Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AEP, CVS, Ecolab, Entergy, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, PepsiCo, Snap, Yelp and More

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (NASDAQ: JBHT) was downgraded to Sell from Buy at Deutsche Bank. After closing down 1.77% on Wednesday, the stock was indicated down 2.9% more at $95.65 on Thursday.

LM Ericsson Telephone Co. (NASDAQ: ERIC) was reiterated as Buy with a $14 price target (versus a $10.39 close) at Argus. The independent research firm noted that Ericsson rallied by 5% after solid earnings and above-consensus sales. The firm sees the reality of 5G wireless spending driving network spending higher in North America and internationally.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $150 from $140 (versus a $120.77 close) at Wedbush Securities. The call is ahead of results next week, and Wedbush sees Microsoft posting a solid beat on both the top and bottom lines as cloud strength on Azure and Office 365 continue to fuel growth as the shift to cloud is a major secular trend and should continue its momentum heading into the rest of 2019 and into 2020.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup. The share price rose 2.6% to $48.26 on Wednesday but was indicated down almost 1% at $47.85 on Thursday. The consensus target price is $52.07, and the 52-week range is $36.74 to $55.64.

New Relic Inc. (NYSE: NEWR) was reiterated as Outperform with a $124 price target (versus a $97.11 close) at Wedbush.

NICE Ltd. (NASDAQ: NICE) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a $150 price target (versus a $130.83 close) at JPMorgan. The consensus target price is $123.20.

NMI Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: NMIH) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $34 target price (versus a $27.08 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) was raised to Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs. PepsiCo shares closed up 3.7% at $127.01 on Wednesday, and they were indicated up marginally on Thursday. The consensus target price is $119.00.

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. (NYSE: RS) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Longbow Research. Shares closed down 0.6% at $91.13 on Wednesday. The consensus target price was $94.13, and the 52-week trading range is $68.62 to $97.41.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc. (NASDAQ: RUTH) was started with an Equal Weight rating at Stephens.

Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Wedbush in a valuation call, but the firm maintained its $12.25 price target (versus an $11.69 close) based on the belief that Snap should post first-quarter results modestly above guidance and consensus.

Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP) was started as Outperform at BMO Capital Markets. Shares closed up 0.17% at $35.65 on Wednesday and were indicated up almost 1% at $36.00 on Thursday.

Wednesday’s top analyst calls included Bank of America, Danaher, Lyft, Netflix, Qualcomm, Tesla, Texas Instruments, Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth, Chipotle Mexican Grill and many more.

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