Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: BofA, Danaher, Lyft, Netflix, Qualcomm, Tesla, Texas Instruments, Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth, Chipotle and More

Print Email

Stocks were indicated to open higher on Wednesday after Tuesday’s gains. The stock major’s market indexes are still up well into the double-digit percentages year to date, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are still within striking distance of new 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.

In a special note at the end, Merrill Lynch started coverage of the legalized cannabis industry. But here are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Wednesday, April 17, 2019.

Aquestive Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: AQST) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $31 from $30 (versus a $6.09 prior close) at Wedbush Securities. The call is after the company announced that the FDA has accepted its new drug application for its Exservan as an oral soluble film formulation of riluzole for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and the Prescription Drug User Fee Act goal date was set as November 30, 2019.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies. Bank of America closed at $29.88, with a 52-week range of $22.66 to $31.91. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $33.17.

CDW Corp. (NASDAQ: CDW) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel.

Children’s Place Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCE) was started with a Hold rating Deutsche Bank.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley. Chipotle closed down 0.8% at $706.48 and was indicated down another 1.2% at $698.00 on Wednesday as this call noted that the valuation has gotten ahead of itself based on the huge performance seen in 2019. Chipotle closed at $706.48, with a 52-week range of $326.00 to $721.21. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $591.08.

Chubb Ltd. (NYSE: CB) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.

Comerica Inc. (NYSE: CMA) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies, and Raymond James also downgraded it, to Outperform from Strong Buy.

Danaher Corp. (NYSE: DHR) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $174 from $136 (versus a $128.18 close) at Janney. The firm took a deeper look at the acquisition of GE’s bioproduction unit and believes that this acquisition of GE Life Science appears to be more compelling than expected and that Danaher will now have the widest product portfolio in the bioproduction industry, and that it also will have a combined customer list that can drive revenues and margins higher.

Domino’s Pizza Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley, sending its shares up about 2% to $260.90 in Wednesday’s early-bird trading.

D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI) was downgraded to Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna.

Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN) was downgraded to Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna.

Lyft Inc. (NASDAQ: LYFT) was started with a Neutral rating at Susquehanna, with the firm noting that Lyft investors should be concerned about industry dynamics and with the company’s position as the number-two player behind Uber. Lyft closed at $56.25, with a post-IPO range of $55.56 to $88.60. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $74.00.

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) was up 3% at $359.46 ahead of earnings and was up another 3% at $371.00 afterward. Deutsche Bank raised it Buy from Hold and raised the price target to $400 from $360.

Organogenesis Holdings Inc. ((NASDAQ: ORGO) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned an $11 target price (versus a $7.90 close) at Oppenheimer.

Performance Food Group Co. (NYSE: PFGC) was started as Buy at Merrill Lynch. Performance Food Group closed at $40.69, with a 52-week range of $28.05 to $40.80. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $40.82.