Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: American Water, Arconic, Cree, Dell, Humana, Merck, Qualcomm, Square, Tesla, Zynga and More

Stocks were looking for direction on Thursday, a day after Fed Chair Jerome Powell promised to be patient on interest rates, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have effectively hit all-time highs again in recent days. With gains of 17% for the S&P 500 year to date, 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. Our goal is to find new trading and investing ideas for our readers. Some of the daily analyst reports cover stocks to buy, but other reports 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 Thursday, May 2, 2019.

American Water Works Co. Inc. (NYSE: AWK) was reiterated as Buy and the price target (fair value estimate) was raised to $121 from $102 (versus a $107.10 prior close) at Janney, with the firm noting that earnings beat its estimate but were a tad under consensus at the same time that it announced an August retirement for the firm’s chief financial officer.

Arconic Inc. (NYSE: ARNC) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price target was raised to $26 from $21 (versus a $21.46 close) at Goldman Sachs. Shares were indicated up 22.5% at $22.00 after the call, in a 52-week range of $15.63 to $23.60 and with a consensus target price of $22.38.

Cree Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) was downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer. The stock previously closed down 2% at $64.78, but its post-earnings reaction had shares indicated down over 10% at $58.00. The previous consensus target price was $61.88, and the 52-week trading range is $33.72 to $69.21.

Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE: DELL) was reiterated as Outperform at Raymond James, and the firm raised its target price up to $74 from $64. Dell closed up 1.7% at $68.58 ahead of the call, with a prior consensus target price of $66.80.

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HLT) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank. Its shares were indicated down 1% at $91.62 after the call, but that was also after shares hit a 52-week the prior day and closed up 6.4% at $92.60.

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) closed down 3.6% at $246.16 on Wednesday’s post-earnings reaction. Citigroup maintained it as Buy but slashed its price target to $302 from $362.

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $88 from $87 at UBS. Merck closed at $78.72 on Wednesday, with a consensus target price of $87.43.

Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised to $117 from $101 (versus a $97.95 close) at Wedbush Securities. The firm sees multiple 2019 catalysts coming from tariff elimination or mitigation, new product innovation and improving trends in weather and markets.

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