Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Aerojet Rocketdyne, Apple, Baidu, Biogen, Chesapeake Energy, Chipotle, McDonald’s, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Walgreens and More

June 28, 2019 by Jon C. Ogg

It seems impossible to fathom, but this is the last day of the second quarter in 2019. The bull market is well into its 10th year, and the major indexes are all quite close to all-time highs. Stocks were indicated to open marginally higher on Friday, but all attention is on this weekend’s G-20 meeting between Presidents Trump and Xi Jinping to see if a trade war deal can be made. Investors need to be considering how they want their portfolios and assets positioned for the second half of 2019 and beyond.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. Our goal is to find new ideas for traders and long-term investors alike. Some of the daily analyst calls cover stocks to buy. Other analyst calls 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 Friday, June 28, 2019.

Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AJRD) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $50 target price (versus a $43.18 prior close) at Canaccord Genuity. Shares were indicated down 0.4% at $43.00 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $27.69 to $43.22.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) closed down six cents at $199.74 on Thursday, but the stock was indicated down as much as 0.75% in the after-hours session after chief designer Jony Ive announced he was leaving Apple to start his own company. Wedbush noted that this is a loss and may look like a major changing of the guard, but the firm did maintain its Outperform rating and $235 price target. Nomura/Instinet reiterated its Neutral rating on Apple with a $175 price target, noting that his departure is a sentimental negative on the stock.

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARWR) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Cantor Fitzgerald. Shares rose 4% to $28.82 on Thursday but were indicated down 2% at $28.22 on Friday morning.

Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) was maintained with a Neutral rating at JPMorgan, but the firm cuts its target price to $120 from $150 (versus a $116.04 close). Baidu has a 52-week range of $106.80 to $274.00.

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight and the price target was cut to $250 from $280 (versus a $239.77 close) at Piper Jaffray. Biogen was indicated down 1.5% at $236.10 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $216.12 to $388.67.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $2.75 target price at Morgan Stanley. Chesapeake closed down 1.6% at $1.88 on Thursday and was indicated up almost 3% at $193 on Friday. The 52-week range is $1.71 to $5.60.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was reiterated as Neutral at JPMorgan, but the firm did raise its target to $650 from $600. Chipotle was down 0.5% at $724.12 a share on Thursday, and it has a 52-week range of $383.20 to $749.25. The prior consensus target price was $688.00.

Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Stephens.

Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ: PLAY) was started as Hold with a $42 target price at Deutsche Bank. It closed up 1.2% at $39.68 ahead of the call, with a consensus target price of $53.10 and a 52-week trading range of $38.76 to $67.05.

Dine Brands Global Inc. (NYSE: DIN) was started with a Buy rating at Deutsche Bank, which set its price target at $116 in the call. Shares closed up 2% at $94.35 ahead of the call, and the prior consensus target price was $125.75.

KB Home (NYSE: KBH) was raised to Market Perform from Underperform at Raymond James, after it rose 7.9% to $25.39 in the day-after earnings reaction.

Live Nation Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: LYV) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $63 target price at Citigroup. It closed up 1.3% at $66.93 ahead of the call and was indicated down over 4% at $64.00 on Friday morning.

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) was reiterated as Overweight and the target price was raised to $215 from $195 at JPMorgan. McDonald’s was up almost 1% at $206.27 on Thursday and was indicated up about 30 cents from its closing price after the call. It has a 52-week range of $153.13 to $206.39 and a consensus target price of $216.92.

Netgear Inc. (NASDAQ: NTGR) was started with a Hold rating and assigned a $28 price target (versus a $25.99 close) at Deutsche Bank.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) reported that its quarterly revenue increased by 4% to $10.2 billion, but it was actually up 10% on a currency-neutral basis. Shares closed up 1.3% at $83.66 ahead of earnings, and the after-hours trading was looking for direction. Wedbush reiterated Nike as Outperform with a $96 target price.

Office Properties Income Trust (NYSE: OPI) was raised to Sector Perform from Underperform with a $27 target price (versus a $25.16 close, after a 3% gain) at RBC Capital Markets.

PagSeguro Digital Ltd. (NYSE: PAGS) was started as Overweight with a $41 target price (versus a $37.64 close) at Cantor Fitzgerald.

Patterson Companies Inc. (NASDAQ: PDCO) was reiterated as Underweight and the target price was cut to $20 from $22 at JPMorgan.

Plantronics Inc. (NYSE: PLT) was started as Outperform with a $50 target price (versus a $36.17 close) at Evercore ISI. The stock was indicated up 1.6% at $36.75 on Friday, and it had a prior consensus target price of $78.33.

Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs, which also raised its target price to $125 from $114. The firm called Procter & Gamble a clear beneficiary of end-market growth acceleration, and the team sees 3% growth continuing into the future.

Qualys Inc. (NASDAQ: QLYS) was started with a Buy rating at Nomura/Instinet, and the firm assigned a $108 target price in the call. Shares closed up 2.8% at $85.46, and the 52-week trading range is $65.94 to $98.30.

Rapid7 Inc. (NYSE: RPD) was started with a Buy rating at Nomura/Instinet, and the firm assigned a $70 target price. The stock closed up 4.4% at $55.79 and has a 52-week range of $26.27 to $58.74.

StoneCo Ltd. (NASDAQ: STNE) was started as Overweight with a $33 price target (versus a $28.80 close) at Cantor Fitzgerald.

Texas Roadhouse Inc. (NASDAQ: TXRH) was started with a Hold rating at Deutsche Bank, after closing up 2.3% at $54.42 and against a 52-week range of $50.84 to $75.24. It had a consensus target price of $60.50.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA) was up 4.1% at $54.52 after beating lower earnings expectations on Thursday. JPMorgan maintained it as Overweight but lowered the target price to $73 from $74. Its consensus target price was $57.90.

Just about every major bank was just granted Federal Reserve approvals under the 2019 CCAR stress tests to increase their dividends and share buybacks starting July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.

Wells Fargo says that the highest telecom and communications yield of the S&P 500 (at 9%) is finally safe to buy.

After many false starts during the long bull market, value stocks may finally be ready to run. Goldman Sachs has screened for those that have solid upside potential, and here are five with big implied upside.

With this being the end of the second quarter, here are some additional groups of analyst calls. Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Advanced Micro Devices, CenturyLink, Delphi Technologies, General Motors, Ford, Intel, KB Home, Micron Technology, Nordstrom, Nvidia, Tesla, Zscaler and more. Wednesday’s top analyst calls were in AbbVie, Archer Daniels Midland, ConocoPhillips, FedEx, Fox, Kinder Morgan, Lennar, Micron Technology, Slack Technologies and Virtu Financial and many more.

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