Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Beyond Meat, Chipotle, Cisco, Kraft Heinz, Lam Research, McDonald’s, Microsoft, NXP, Starbucks, Yum Brands and More

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Stocks took a breather on Wednesday morning, a move that may continue this week’s idea that the snapback rally was too quick and went too far. With so many developments and so many sidebar issues affecting the markets and the economy, investors need to be considering how they want their portfolios and assets positioned for the rest of 2019 and beyond.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week in an effort to find new ideas for traders and long-term investors alike. Some of the daily analyst calls cover stocks to buy. Others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

We have provided these calls in a quick-hit summary for easy reading and additional comments and trading data have been added on some of the calls. 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 on Wednesday, June 12, 2019.

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. (NYSE: AB) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $35 price target at Goldman Sachs.

Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Bernstein in another valuation call.

Brinker International Inc. (NYSE: EAT) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Telsey Advisory, with the firm talking about potential upside from the Chili’s parent’s partnership with restaurant delivery service DoorDash.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was started as Outperform at Evercore ISI, based on a general acceleration in fast food and a decline in casual dining. Shares closed up 1.2% at $729.24, in a 52-week range of $383.20 to $730.41 and with a consensus target price of $683.00.

Choice Hotels International Inc. (NYSE: CHH) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair. Shares were trading at 52-week highs and above the consensus analyst target on Tuesday.

Dine Brands Global Inc. (NYSE: DIN) was removed from the Best Ideas List at Wedbush Securities. While maintaining an Outperform rating on the stock, it now sees a less attractive risk/reward profile at current levels. Shares had been added to the list on February 1, 2019, and they have since appreciated 20.4%. The firm continues to view the Dine Brands primarily franchised model as underappreciated and believes the current discount to franchised peers could narrow over the next six to 12 months as fears around the sustainability of Applebee’s turnaround are addressed.

Dunkin Brands Group Inc. (NASDAQ: DNKN) was started as In-Line at Evercore ISI. Shares closed up 1.5% at $80.45, in a 52-week range of $61.69 to $80.94 and with a consensus target price of $75.65.

Kraft Heinz Co. (NASDAQ: KHC) was started with an In-Line rating and assigned a $32 price target at Evercore ISI. Shares closed flat at $30.24, in a 52-week range of $26.96 to $64.99 and with a consensus target price of $35.61.