Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AGCO, Apple, Caterpillar, Cisco, Deere, Evergy, Levi Strauss, Paypal, Slack, Urban Outfitters and More

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After a major sell-off on Wednesday due to yield curve concerns about a recession, stocks had been indicated to open lower on Thursday until Walmart’s earnings offered some support. It is important to consider that the major stock market indexes were just all-time highs less than a month ago. Investors have many reasons to remain cautious, and earnings season has been hard on many companies and many sectors. Investors need 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 15, 2019.

AGCO Corp. (NYSE: AGCO) was started as Overweight and assigned an $80 target price (versus a $64.14 prior close) at Stephens.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was reiterated as Outperform with a $245 price target (versus a $202.75 close) at Wedbush Securities, with the firm noting that the iPhone demand cycle looks stable heading into fiscal 2020 despite all the ongoing China worries. The 52-week trading range is $142.00 to $233.47, and the consensus price target is $223.03.

Applied Industrial Technologies Inc. (NYSE: AIT) was maintained as Overweight but the target price was lowered to $65 from $70 (versus a $52.77 close) at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Autodesk Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and its target price was lowered to $165 from $180 at Deutsche Bank.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) was started as Underweight with a $100 target price at Stephens. Caterpillar was down 3.2% at $115.21 on Wednesday, and its prior consensus target price was still up at $143.61. The 52-week trading range is $112.06 to $159.37.

Children’s Place Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCE) was down almost 8% to $76.28 on Wednesday, but Thursday it was raised to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was down 4% at $50.61 ahead of earnings and was down close to 8% at $46.50 on Thursday morning after the results disappointed and as China orders were running extremely soft. KeyBanc Capital Markets maintained the stock as Overweight and cut its target price to $56 from $60. Raymond James reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its Cisco target to $59 from $58. The 52-week trading range is $40.25 to $58.26, and the consensus price target is $58.43.

Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) was started as Equal Weight with a $160 target price at Stephens. The 52-week trading range is $128.32 to $171.22, and the consensus price target is $167.06.

Elanco Animal Health Inc. (NYSE: ELAN) was raised to Neutral from Sell with a $30 target price (versus a $28.51 close) at UBS.