bank reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $200 from $195. Nomura/Instinet kept its Neutral rating on Facebook in place but raised its target price to $172 from $148.
Flagstar Bancorp Inc. (NYSE: FBC) was reiterated as Outperform with a $40 price target (versus a $30.47 close) at Wedbush, with the firm noting that the Michigan-based bank declared its first dividend since 2007 and a $50 million stock buyback was a significant step forward for the value creation process. The 52-week trading range is $25.30 to $38.00, and the consensus target price is $38.13.
General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus. Its shares closed down 2.9% at $170.91 on Wednesday, and it has a consensus target price of $201.63.
GoPro Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRO) is set to report earnings next week, and Wedbush reiterated its Neutral rating and $6 price target. That is better upside than the “Outperform” ratings from some firms, compared with a $4.87 close, and the firm noted that GoPro’s execution improved in 2018 and that it can maintain momentum after two years of generally poor execution. GoPro has a consensus target price of $6.67 and a 52-week trading range of $4.00 to $7.60.
H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $22 price target (versus a $25.52 close) at Goldman Sachs. It has a 52-week range of $22.45 to $29.81 and a consensus target price of $26.57.
Helmerich & Payne Inc. (NYSE: HP) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $68 price objective (up from $55 previously, and versus $56.83 close, after a 5.5% gain) at Merrill Lynch.
Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ICPT) was started as Outperform and assigned a $167 price target at Credit Suisse, with the firm talking up Ocaliva as poised to deliver big gains from treating fatty liver.
Invesco Ltd. (NYSE: IVZ) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight with a $19 price target (versus an $18.59 close, after a 2.5% drop) at Barclays. Argus noted that Invesco’s fourth-quarter results were weak but the Oppenheimer acquisition is on track.