Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Apple, Bed Bath & Beyond, Chico’s, Clorox, Deere, Gap, Newell, RealReal, Teva, UnitedHealth, Wells Fargo and More

September 30, 2019 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks saw many ups and downs but ended last week slightly lower, but they were indicated to open higher on Monday. This is the last day of the third quarter in 2019, and the Dow Jones industrials are up 14.9% and the S&P 500 is up 19% year to date, at a time that the bull market is now well over 10 years old. 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 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 them. 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 Monday, September 30, 2019.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was indicated higher after JPMorgan raised its target price to $265 from $242 and reiterated its Overweight rating, based on higher iPhone 11 sales. Apple closed down 0.5% at $218.82 on Friday and was indicated up 0.8% at $220.60 on Monday, with a prior consensus target price of $226.48.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) was raised to Outperform from Neutral with a $16 target price (versus a $9.89 prior close) at Wedbush Securities. The firm is calling it as being a deep value stock with a catalyst from a good chance of stabilization (or growth) in the next two years’ worth of earnings as sweeping changes take hold and resetting its cost structure with an initial 7% reduction of corporate staff and a plan to cut inventories by $1 billion.

Chico’s FAS Inc. (NYSE: CHS) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that the retail apocalypse strikes again with Chico’s as the latest victim. Its shares last closed at $4.00, with a consensus price target of $2.96.

Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital Markets. Shares closed down 0.2% at $149.48 on Friday, with a consensus target price of $214.36.

Clorox Co. (NYSE: CLX) was reiterated as Underweight and the price target was cut to $134 from $144 (versus a $152.68 close) at Morgan Stanley. Shares closed up 1.4% at $152.68 on Friday, with a consensus target price of $151.60.

Concert Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNCE) was maintained as Buy at Janney, but the firm lowered its fair value estimate to $10 per share from $13. The company’s partnered program called AVP-786 for Alzheimer’s agitation missed its primary and key secondary endpoints.

Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) was reiterated as Outperform and its target price was raised to $176 from $161 at Robert W. Baird. Deere closed up almost 0.4% at $166.26 on Friday, and its prior consensus target price was $168.26.

Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE: EMR) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform and the target price was raised to $77 from $65 at RBC Capital Markets. Emerson closed up 3.4% at $66.40 on Friday due to activist pressure (from DE Shaw) to break up the company.

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) was maintained as Market Perform but the target was cut to $20 from $24 (versus a $17.18 close) at Wells Fargo. The consensus target price was $19.79.

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform and the target price was lowered to $290 from $345 at BMO Capital Markets. The stock closed down 2.2% at $257.59 on Friday, and it previously had a $335.45 consensus target price.

Incyte Corp. (NASDAQ: INCY) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $110 from $107 (versus a $72.82 close) at JMP Securities.

Murphy Oil Corp. (NYSE: MUR) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $27 target price at BMO Capital Markets. Shares closed up 0.6% at $21.95 on Friday, with a 52-week range of $17.04 to $36.53 and a consensus target price of $28.54.

Newell Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: NWL) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $25 from $15 (versus an $18.20 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. It was indicated up 2.3% at $18.60 on Monday, and its 52-week range is $13.04 to $24.57.

Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (NYSE: PXD) was reiterated as Outperform and its target price was raised to $157 from $142 (versus a $126.32 close) at Robert W. Baird.

PNM Resources Inc. (NYSE: PNM) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch. The stock closed down 0.8% at $51.45 on Friday but was indicated up 0.8% at $51.85 on Monday. Its prior consensus target price was $49.67.

RealReal Inc. (NASDAQ: REAL) was reiterated as Outperform and the target price was raised to $23 from $20 (versus a $19.35 close) at Wells Fargo.

Rockwell Automation Inc. (NYSE: ROK) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo.

Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE: SHAK) was started with a Hold rating and assigned a $90 target price (versus a $95.52 close) at Deutsche Bank. The consensus target price is $82.25.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA) was maintained as Market Perform but the price target was slashed to $8 from $17 at Wells Fargo. Teva previously closed up 5.8% at $6.92 on Friday and was indicated up 1% at $7.00 on Monday.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNP) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital Markets. It closed down 0.1% at $215.26 on Friday, and its prior consensus target price was $294.83.

Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform and the target price was raised to $30 from $25 (versus a $26.60 close, after a 5% gain) at Wells Fargo. Shares were indicated up 3.6% at $27.14 on Monday, and the prior consensus target price was $27.19.

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Merrill Lynch.

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) was maintained as Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley, but the firm raised its target price to $50 from $47. This comes after a 3.7% gain to $50.71, and is in response to the naming of a full-time chief executive.

Western Union Co. (NYSE: WU) was maintained as Underweight at Barclays, but the target price was raised to $19 from $18. The stock closed up 2.7% at $23.05 on Friday, and it has a consensus target price of $20.83.

Xcel Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: XEL) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Merrill Lynch. Shares closed down 0.3% at $65.36 on Friday but were indicated down 1.1% at $64.65 on Monday. The prior consensus target price was $61.83.

Zix Corp. (NASDAQ: ZIXI) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that analysts are growing increasingly optimistic on this small-cap security cloud enterprise with large-cap dreams. The shares most recently closed at $7.17, with a consensus price target of $12.75.

Zymeworks Inc. (NASDAQ: ZYME) was raised to Strong Buy from Outperform and the target price was raised to $40 from $36 (versus a $25.88 close) at Raymond James. It had a consensus target price of $24.88 ahead of this call, but its shares were indicated up 6% at $27.45 on Monday morning after presenting study data in second-line HER2-expressing billary tract cancers.

Jefferies has four top growth stocks expected to Outperform ahead.

Five Dow laggards may have surprising outperformance ahead.

Analysts have issued well above normal upside calls on six large-cap and mega-cap companies.

Friday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Box, iRobot, Kimberly-Clark, Match, Oracle, Pinterest, Seattle Genetics, Texas Instruments and many more.

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