Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Anaplan, Autodesk, Cerus, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Mallinckrodt, Nabors, Veeva Systems, VistaGen and More

Stocks had been slightly positive in early futures trading, but Wednesday’s opening indications had drifted into negative territory in the two hours ahead of the opening bell. Despite the volatility and selling pressure last week, the bull market is well over 10 years old and the Dow Jones industrials, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all still have double-digit percentage gains so far in 2019. This is a time when investors should be considering how to position their portfolios and assets heading into late 2019 and as 2020 approaches.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week to find new ideas for traders and long-term investors alike. Some of the daily analyst calls cover stocks to buy, while some 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 for Wednesday, August 28, 2019.

Alkaline Water Co. (NASDAQ: WTER) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $3 target price at H.C. Wainwright. The stock closed at $1.46 on Tuesday, and it has a 52-week range of $1.37 to $5.56.

Alphatec Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: ATEC) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $7 target price at Canaccord Genuity. Shares closed down 2.4% at $5.27 ahead of the call, and the consensus target price is $6.67 and the 52-week trading range is $1.18 to $6.35.

Anaplan Inc. (NYSE: PLAN) was down 2.7% at $57.71 ahead of earnings and was indicated to open flat on Wednesday. Barclays reiterated its Equal Weight rating but raised the target price to $54 from $43, and Canaccord Genuity reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $65 from $50. Goldman Sachs also reiterated it as Buy and raised its target price to $70 from $62.

Antero Midstream Corp. (NYSE: AM) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James. It closed down 4% at $6.80 on Tuesday but was indicated up 1.5% at $6.90 on Wednesday, with a consensus target price that was $12.98 ahead of this move.

Autodesk Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) was up 1.6% at $150.21 ahead of earnings on Tuesday, but the shares were indicated down 12% at $132.16 on Wednesday’s post-earnings reaction. Autodesk saw many target price cuts after the news: to $160 from $190 at Canaccord Genuity (Buy); to $175 from $188 at Credit Suisse (Outperform); to $186 from $210 at Citigroup (Buy); to $173 from $199 at Barclays (Overweight). Merrill Lynch downgraded Autodesk to Underperform from Neutral and slashed its price objective to $127 from $170.

Casey’s General Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: CASY) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that this Midwestern chain of convenience stores has all the pieces in place for continued growth. The shares most recently closed at $168.85, with a consensus price target of $157.70.

Catalent Inc. (NYSE: CTLT) was downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Cerus Corp. (NASDAQ: CERS) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $7 target price at Stifel. Shares closed at $5.21 on Tuesday but were indicated up 10% at $5.75 on Wednesday. The consensus target price was $8.38, and the stock has a 52-week trading range of $4.49 to $7.81.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE) was maintained as Neutral at Nomura/Instinet, but the price target was lowered to $16 from $17 in the call. Barclays reiterated it as Equal Weight but raised the price target to $15 from $14. Shares closed at $12.93 and were indicated up almost 4% at $13.43, compared with a prior consensus target price of $16.57.

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