Stocks were higher marginally earlier in Thursday’s indications but then ticked lower closer to the opening bell. With the Dow Jones industrial average having risen about 3,000 points from its lows of early January, investors need to be considering 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, February 21, 2019.
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) was reiterated as Buy and the target price was raised to $90 from $80 (versus a $78.56 prior close) at Janney, with the firm noting that more M&A is the real news in this quarter and as guidance was effectively maintained for the outer quarters. Barclays reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target to $83 from $80.
Atkore International Group Inc. (NYSE: ATKR) was started with a Neutral rating and assigned a $25 target price (versus a $24.20 close) at Credit Suisse. The 52-week trading range is $17.47 to $28.67, and the consensus analyst target is $28.00.
American Water Works Co. Inc. (NYSE: AWK) was reiterated as Buy with a $102 price target (versus a $98.66 close) at Janney, with the firm noting that its results met expectations, segment performances were in-line with forecasts and that long-term earnings per share (EPS) growth guidance of 7% to 10% through 2023 sees reasonable. Wells Fargo reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $109 from $101.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was maintained as Outperform with a $200 target price (versus a $172.03 close) at Wedbush Securities. The firm still sees M&A as the clear answer for Apple, as dark days are on the horizon with a quickly maturing smartphone landscape and pricing pressures a clear headwind worldwide as customers look for lower-priced alternatives.
At Home Group Inc. (NYSE: HOME) was started with a Hold rating and $23 price target (versus a $23.86 close) at Loop Capital.
AvalonBay Communities Inc. (NYSE: AVB) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $205 price target (versus a $194.10 close) at Citigroup.
Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the price target was lowered to $346 from $397 at Stifel. The stock closed up 0.6% at $335.16 ahead of the call and was indicated down about 1.2% at $331.00 afterward. It also has a 52-week trading range of $249.17 to $388.67 and a consensus target price of $385.63.
BioTime Inc. (NYSE: BTX) was started as Buy and given a $4 price target (versus a $1.15 close) at H.C. Wainwright. Shares were indicated up over 7% after the call, but the market cap was just $146 million beforehand.
Boston Beer Co. Inc. (NYSE: SAM) was raised to Neutral from Underperform and the target price was raised to $275 from $260 (versus a $268.30 close) at Macquarie.
CAI International Inc. (NYSE: CAI) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform and the price target was cut to $29 from $34 (versus a $26.57 close, after a 2.3% gain) at Keefe Bruyette & Woods.
D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $41 price target at Wedbush (see below).
Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Longbow Research, but this was after a 17% gain to $83.06 the prior day. It has a consensus target price of $68.14.