Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Allstate, Corning, DexCom, Lam Research, On Deck, Qualcomm, Spotify, Western Digital, Whiting Petroleum and More

August 1, 2019 by Jon C. Ogg

The stock market got the rate cut it wanted on Wednesday, but the Dow Jones industrials and S&P 500 sold off handily as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated that this was a mid-cycle adjustment rather than the first of many rate cuts. Stocks were indicated to open marginally higher on Thursday, but not by enough that the day’s outcome looked certain. Earnings season has proven to be quite mixed and has created 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 they 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 Thursday, August 1, 2019.

Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (NYSE: APD) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the target price was lowered to $215 from $217 at HSBC.

Allstate Corp. (NYSE: ALL) was reiterated as Strong Buy and the target price was raised to $125 from $115 at Raymond James. Shares closed up 5.5% at $107.40, in a 52-week range of $77.00 to $109.13. The consensus target price is $110.77.

Altice USA Inc. (NYSE: ATUS) was reiterated with an Overweight rating and its target price was raised to $31 from $25 at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

AMAG Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAG) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $16 target price at H.C. Wainwright.

American Homes 4 Rent (NYSE: AMH) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BTIG.

Clean Harbors Inc. (NYSE: CLH) was raised to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer.

Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) was downgraded to Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna. Shares closed down 2.1% at $30.75, in a 52-week range of $27.67 to $36.56. The consensus target price is $36.07.

Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE: CCI) was raised to Overweight from Neutral and the target price was raised to $150 from $125 at JPMorgan. Shares closed up 0.4% at $133.26, in a 52-week range of $103.21 to $137.85. The consensus target price is $131.83.

DexCom Inc. (NASDAQ: DXCM) was reiterated as Outperform and the target price was raised to $172 from $150 at Raymond James.

Dine Brands Global Inc. (NYSE: DIN) was downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James.

Equinix Inc. (NASDAQ: EQIX) was reiterated as Strong Buy and the price target was raised to $560 from $520 at Raymond James. Wells Fargo reiterated it as Outperform and raised the target price to $545 from $500.

Fresenius Medical Care A.G. & Co. KGaA (NYSE: FMS) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BTIG.

FMC Corp. (NYSE: FMC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch. Shares closed up 1.9% at $86.42, in a 52-week range of $60.16 to $87.99. The consensus target price is $95.95.

Lam Research Corp. (NASDAQ: LRCX) was reiterated as Overweight and the price target was raised to $252 from $236 at KeyBanc Capital Markets. Shares closed down 1.3% at $208.61, in a 52-week range of $122.64 to $218.49. The consensus target price is $218.21.

On Deck Capital Inc. (NYSE: ONDK) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS.

Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) was down 2.2% to $73.16 ahead of earnings but was indicated down almost 8% more to $67.50 on Thursday morning after the report. Merrill Lynch maintained its Buy rating but cut the price objective to $100 from $105.

SBA Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: SBAC) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight but the target price was raised to $270 from $220 at JPMorgan.

Silicon Motion Technology Corp. (NASDAQ: SIMO) closed down 11.4% at $36.20 on Wednesday, as a revenue miss overshadowed stronger earnings. JPMorgan downgraded it to Neutral from Overweight and cut the target price to $40 from $50.

Spotify Technology S.A. (NYSE: SPOT) was raised to Hold from Sell at Loop Capital. Shares closed at $154.94, in a 52-week range of $103.29 to $196.95. The consensus target price is $167.47.

U.S. Bancorp. (NYSE: USB) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $59 price target at Macquarie.

Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VNDA) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $19 target price at Citigroup.

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) was raised to Neutral from Underperform with a $54 target price at Wedbush Securities. The firm’s base case was that poor demand would continue to pressure NAND pricing through 2019 and that would lead to earnings and margin compression. Shares closed down 4.8% at $53.89, in a 52-week range of $33.83 to $69.55. The consensus target price is $53.52.

Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL) was last seen indicated down 22% at $13.75 on Thursday morning after it posted a loss and said it was cutting one-third of its staff as its lowered its output targets. Merrill Lynch maintained its Buy rating but cut its price objective to $28 from $32. Oppenheimer downgraded the shares to Perform from Outperform, and Ladenburg Thalmann downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy. Shares closed up 2.8% at $17.68, in a 52-week range of $14.74 to $55.17. The consensus target price is $29.48.

Wednesday’s top analyst calls included Advanced Micro Devices, Altria, Apple, BP, Electronic Arts, Enphase Energy, FireEye, Gilead Sciences, Mastercard, Procter & Gamble, U.S. Bancorp and many more.

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