Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AMD, Altria, Apple, BP, EA, Enphase, FireEye, Gilead, Mastercard, P&G, 2U and More

July 31, 2019 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks saw profit-taking on Tuesday, but the major indexes were up on Wednesday ahead of the Federal Reserve’s expected interest rate cut in the afternoon. Earnings season is proving to be quite mixed and creating some very big wins or bad misses on individual stock prices. With all the trade uncertainty dominating the news, the major stock market indexes remain rather close to all-time highs. Investors have many reasons to remain cautious but also have to be considering how they want their assets positioned for the rest 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 investors and traders alike. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional commentary has been added on most of the daily analyst reports, along with trading history. The consensus analyst price targets and other valuation metrics are from the Refinitiv (Thomson Reuters) sell-side research service.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) was up 1.1% at $33.87 ahead of earnings but was down 3.6% at $32.65 on Wednesday after giving some light guidance. Craig-Hallum downgraded the shares to Hold from Buy, but Wedbush Securities reiterated its Outperform rating and $39 target price. Morgan Stanley reiterated an Equal Weight rating and raised its target to $30 from $28.

Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) was reiterated as Underweight and the price target was cut to $48 from $49 at Morgan Stanley.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was down 0.4% at $208.78 ahead of earnings, but the post-earnings reaction had the stock indicated up about 4% at $217.54 on Wednesday morning. The ongoing positive is that there was a better than expected September guidance and China was better than had been feared. Monness Crespi & Hardt reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $265 from $245. Wedbush reiterated its Outperform rating with a $245 target. Canaccord Genuity reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $240 from $220. Deutsche Bank reiterated its Hold rating but raised its target to $210 from $205, and Citigroup reiterated its Buy rating and raised its Apple target to $250 from $205.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) was raised to Buy from Hold at Jefferies.

8X8 Inc. (NASDAQ: EGHT) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at B. Riley FBR. Morgan Stanley reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target to $28 from $26.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen.

Enphase Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: ENPH) was up 2.1% at $21.65 on Tuesday ahead of earnings, but it was indicated up 16% at $25.20 on Wednesday after strong revenues. H.C. Wainwright raised its rating to Buy from Neutral.

FireEye Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE) was down 0.5% at $16.10 ahead of earnings, but the shares were last seen down 11.5% at $14.25 on Wednesday morning. Wedbush maintained its Neutral rating on FireEye and cut its target to $15 from $17, calling its quarter and guidance another dark chapter for the company and its investors alike.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) was reiterated as Strong Buy and the price target was raised to $86 from $83 at Raymond James.

IAA Inc. (NYSE: IAA) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $55 price target at Jefferies.

Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA) was reiterated as Outperform and the target price was raised to $308 from $300 at Raymond James.

National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NYSE: NOV) was reiterated as Outperform and the target price was raised to $34 from $32 at Raymond James. Seaport Global raised its rating to Neutral from Sell. Citigroup raised its rating to Buy from Neutral and lifted its target to $28 from $23.

NeoGenomics Inc. (NASDAQ: NEO) was reiterated as Outperform and the target price was raised to $27 from $23 (versus a $23.90 prior close) at Raymond James.

Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) was reiterated as Overweight and its target price was raised to $129 from $120 at Morgan Stanley.

Ryder System Inc. (NYSE: R) was downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Service Corp. International (NYSE: SCI) was reiterated as Outperform and the target price was raised to $54 from $50 at Raymond James.

T2 Biosystems Inc. (NASDAQ: TTOO) was last seen down almost 37% at $0.91 after earnings showed disappointing sales around the commercial ramp-up of its Sepsis test missing estimates. H.C. Wainwright downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy, and Janney also downgraded it to Neutral from Buy.

2U Inc. (NASDAQ: TWOU) was up 5.5% at $36.50 on Tuesday ahead of earnings, but the stock was down about 34% at $23.85 after the report. Oppenheimer downgraded it to Perform from Outperform, and Macquarie downgraded it to Neutral from Outperform.

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) was raised to Neutral from Underweight and the target price was raised to $57 from $52 at JPMorgan.

Zacks has named Boston Beer Co. Inc. (NYSE: SAM) as its Bull of the Day, saying that this firm posted stronger-than-projected second-quarter earnings last week despite slowing beer sales. The Bear of the Day is iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT). Zacks noted that shares are down significantly in 2019 and have plummeted roughly 19% since it reported second-quarter results.

See why bank stocks are replacing Treasuries, CDs, utilities and other bond-like issues for income-oriented investors.

Tuesday’s top analyst calls were in included Cisco Systems, Duke Energy, Goodyear, Illumina, Kinder Morgan, Micron Technology, Pfizer, Tencent Music and many more.

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