Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Albermarle, Alphabet, Booking, Box, CenturyLink, Cigna, DowDuPont, Kraft Heinz, MercadoLibre, Tesla, Waste Management and More

February 5, 2019 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were indicated to open higher on Tuesday as overseas markets were up again. The Dow Jones industrial average has now popped well over 2,000 points above its lows from the start of this year. Investors have enjoyed a big bounce since the December lows, but only recently has it become very rewarding buying stocks after every big market sell-off. Now investors 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 Tuesday, February 5, 2019.

Advanced Disposal Services Inc. (NYSE: ADSW) was started as Sector Weight at KeyBanc Capital Markets. After closing up 2% at $25.75, the stock has a consensus target price is $28.22.

Albemarle Corp. (NYSE: ALB) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with an $81 price target (versus an $81.90 prior close) at Citigroup. The consensus target price was $110.80.

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) closed up 2% at $1,141.42 ahead of earnings but was indicated lower by about 2% at $1,117.20 on apparent profitability concerns ahead on higher spending. Wedbush reiterated it as Outperform with a $1,350 target. Nomura/Instinet maintained its Buy rating but lowered its target to $1,310 from $1,350. Barclays maintained its Overweight rating but lowered its target to $1,350 from $1,400.

Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) was reiterated as Buy but the price target was lowered to $37 from $35 (versus a $30.36 close) at Argus.

Aqua America Inc. (NYSE: WTR) was reiterated as Buy with a $41 price target (versus a $34.92 close) at Janney, noting the upcoming acquisition of Peoples Gas after an investor meeting.

Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG) was raised to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank. The stock closed up 1.3% at $1,860.99, and it has a consensus target price of $2,168.28.

Box Inc. (NYSE: BOX) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $31 target price (versus a $21.57 close) at Goldman Sachs.

Casella Waste Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CWST) was started as Sector Weight at KeyBanc Capital Markets. Shares last closed at $30.81, in a 52-week range of $22.15 to $34.48. The consensus price target is $33.25.

CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup. Shares closed down 1.4% at $15.03 ahead of the call and were indicated down another 4% at $14.45 afterward. CenturyLink also has a 52-week trading range of $13.97 to $24.20 and a consensus target price of $19.96.

Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI) was maintained as Overweight but the price target was lowered to $299 from $304 at Morgan Stanley.

Control4 Corp. (NASDAQ: CTRL) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham. The stock has a 52-week trading range of $15.59 to $37.62, and the consensus target price is $31.75.

Covanta Holding Corp. (NYSE: CVA) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. After closing up 1.2% at $16.35, the stock has a consensus target price of $16.94.

DowDuPont Inc. (NYSE: DWDP) was maintained as Buy but the price target was lowered to $70 from $81 (versus a $53.13 close) at Argus. The independent research firm noted that management expects slower global economic expansion in 2019 than in 2018.

Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank. Shares last closed at $107.77, in a 52-week range of $88.68 to $138.69. The consensus price target is $115.80.

First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.

Glu Mobile Inc. (NASDAQ: GLUU) was maintained as Neutral with a $9 price target (versus a $10.20 close) at Wedbush. The firm sees guidance as reasonable but also sees multiple hurdles that could limit is growth above expectations.

Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE: ITW) was up almost 3% at $138.41 on Monday but was indicated down 2% at $135.70 on Tuesday. Merrill Lynch downgraded it to Underperform from Neutral and lowered its price objective to $124 from $128.

Kraft Heinz Co. (NASDAQ: KHC) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $52 price target (versus a $47.40 close) at Deutsche Bank. Kraft Heinz had a consensus target price of $56.33, and its 52-week trading range is $41.60 to $74.71.

MercadoLibre Inc. (NASDAQ: MELI) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $438 price target (versus a $368.08 close) at Goldman Sachs.

Principal Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: PFG) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $45 target price (versus a $49.70 close) at UBS. The consensus target price was $52.77.

Rent-a-Center Inc. (NASDAQ: RCII) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Janney, with the company noting that the stock basically had achieved the $18 fair value estimate after rising 50% from its intraday lows in December. The consensus target price was $15.64.

Republic Services Inc. (NYSE: RSG) was started as Sector Weight at KeyBanc Capital Markets. Shares last closed at $77.73, in a 52-week range of $60.26 to $78.54. The consensus price target is $77.13.

Rocket Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: RCKT) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $39 price target (versus a $14.59 close) at Oppenheimer.

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) was maintained as Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley, but the firm lowered its target price to $283 from $291. Tesla shares closed at $312.89, and the consensus analyst target is $330.36, but those estimates are very far and wide among the Buy/Sell ratings.

Waste Connections Inc. (NYSE: WCN) was started as Overweight at KeyBanc Capital Markets. Shares last closed at $83.67, in a 52-week range of $65.06 to $84.41. The consensus price target is $87.50.

Waste Management Inc. (NYSE: WM) was started as Overweight at KeyBanc Capital Markets. Shares last closed at $96.00, in a 52-week range of $78.39 to $96.25. The consensus price target is $101.00.

Monday’s top analyst calls included AON, ConocoPhillips, Groupon, Intuit, JinkoSolar, NextEra, WisdomTree, Xilinx, Yelp and many more.