Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Abercrombie, Exxon, Etsy, GameStop, Kraft Heinz, Netflix, Tilray, Vodafone and More

March 8, 2019 by Jon C. Ogg

Source: zoom-zoom / Getty Images
Stocks were indicated lower, and the stock market may be looking at five straight down days now. Still, the recent selling has been around less news flow after earnings season, and the Dow Jones industrial average had rallied some 3,500 points from its lows at the start of the year. Investors have to be considering how they want their investments and assets positioned for the rest of 2019.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. The goal is to find new investing ideas and trading ideas for investors and traders alike. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while some of the analyst reports cover stocks to sell or stocks to avoid.

Additional commentary and trading data have been added on some of the daily analyst reports. The consensus analyst price targets mentioned and other valuation metrics are from the Thomson Reuters (Refinitiv) sell-side research service.

These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Friday, March 8, 2019.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $28 (versus a $25.76 prior close) at Argus. Abercrombie had a consensus target price of $23.58.

Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE: ALK) was downgraded to In-Line from Outperform at Imperial Capital. The stock closed at $55.95 a share and has a consensus target price of $78.73.

BP Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE: BPMP) was reiterated as Underperform and the price target was lowered to $15 from $17 (versus a $15.50 close) at Credit Suisse. Its yield-equivalent is currently 7.8%, and it has a consensus target price of $19.57.

BCE Inc. (NYSE: BCE) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was set at $48 at Argus. Shares closed at $43.81 on Thursday, and the call is with a 5.5% yield and the dividend continuing to grow. The firm also noted that its chart has reversed a long-term bearish trend wherein shares have risen in a bullish pattern of higher highs and higher lows.

Buckeye Partners L.P. (NYSE: BPL) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the target price was raised to $36 from $33 (versus a $33.09 close) at UBS.

DRDGOLD Ltd. (NYSE: DRD) was started with an Outperform rating at Macquarie. The stock closed at $2.10 and has a consensus target price of $3.85.

Ensco PLC (NYSE: ESV) was raised to Buy from Hold at HSBC. It closed down 1.2% at $4.17 on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $3.19 to $9.51.

Etsy Inc. (NASDAQ: ETSY) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BTIG. The stock closed down 4% at $67.24 on Thursday, and it has a consensus price target of $68.46.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen. It closed up 1.1% at $80.16 on Thursday, and it previously had a consensus target price of $85.17.

GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral and the price objective was lowered to $9 from $12 (versus an $11.59 close) at Merrill Lynch. GameStop has a consensus target price of $12.27 and a 52-week range of $11.17 to $17.27.

Glaukos Corp. (NASDAQ: GKOS) was started as Neutral at BTIG.

Kraft Heinz Co. (NASDAQ: KHC) was reiterated as Underperform at Credit Suisse, with the firm noting that it was lowering fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2020 earnings based on higher depreciation expenses.

Life Storage Inc. (NYSE: LSI) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral and the price objective was lowered to $99 from $105 (versus a $95.55 close) at Merrill Lynch.

MercadoLibre Inc. (NASDAQ: MELI) was downgraded to Negative from Neutral at Susquehanna. The stock closed down 2.2% at $451.15 on Thursday and was indicated down another 2.7% at $439.00 on Friday. The consensus target price is $420.75.

National Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ: FIZZ) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Guggenheim. Its shares were down 19.4% at $55.00 on Friday morning after poor earnings.

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and with a $382 target (versus a $352.60 close) at Buckingham Research. Netflix has a consensus target price of $383.15.

PNM Resources Inc. (NYSE: PNM) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Mizuho.

PPL Corp. (NYSE: PPL) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets.

Rowan Companies PLC (NYSE: RDC) was raised to Buy from Hold at HSBC. It closed down 1.7% at $11.37 and was indicated down 0.6% at $11.30 on Friday.

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie. Shares closed down 3.6% at $26.03 on Thursday and were indicated up just 0.3% at $26.10 on Friday.

Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (NYSE: SQM) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch. Its American depositary shares closed down 2.3% at $37.64 on Thursday and were indicated down 1.9% at $36.92 on Friday, with a consensus target price of $50.69.

Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $156 (versus a $123.33 close) at Argus, which noted the strong results. The consensus target price is $151.54.

Tandem Diabetes Care Inc. (NASDAQ: TNDM) was started as Outperform and assigned a $77 target price (versus a $61.78 close) at BMO Capital Markets. The consensus target price was $67.27 ahead of the call.

Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY) was started with an Underperform rating and assigned a $61 price target (versus a $69.72 close) at Jefferies, with the firm noting that it has a hard time justifying its current valuation. Tilray was indicated down 6% at $65.50 after the call.

Vodafone Group PLC (NASDAQ: VOD) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at BNP Paribas. The American depositary shares closed up 0.3% at $17.69 on Thursday and were indicated up 1% at $17.87 on Friday.

Wageworks Inc. (NYSE: WAGE) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform and the price target was raised to $65 from $45 (versus a $27.70 close, after a 3.4% drop) at Wells Fargo. It has a 52-week range of $25.15 to $56.80.

W&T Offshore Inc. (NYSE: WTI) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $10 price target (versus a $4.94 close) at Stifel. The 52-week range is $3.62 to $9.88.

Thursday’s top analyst calls included Abercrombie & Fitch, BHP, Coca-Cola, Monster Beverage, Procter & Gamble, Rio Tinto, Toll Brothers and many more.

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