Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: ADS, American Tower, Anadarko, CVS, Dow, Infosys, Nokia, Phillips 66, Wells Fargo and More

April 15, 2019 by Jon C. Ogg

Source: artisteer / iStock
Stocks were absolutely directionless on Monday’s early trading indications, with no major news influencing the markets in either direction. The major market indexes are still up in the double-digit percentages year to date, and the S&P 500 is very close to its all-time highs. Investors need to be considering how they want their portfolios positioned for the rest of the year and beyond.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week in an effort to find new trading and investing ideas for our readers. Some of the daily analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while some cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

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

These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Monday, April 15, 2019 (Oh, and happy Tax Day!):

Alliance Data Systems Corp. (NYSE: ADS) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital Markets. Shares closed at $180.93, in a 52-week range of $142.58 to $250.27 and with a consensus target price of $191.70.

America’s Car-Mart Inc. (NASDAQ: CRMT) was reiterated with a Buy rating and with a $99 price target at Janney, with the firm pointing out that management seems confident in their ability to keep producing operating gains and that there has been a shift in the operating environment giving them more elbow room.

American Tower Corp. (NYSE: AMT) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo. Shares closed at $197.96, in a 52-week range of $133.53 to $198.19 and with a consensus target price of $180.00.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at MKM Partners and to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital Markets following its acquisition. RBC Capital Markets also downgraded Anadarko to Sector Perform from Outperform.

Celanese Corp. (NYSE: CE) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Chemours Co. (NYSE: CC) was raised to Buy from Hold at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs. Shares closed at $49.14, in a 52-week range of $43.25 to $55.84 and with a consensus target price of $59.23.

China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. Shares closed at $53.90, in a 52-week range of $44.20 to $57.09 and with a consensus target price of $57.89.

CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS) was downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer. Shares closed at $52.81, in a 52-week range of $51.77 to $82.15 and with a consensus target price of $73.04.

Dow Inc. (NYSE: DOW) was started as Equal Weight with a $60 price target at Barclays, and Nomura/Instinet raised it to Buy from Neutral with a $60 target price. Shares closed at $58.30, in a 52-week range of $48.00 to $60.52 and with a consensus target price of $62.63.

Floor & Decor Holdings Inc. (NYSE: FND) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Longbow Research.

Franklin Resources Inc. (NYSE: BEN) was raised to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup. Shares closed at $35.46, in a 52-week range of $27.34 to $35.65 and with a consensus target price of $30.33.

Huntsman Corp. (NYSE: HUN) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $30 price target at Nomura/Instinet. Shares closed at $24.75, in a 52-week range of $17.58 to $33.55 and with a consensus target price of $28.38.

Infosys Ltd. (NYSE: INFY) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup, and Credit Suisse also downgraded it, to Underperform from Neutral. Morgan Stanley downgraded Infosys to Equal Weight from Overweight. Shares closed at $10.55, in a 52-week range of $8.40 to $11.38 and with a consensus target price of $10.91.

Levi Strauss & Co. (NYSE: LEVI) was started as Buy with a $27 target price at Citigroup, and it also was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $26 target at Guggenheim. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on the stock at Equal Weight. Shares closed at $22.45, in a post-IPO range of $21.24 to $24.19.

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. Shares closed at $5.94, in a 52-week range of $5.07 to $6.65 and with a consensus target price of $7.18.

Olin Corp. (NYSE: OLN) was raised to Neutral from Reduce at Nomura/Instinet.

Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) was downgraded to Hold from Buy but the price target was raised to $107 from $105 at Jefferies. Shares closed at $97.17, in a 52-week range of $78.44 to $123.97 and with a consensus target price of $120.00.

Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (NYSE: PXD) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie. Shares closed at $168.32, in a 52-week range of $119.08 to $213.40 and with a consensus target price of $196.32.

WellCare Health Plans Inc. (NYSE: WCG) was started with a Neutral rating at Credit Suisse.

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch, and Buckingham Research downgraded shares to Neutral from Buy. Goldman Sachs also downgraded Wells Fargo to Neutral from Buy after last week’s earnings. Shares closed at $46.49, in a 52-week range of $43.02 to $59.53 and with a consensus target price of $56.44.

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Longbow Research. Shares closed at $51.83, in a 52-week range of $33.83 to $92.06 and with a consensus target price of $57.55.

The bar looks to be set incredibly low for companies to beat this earnings season.

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