Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Activision, Biogen, Deere, DocuSign, Ford, Freeport-McMoRan, GM, Lattice Semi, Qualys, Shopify, Under Armour and More

February 13, 2019 by Jon C. Ogg

Source: gopixa / iStock
Stocks were indicated to open marginally higher on Wednesday, but the markets closed up strong on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones industrials now up over 2,700 points from the lows in early January. Prior to the January rally continuing into February, particularly seen in the final weeks of 2018, investors faced less reward from buying immediately 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 Wednesday, February 13, 2019.

Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) was up 3.9% at $41.67 on Tuesday and was indicated up another 2% at $42.50 on news of layoffs with earnings. Wedbush Securities maintained it as Outperform but lowered its price target to $56 from $64 as revenue fell below guidance and estimates because of weaker Call of Duty sales and in-game monetization for other titles. Credit Suisse maintained its Outperform rating but cut its target price to $64 from $70, and Merrill Lynch cut its price objective to $54 from $58 in its call.

Aquantia Corp. (NYSE: AQ) shares were indicated down over 20% at $7.65 after weak first quarter-guidance and earnings. Morgan Stanley downgraded it to Equal Weight from Overweight and Raymond James downgraded shares to Market Perform from Outperform.

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) was maintained as Market Perform and the price target was lowered to $318 from $337 (versus a $319.43 prior close) at RBC Capital Markets. The firm expects no growth in its stock price with its MS drug revenues at potential, with flat or even lower sales trends ahead.

Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE: BSX) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $45 from $43 at Argus. Shares closed up almost 2% at $40.04 on Tuesday. The consensus target price is $42.22 and the 52-week trading range is $25.93 to $40.33.

Clovis Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: CLOV) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $40 price target (versus a $25.19 close) at H.C. Wainwright. This stock has been quite volatile, with a 52-week range of $11.50 to $65.24, and its consensus target price was last seen at $28.10.

Consolidated Edison Inc. (NYSE: ED) was downgraded to Underperform from In-Line at Evercore ISI Group. The stock was indicated down 0.7% at $78.00, after closing up 0.4% at $78.57 on Tuesday, and it has a consensus target price of $78.50.

Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the price objective was lowered to $170 from $173 at Merrill Lynch. Shares were last seen down 3.3% at $159.74 on Wednesday morning, after closing up 2% at $165.19 on Tuesday. The consensus target price was $176.71.

DocuSign Inc. (NASDAQ: DOCU) was raised to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank. Shares closed up 2% at $52.66 and had a consensus target price of $57.70 ahead of this call.

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

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) was started with a Neutral rating at Seaport Global. Ford closed up 1.56% at $8.46 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $7.41 to $12.15 and with a consensus analyst target of $9.32.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley, but the firm lowered its price target to $14 from $16.

Galectin Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: GALT) was started with a Buy rating and assigned an $11 price target (versus a $4.46 close) at B. Riley FBR. It has only a $200 million market cap, and its 52-week trading range is $3.10 to $9.49.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) was started with a Buy rating at Seaport Global. GM shares closed up 1% at $39.03 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $30.56 to $45.00 and with a consensus target price of $45.45.

Geron Corp. (NASDAQ: GERN) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $4 target price (versus a $1.31 close) at BTIG Research. The stock was indicated up 14% at $1.50 after the call, in a 52-week range of $0.95 to $6.99.

Globant S.A. (NYSE: GLOB) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $75 from $65 (versus a $68.00 close) at Wedbush. The firm noted that the company’s results are expected to benefit from a combination of ongoing expansion of digital-related project sizes and currency exchange tailwinds.


HubSpot Inc. (NYSE: HUBS) was up 2.6% at $172.00 on Tuesday’s post-earnings reaction. Merrill Lynch reiterated its Buy rating and raised its price objective to $205 from $185 (versus a $172.00 close). The firm noted that enterprise strength is driving up billings and upside to average selling prices with multiple product sales momentum in 2019.

Huntsman Corp. (NYSE: HUN) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Lattice Semiconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: LSCC) was raised to Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna. Its shares were up 2.9% at $8.18 ahead of earnings but were last seen trading up 19% at $9.75 after earnings.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: LGND) was maintained as Buy at Argus, but the firm lowered its target price to $150 from $200. The independent research firm noted that recent weakness offers a buying opportunity as the company is believed to be on track to post solid earnings growth over the next several years. The stock closed up 1.5% at $119.76 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $98.56 to $278.62 a share.

Medical Properties Trust Inc. (NYSE: MPW) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $23 from $18 (versus an $18.15 close) at Jefferies. The 52-week range is $12.20 to $18.56, and the consensus target price is $16.27.

Molson Coors Brewing Co. (NYSE: TAP) was down 9.4% at $59.19 on Tuesday’s post-earnings reaction, in a 52-week range of $54.17 to $82.29. Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock to Hold from Buy.

Myovant Sciences Ltd. (NASDAQ: MYOV) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight and the target price was raised to $25 from $22 at Barclays. Shares closed up 2.3% at $19.19 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $13.43 to $27.45. The consensus target price is $30.29.

National Retail Properties Inc. (NYSE: NNN) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the target price was raised to $55 from $50 (versus a $52.12 close, after a 2.9% drop after earnings) at B. Riley FBR.

OncoCyte Corp. (NYSE: OCX) was started as Overweight with a $6 price target (versus a $3.84 close) at Piper Jaffray. It has a 52-week range of $1.10 to $6.92 and a market cap of only $191 million.

Qualys Inc. (NASDAQ: QLYS) was up 1.7% at $96.41 ahead of earnings, but the guidance had the shares down almost 16% at $81.00 on Wednesday morning. JPMorgan downgraded it to Underweight from Neutral and cut the price target to $82 from $90. Wedbush maintained its Outperform rating with a $95 price target, but it noted that guidance was nothing to write home about and addressed whether guidance was conservative or there is slowing demand.


Shopify Inc. (NYSE: SHOP) was up 1.4% at $175.55 on Tuesday in reaction to earnings, and shares were indicated up another 2% at $179.00 on Wednesday. RBC Capital Markets upgraded it to Outperform from Sector Perform and raised the target price to $230 from $180. Wedbush Securities reiterated its Outperform rating and $200 price target, noting that Shopify is well positioned to keep gaining its share of e-commerce wallets over time and to capture more merchants across the entire spectrum of size from aspirational to established companies to enterprise level.

Synlogic Inc. (NASDAQ: SYBX) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $22 price target (versus a $9.56 close, after a 7.3% gain) at BTIG Research. The 52-week range is $5.75 to $14.59, and the market cap $243 million.

Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UAA) was maintained as Neutral with a $20 price target (versus a $22.21 close, after a 6.9% post-earnings gain) at Wedbush, with the firm noting that there is no need to rush into the shares at the current level after earnings. Credit Suisse also stuck with a Neutral rating.

If you are retired or about to retire, it’s time to think about retirement income stocks. Check out 15 top dividend stocks for retirees to own in 2019.

Tuesday’s top analyst calls included BHP, Cisco, Crown Castle, Gilead Sciences, Goldcorp, Take-Two Interactive Software, Varonis, Whiting Petroleum and many more. Monday’s top analyst calls were in Avis Budget, Bed Bath & Beyond, Canadian Solar, CBS, Electronic Arts, Goodyear, Nvidia, Tesla, Watts Water and many more.

I'm interested in the Newsletter