Stocks have continued to firm up after Monday’s big sell-off as trade war tensions continue to escalate with China. Stocks were indicated to open slightly higher on Thursday as well, but the gains of 0.25% or less on the three major indexes implied that the day’s direction was far from assured. Investors have multiple reasons that might magnify the “sell in May and go away” mindset, particularly as the major market indexes are still quite close to all-time highs. It’s time for investors to consider how they want their portfolios positioned for the rest of 2019.
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 16, 2019.
Appian Corp. (NASDAQ: APPN) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at William Blair. Shares closed up 0.8% at $34.15 ahead of the call and were indicated up 2.7% on Thursday morning. The consensus target price was $31.67.
Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) closed up 0.8% at $52.44 ahead of earnings, and the stock was indicated up over 3% at $54.25 in early Thursday trading as the earnings pleased investors and as the company may not have much to fear about China trade wars compared to others. Credit Suisse maintained its Neutral rating but raised its target to $52 from $47. Cisco’s consensus target price was $56.46 ahead of these moves.
Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) was maintained with a Buy rating at Citigroup, but the firm lowered its target price to $170 from $180 (versus a $144.84 close, after another 1.5% drop) in the call. Deere continues to be a considered a ground-zero stock in the China trade war, and this was a $166 stock just ahead of the tariff escalations.
Dillard’s Inc. (NYSE: DDS) was reiterated as Underperform at Wedbush Securities, but the firm further cut its price target to $54 from $65. This is after the shares closed down almost 1% at $63.39. The 52-week range is $55.73 to $98.75, and the consensus target price is $64.00.
Duke Realty Corp. (NYSE: DRE) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $33 target price (versus a $30.56 close) at Goldman Sachs. It has a consensus target price of $32.82, and the industrial landlord yields about 2.75%.
Farfetch Ltd. (NYSE: FTCH) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $30 from $29 at Credit Suisse, with the call coming after the company reported top and bottom line beats on strong orders and customers offsetting currency headwinds. The firm also noted that Farfetch seems to be progressing faster than expected in its rollout with JD.com.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $156 from $152 at Credit Suisse. The firm’s call comes after the Annual Business Review encouraged the perspective on key marketed and pipeline products and the company’s overall bullish commentary pointing to pharma segment sales alone reaching $50 billion by 2023.
KB Home (NYSE: KBH) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets. This had shares indicated up 1.2% at $27.11 on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $16.82 to $28.34. The consensus target price is $26.00.
L3 Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LLL) was reiterated as Overweight at Barclays, and the firm raised its target price to $270 from $245. The stock closed up about 0.7% at $237.11, and it has a 52-week range of $158.76 to $239.35 (with that high just hit on Wednesday). The consensus target price was $241.18 ahead of this adjustment.
Liberty Property Trust (NYSE: LPT) was started with a Neutral rating and assigned a $49 target price (versus a $48.00 close) at Goldman Sachs. It has a consensus target price of $50.00, and the commercial real estate player yields about 3.3%.