Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alphabet, BofA, Chipotle, Cognex, Dollar General, NOV, SAP, Southwest Air, Western Digital, Yum China and More

April 30, 2019 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were indicated to have a mixed open on Tuesday after mixed earnings with Alphabet worse but GE better. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have both been challenging new all-time highs, while the Dow Jones industrials lag, with Boeing and a few other large components not performing along with the market as a whole. There are also still strong double-digit gains in all three major indexes so far in 2019, and investors need to consider how to position their portfolios for the rest of the year and beyond.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. Our goal is to find new trading and investing ideas for our readers. Some of the daily analyst reports cover stocks to buy, but others 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 Tuesday, April 30, 2019.

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) was last seen trading down by almost 8% at $1,195 in the premarket after revenue growth disappointed investors. Morgan Stanley maintained the stock as Overweight but lowered the target price to $1,425.00 from $1,500. Stifel downgraded Alphabet to Hold from Buy with a $1,285 price target. Nomura/Instinet maintained its Buy rating but trimmed its target price to $1,300 from $1,310.

Aluminum Corp. of China (NYSE: ACH) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse. Shares closed at $9.86, in a 52-week range of $7.44 to $14.17 and with a consensus target price of $14.51.

Analog Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: ADI) was assumed with an Outperform rating at RBC Capital Markets. Shares closed at $113.88, in a 52-week range of $76.62 to $118.54 and with a consensus target price of $116.29.

Aratana Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: PETX) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse, on the heels of an Elanco deal to acquire it.

AvalonBay Communities Inc. (NYSE: AVB) was reiterated as Buy along with a price target of $215 at Argus. Shares closed at $198.01, in a 52-week range of $156.93 to $204.53 and with a consensus target price of $206.80.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Atlantic Equities. Shares closed at $30.77, in a 52-week range of $22.66 to $31.91 and with a consensus target price of $33.40.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (NYSE: CP) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $245 from $230 at Argus, with the independent research firm seeing more upside in the major railway serving Canada and the northern United States.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $797 from $695 at Citigroup. Shares closed at $677.90, in a 52-week range of $383.20 to $721.21 and with a consensus target price of $624.17.

Cognex Corp. (NASDAQ: CGNX) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham, and Bernstein downgraded it to Market Perform from Outperform. Shares closed at $53.70, in a 52-week range of $34.88 to $59.18 and with a consensus target price of $52.58.

Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $150 from $105 at Loop Capital. Shares closed at $125.10, in a 52-week range of $86.87 to $126.84 and with a consensus target price of $122.65.

Domtar Corp. (NYSE: UFS) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch.

Fortive Corp. (NYSE: FTV) was reiterated as Buy with a $94 price target (versus an $85.85 prior close) at Argus, which sees potential for more EPS surprises and share price gains ahead while management continues to acquire complementary companies.

Helmerich & Payne Inc. (NYSE: HP) was reiterated as Buy and with a price target of $75 at Argus. Shares closed at $58.42, in a 52-week range of $44.56 to $73.87 and with a consensus target price of $65.45.

Louisiana-Pacific Corp. (NYSE: LPX) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch.

National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NYSE: NOV) was maintained as Neutral but the price target was raised to $31 from $29 at Citigroup. Shares closed at $27.75, in a 52-week range of $24.27 to $49.08 and with a consensus target price of $29.38.

NeoPhotonics Corp. (NASDAQ: NPTN) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $9 price target at MKM Partners.

Owens-Illinois Inc. (NYSE: OI) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch.

Prologis Inc. (NYSE: PLD) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $86 from $73 at Citigroup.

SAP S.E. (NYSE: SAP) was reiterated as Buy at Argus, and the firm raised its target price to $145 in that call.

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) was reiterated as Buy with a $64 price target (versus a $53.83 close) at Argus, which kept its 2019 earnings forecast but raised its 2020 forecast.

Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: TXN) was assumed as Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets. Wells Fargo maintained its Market Perform rating but lowered its target price to $58 from $63. Shares closed at $116.70, in a 52-week range of $87.70 to $119.32 and with a consensus target price of $116.56.

Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) was maintained as Underweight but the price target was raised to $130 from $119 at Morgan Stanley.

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $160 from $132 at Citigroup. Shares closed at $139.30, in a 52-week range of $97.68 to $142.37 and with a consensus target price of $135.13.

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Craig-Hallum. Citigroup maintained its Buy rating but lowered its price target to $59 from $63. Shares closed at $50.47, in a 52-week range of $33.83 to $88.62 and with a consensus target price of $58.74.

Yum China Holdings Inc. (NYSE: YUMC) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch. Shares closed at $44.75, in a 52-week range of $30.10 to $46.19 and with a consensus target price of $45.98.

Monday’s top analyst calls included AbbVie, Adobe, American Express, Intel, 3M, Microsoft, SAP, Shopify, Sprint, Target and many more.

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