Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AbbVie, Ally, Anthem, Caterpillar, CVS, Deere, Oracle, PayPal, Rite Aid, Square, Uber, UnitedHealth and More

September 12, 2019 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were indicated to open higher on Thursday, and the S&P 500 is again within 1% of its all-time high. The markets have been volatile, and it’s impossible to forget that the bull market is well over 10 years old while the media is using the recession warning as frequently as it can. 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 Thursday, September 12, 2019.

AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) was raised to Buy from Neutral but the price target was lowered to $79 from $85 at UBS. Shares closed up almost 2% at $69.49 ahead of the call, and the consensus target price was $86.58.

Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) was reiterated as Overweight and the target price was raised to $40 from $37 at Barclays.

Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) was started with a Buy rating and a $320 target price at Deutsche Bank. It has a consensus target price of $343.23.

Aptinyx Inc. (NASDAQ: APTX) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $7 target price (versus a $3.93 prior close) at Wedbush Securities. It has fallen to a market cap of about $130 million, following earlier Phase 2 diabetic peripheral nephropathy data, but Wedbush sees encouraging preclinical data for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and limited downside at this stage.

Carvana Co. (NYSE: CVNA) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $105 target price (versus a $77.97 close) at Needham. Its consensus target price was $72.47.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with a $143 target price (versus a $133.09 close) at Wells Fargo. Caterpillar had a consensus target price of $142.83.

Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI) was started with a Buy rating and a $207 target price at Deutsche Bank. The consensus target price is $214.13.

Coupa Software Inc. (NASDAQ: COUP) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $170 target price (versus a $134.48 close, after a 1.75% drop) at Canaccord Genuity. Its consensus target price was $162.40.

CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $91 target price (versus a $63.99 close) at Deutsche Bank. The consensus target price is $68.73.

Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with a $170 target price (versus a $165.15 close) at Wells Fargo. Deere had a consensus target price of $169.83.

Green Dot Corp. (NYSE: GDOT) was started as Hold and assigned a $29 target price (versus a $28.58 close) at Canaccord Genuity.

Hershey Co, (NYSE: HSY) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Bernstein.

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) was started with a Hold rating and a $300 target price at Deutsche Bank. It has a consensus target price of $335.57.

Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) was on the books to report earnings on Thursday, but they came out Wednesday instead. After closing up 1.37% at $56.23, its shares slipped in the post-earnings reaction. Barclays maintained its Equal Weight rating and cut the target price to $57 from $59. BMO Capital Markets reiterated its Market Perform rating and raised its target to $60 from $59.

PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) was raised to Buy from Hold and the target price was raised to $118 from $110 at Canaccord Genuity.

Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD) was started with a Sell rating and assigned a $5 target price (versus a $9.68 close) at Deutsche Bank. The consensus target price is $6.33.

Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the target price was lowered to $62 from $88 at Canaccord Genuity. The stock closed down 2.2% at $59.20 on Tuesday, and it had a prior consensus target price of $82.88.

T2 Biosystems Inc. (NASDAQ: TTOO) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the target price was raised to $6 from $2 (versus a $2.61 close) at Janney. The firm noted that its $69 million government R&D funding support and an increased ability to raise capital are on top of other solid drug study news.

Teladoc Health Inc. (NYSE: TDOC) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $76 target price (versus a $68.08 close) at Deutsche Bank. The consensus target price is $82.11.

Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) was maintained as Overweight but the target price was cut to $53 from $57 at Morgan Stanley.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) was started with a Hold rating and assigned a $263 target price (versus a $234.21 close) at Deutsche Bank. It has a consensus target price of $295.96.

Vista Outdoor Inc. (NYSE: VSTO) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that even though a turnaround plan is in place, the future looks shaky for this outdoor equipment maker. Its shares closed at $6.51 and have a consensus price target of $8.70.

Zumiez Inc. (NASDAQ: ZUMZ) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that this specialty skateboarding retailer is seeing major sales growth thanks to a revamped digital strategy. Shares most recently closed at $32.57, with a consensus analyst target of $29.00.

Many analysts opined about how the Apple TV+ will compare and perform against other streaming services.

Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Alcoa, Apple, Ciena, Cisco Systems, Dave & Buster’s, GameStop, Hilton Worldwide, Newmont Goldcorp, RH, Square, Zscaler and many more.

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