Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Activision Blizzard, ANGI, Azul, Baidu, CommScope, E*Trade, Kraft Heinz, Symantec, Uber and More


Stocks have been volatile all week, but much of the losses from earlier in the week have been recovered. Stocks were indicated to open lower on Friday ahead of the weekend. What is important to keep in context in a 5% quick correction is that the major indexes just hit all-time highs two weeks ago. Also worth considering is that this bull market is well over 10 years old. Investors need to be considering exactly 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, August 9, 2019.

Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) was reiterated as Outperform with a $60 target price (versus a $49.33 prior close) at Wedbush Securities, with the firm noting that it has many arrows that can drive upside while Wall Street has tempered expectations. Activision Blizzard had a $52.76 consensus target price.

ANGI Home Services Inc. (NASDAQ: ANGI) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $10 target price (versus a $9.41 close) at Wedbush. Nomura/Instinet maintained its Neutral rating and cut its target to $9 from $17.

Azul S.A. (NYSE: AZUL) was up 4% at $41.66 on Thursday, and Friday’s analyst calls showed it reiterated as Buy and a target hike to $48 from $43 at Deutsche Bank. Raymond James also reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $47 from $40.

Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) was maintained as Overweight but the price target was cut to $148 from $160 at KeyBanc Capital Markets. Baidu was indicated down almost 1% at $99.00 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $97.77 to $234.88.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) was raised to In-Line from Underperform at Evercore ISI. Shares closed up almost 3% at $9.00 on Thursday and were indicated up about 2% at $9.18 on Friday. The consensus target price is $14.23.

Chemours Co. (NYSE: CC) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets.

Cincinnati Bell Inc. (NYSE: CBB) was raised to Buy from Neutral but the price target was cut to $7 from $10 at UBS. Shares closed up 12% at $4.00 the prior day, with a prior consensus target price of $7.75.

Coeur Mining Inc. (NYSE: CDE) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord Genuity.

CommScope Holding Co. Inc. (NASDAQ: COMM) was maintained as Outperform at Credit Suisse, but the firm again lowered its price target to $23 from $27 (versus a $12.95 close) as some of the bullish thesis it had earlier in 2019 has become less likely. The consensus target price was $23.71.

E*Trade Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: ETFC) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the target price was lowered to $45 from $52 (versus a $43.21 close) at Deutsche Bank.

Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ: JACK) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and was added the Best Ideas List at Wedbush. The $105 price target compares with an $86.97 prior close, but that is also after a 16.8% gain. Wedbush noted that same-store sales growth and margin trends are solid as the fast-food company’s higher free cash flow target and EBITDA targets seem realistic. Jack in the Box is also said to be still valued below all other primarily franchised quick-serve peers. On the other side of the coin, Credit Suisse reiterated its Underweight rating but did raise its target price to $78 from $75.

Kraft Heinz Co. (NASDAQ: KHC) was down another 8.6% at $28.22 after earnings on Thursday and was indicated down another 2% at $27.60 on Friday. Guggenheim downgraded it to Sell from Neutral and lowered the target price to $25 from $29.

Murphy Oil Corp. (NYSE: MUR) was maintained as Neutral but the price target was cut to $25 from $30 at Credit Suisse. This is after the shares closed down 7.3% at $20.06.

Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the target price was slashed to $21 from $79 at Mizuho. The stock closed up 2.7% at $29.57 but was indicated down almost 35% at $19.30 after the earnings and pipeline update.

Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) was up 12.3% at $22.92 on news that it is selling its enterprise security segment to Broadcom for a sum of $10.7 billion. Wedbush said it is a positive, but the firm reiterated its Neutral rating and $25 target price.

TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: AMTD) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) closed up 8.2% at $42.97 ahead of earnings, but lower revenue growth and a wider loss had shares down over 8% at $39,45 in early indications on Friday. Raymond James reiterated Uber as Outperform and raised the target price to $54 from $50.

Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. (NYSE: WPM) was reiterated as Neutral but the target price was raised to $38 from $34 (versus a $27.56 close) at Credit Suisse.

Zacks has named ELF Beauty Inc. (NYSE: ELF) as its Bull of the Day, saying that the mass beauty market is picking up steam again. The Bear of the Day is Vishay Intertechnology Inc. (NYSE: VSH). Zacks noted that the semiconductors still look sick.

The top analyst calls from Thursday included Apple, Caterpillar, CenturyLink, Chesapeake Energy, Ciena, Corning, Dollar General, GreenSky, Hertz, Inogen, Lyft, Roku, 3D Systems and many more.

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