Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alector, Bed Bath & Beyond, Dillard’s, Foot Locker, Hasbro, Kraft Heinz, Vale, Xilinx, Zoetis and More

March 4, 2019 by Jon C. Ogg

Source: artisteer / iStock
Stocks were indicated to open marginally higher on Monday after solid gains on Friday. Investors are still dealing with mixed news reports, trade policies, politics and the slightly less robust business coverage. Those same investors also should be considering how they want their assets positioned for the rest of 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 Refinitiv (Thomson Reuters) sell-side research service.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Monday, March 4, 2019.

Alector Inc. (NASDAQ: ALEC) has seen its quiet period end and the ratings appear to be positive. It was started as Overweight at Morgan Stanley and as Overweight at Barclays. It was also started as Buy at Merrill Lynch and as Outperform at Leerink.

Avangrid Inc. (NYSE: AGR) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays. After closing down 0.24% at $16.69 on Friday, Monday’s indications were down almost 3% at $16.20.

Bio-Techne Corp. (NASDAQ: TECH) was reiterated as Buy with a $230 price target (versus a $196.81 prior closing price) at Argus. The consensus target price is $202.50.

Dillard’s Inc. (NYSE: DDS) was downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. The shares last closed at $75.21, in a 52-week range of $55.73 to $98.75. The consensus price target is $64.00.

Enbridge Inc. (NYSE: ENB) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at Scotiabank and to In-Line from Outperform at Evercore ISI. Shares closed up 0.7% at $37.25 on Friday but were indicated down 4% at $35.75 on Monday on news that its line-3 replacement project has been delayed.

Extended Stay America Inc. (NASDAQ: STAY) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. The shares closed at $18.60, in a 52-week range of $14.77 to $22.58 and with a consensus price target of $21.32.

Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $73 from $64 (versus a $63.07 close) at Pivotal Research.

Group 1 Automotive Inc. (NYSE: GPI) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $77 target price (versus a $62.11 close) at Goldman Sachs.

Guidewire Software Inc. (NYSE: GWRE) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight and the price target was lowered to $90 from $95 (versus a $93.62 close) at Piper Jaffray.

Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) was raised to Market Perform from Underperform and the price target was raised to $88 from $75 (versus an $88.02 close) at BMO Capital Markets.

Immunogen Inc. (NASDAQ: IMGN) was down 46% at $2.51 on Friday, and H.C. Wainwright downgraded it to Neutral from Buy. The 52-week range is $2.27 to $13.41.

Immunomedics Inc. (NASDAQ: IMMU) was up 5% at $16.55 on Friday and indicated up another 2% on Monday after H.C. Wainwright started coverage with a Buy rating and assigned a $28 price target. The 52-week range is $11.55 to $27.33.

Kraft Heinz Co. (NASDAQ: KHC) was raised to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley. Shares closed at $32.40, in a 52-week range of $31.82 to $67.95. The consensus price target is $38.88.

Nightstar Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ: NITE) is being acquired by Biogen. Cantor Fitzgerald downgraded it to Neutral from Overweight after the deal news.

Okta Inc. (NASDAQ: OKTA) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. Shares closed at $86.43, in a 52-week range of $37.02 to $87.72. The stock has a consensus price target of $78.17.

ON Semiconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: ON) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform and the price target was raised to $30 from $20 (versus a $21.67 close) at BMO Capital Markets. Shares closed at $21.67, in a 52-week range of $14.55 to $27.10. The consensus analyst target is $23.93.

SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy but the price target was raised to $71 from $68 (versus a $66.28 close) at UBS. The shares closed at $66.28, in a 52-week range of $46.05 to $75.08. The consensus price target is $71.07.

Vale S.A. (NYSE: VALE) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at Scotia Capital. Shares closed at $12.39. The 52-week range is $10.89 to $16.13, and the consensus price target is $14.40.

Versum Materials Inc. (NYSE: VSM) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

Worldpay Inc. (NYSE: WP) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim. Shares closed at $97.72, in a 52-week range of $70.41 to $103.50 and with a consensus price target of $108.86.

Xilinx Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital Markets. After closing up 1% at $126.64, the shares were indicated down 0.7% at $125.70 in early indications on Monday.

Zoetis Inc. (NYSE: ZTS) was raised to Buy from Hold at Stifel. After closing up 1.6% at $95.75 on Friday, the stock was indicated up another 1.2% at $96.90 on Monday.

Here are seven top tech stocks in which analysts keep raising their formal ratings or their price targets.

We have broken down the new big Buy ratings that Goldman Sachs had added to its list of favorite stocks for 2019. Several of their picks already hit their 12-month targets in less than a month and only one went the wrong way.

The Credit Suisse equity strategy team issued a note last week that the S&P 500 was running into resistance at 2,800/2,815, and a new note is reiterating that earnings recession fears are overdone and that the consensus estimates for 1% contraction in total first-quarter earnings, after typical earnings revisions and surprises, are likely to drive growth to 3%.

Friday’s top analyst calls included Acushnet, Delta Air Lines, Devon Energy, Edison International, Hertz, Royal Caribbean, Sociedad Quimica, Zscaler and many more.

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