Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alcoa, Apple, Ciena, Cisco, Dave & Buster’s, GameStop, Hilton, Newmont Goldcorp, RH, Square, Zscaler and More

September 11, 2019 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks have been volatile, but the major indexes were last seen trading up about 0.2% on average on Wednesday. With all the volatility in the stock market, and considering that the bull market is well over 10 years, investors need to be considering what changes they should be making for 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 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, September 11, 2019.

Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised to $27 from $26 at Credit Suisse. Alcoa closed up 2.6% at $20.83 ahead of the call and was indicated up 2.4% at $21.33 afterward. Its prior consensus target price was $28.58.

Alliance Data Systems Corp. (NYSE: ADS) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $152 target price (versus a $132.28 prior close, after a 2.5% gain) at Goldman Sachs. Its prior consensus target price was $174.21.

Altice USA Inc. (NYSE: ATUS) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $42 from $35 (versus a $28.79 close) at Nomura/Instinet.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was reiterated with a $245 price target and Outperform rating at Wedbush Securities on the heels of the iPhone 11 launch and release of new products from the prior day. Merrill Lynch reiterated its Buy rating and raised its price objective to $250 from $240. Needham reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $250 from $225.

Autodesk Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that this stock is well off its highs and giving up ground. Shares of Autodesk closed at $148.05, with a consensus price target of $173.26.

Automatic Data Processing Inc. (NASDAQ: ADP) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch.

Bicycle Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ: BCYC) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $14 target price (versus a $7.03 close) at Goldman Sachs. It has a 52-week range of $6.24 to $14.91, and its consensus target price was $19.50.

Callaway Golf Co. (NYSE: ELY) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James, with the firm talking up its stake in TopGolf driving growth as it plans to take its 50 locations up to 130 in the coming years.

Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $48 target price at Evercore ISI. Shares closed up 1.9% at $39.65 ahead of this call and were indicated up 0.6% at $39.900 afterward, and its prior consensus target price was $50.82.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $60 target price at Evercore ISI. It closed up 1.3% at $49.21 ahead of the call and was indicated up 0.5% at $49.50 after the call, and its prior consensus target price was $55.39.

CommScope Holding Co. Inc. (NASDAQ: COMM) was started as In-Line and assigned a $12 target price (versus a $12.54 close) at Evercore ISI. The prior consensus target price was $19.13.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) was downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer, but the firm raised its target price to $300 from $295 after a $297.00 close. Costco’s 52-week range is $189.51 to $307.34, and its consensus target price was $286.08.

Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ: PLAY) was up almost 3% at $43.72 ahead of earnings but was indicated down 15% at $37.20 afterward. William Blair downgraded it to Market Perform from Outperform. BMO Capital Markets maintained its Outperform rating but cut the target price to $50 from $555.

GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) was up 6.9% at $5.09 on Tuesday ahead of earnings but was indicated down 17% at $4.20 afterward. Wedbush maintained its Outperform rating and $8 target price based on cost cuts, buybacks and the upcoming console refresh cycle next year. Benchmark reiterated its Sell rating and lowered its price target to $3 from $5.

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HLT) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $108 target price at Bernstein. The stock closed at $93.58 ahead of the call and has a 52-week range of $63.76 to $101.14. Its prior consensus target price was $101.86.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (NASDAQ: JBHT) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Loop Capital. It closed up 2% at $116.24 ahead of the call, and its prior consensus target price was $106.33. The 52-week trading range is $83.64 to $126.99.

KLA Corp. (NASDAQ: KLAC) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $165 from $150 (versus a $148.75 prior close) at UBS. The consensus target price was $150.27 ahead of the call.

Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) was reiterated as Neutral and the target price was lowered to $32 from $34 at UBS. Shares closed at $28.77 ahead of the call and had a consensus target price of $34.91.

NetEase Inc. (NASDAQ: NTES) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that this stock lies at the intersection of gaming and the emerging Asian market. Shares of NetEase most recently closed at $272.72, with a consensus price target of $300.94.

Neurotrope Inc. (NASDAQ: NTRP) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform and the target price was slashed to $1 from $13 at Janney. This is after the stock imploded this week after an Alzheimer’s disease study failed.

Newmont Goldcorp Corp. (NYSE: NEM) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform and its target price was raised to $50 from $45 (versus a $38.16 close) at BMO Capital Markets. It has a consensus target price of $45.86.

Prevail Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: PRVL) was reiterated as Outperform with a $20 target price (versus a $9.09 close) at Wedbush. It is being targeted for a pediatric neuronopathic Gaucher disease that ultimately will be approved at the higher PR001 dose being deployed at an earlier stage.

RH (NYSE: RH), known as Restoration Hardware to the rest of us, was up 3.65% at $158.88 ahead of earnings and had traded up before last being seen down 2.2% at $155.15 after the report. Stifel reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $196 from $153, and Wells Fargo reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $175 from $150. Merrill Lynch reiterated its Buy rating and raised its price objective to $175 from $165. Wedbush reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $170 from $160.

Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) was reiterated as Neutral but the price objective was lowered to $70 from $78 at Merrill Lynch. Square closed down 1.5% at $60.55 on Tuesday, and it had a prior consensus target price of $82.88.

T2 Biosystems Inc. (NASDAQ: TTOO) was reiterated as Neutral but its fair value estimate was raised to $2 (versus a $1.43 close) at Janney, with the firm talking up an unprecedented diagnostic government help from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) on its sepsis diagnostic test.

VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) was reiterated as Neutral but the target was raised to $93 from $88 (versus an $89.82 close) at UBS.

Zscaler Inc. (NASDAQ: ZS) was down 0.7% at $61.60 ahead of earnings, but the high-beta shares were trading down 20% at $49.25 on Wednesday’s post-earnings reaction. Wedbush reiterated its Outperform rating with an $80 target price. The consensus target price was $80.56 at the start of the week, and it was $79.65 ahead of earnings. The 52-week trading range is $30.72 to $89.54.

Tuesday’s upgrades and downgrades included Ally Financial, Altria, AT&T, Ford, Micron Technology, Shopify, Valero Energy, Wells Fargo, Whiting Petroleum, Zscaler and many more.

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