Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Albermarle, Amgen, Applied Materials, Biogen, CRISPR, CrowdStrike, CSX, Kroger, Slack, Teva, Xerox and More

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Stocks were mixed in the premarket on Tuesday and the day was just looking for direction after last week’s all-time highs. Investors still have a lot of pressing issues and risks to consider now that the bull market is over 10 and a half years old. This is a time for investors to consider 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. Our goal is 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 sell-side research service.

These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations for Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

Albermarle Corp. (NYSE: ALB) was maintained as Buy but the target price was lowered to $87 from $95 at UBS. RBC downgraded it to Sector Perform from Outperform and cut its price target to $71 from $77. Berenberg cut price target to $72 from $75 while maintaining its Hold rating.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) was started as Buy with a $256 target price (versus a $220.70 prior close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXN) was started with a Buy rating and a $225 target price at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Apollo Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: AINV) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform with a $17 target price (versus a $16.36 close) at RBC Capital Markets.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) was reiterated as Outperform and its target was raised to $62 from $58 at Wells Fargo. Applied Materials closed up 1% at $56.59 on Monday and was indicated up 1% at $57.30 on Tuesday, with a prior consensus target price of $55.68.

Ares Capital Corp. (NASDAQ: ARES) was started as Outperform with a $20 target price (versus an $18.55 close) at RBC Capital Markets. It has an 8% or so dividend as a business development company, as well as a 52-week range of $14.50 to $19.28 and a consensus target price of $19.46.

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN) was started with a Buy rating and a $110 target price (versus a $75.33 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) was started with a Buy rating and a $337 target price (with a $294.14 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Cellular Biomedicine Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CBMG) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $19 target price (versus a $17.67 close) at Robert W. Baird.

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP) was started as Neutral with a $123 target price (versus a $115.87 close) at Goldman Sachs. The prior consensus target price was $119.25, and the 52-week trading range is $98.57 to $132.76.

CONMED Corp. (NASDAQ: CNMD) was started as Overweight with a $136 target price (versus a $109.99 close) at JPMorgan.

CRISPR Therapeutics A.G. (NASDAQ: CRSP) was raised to Outperform from Perform with a $65 target price at Oppenheimer.

CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CRWD) was raised to Neutral from Sell but the target price was lowered to $55 from $66 (versus a $46.20 close) at Goldman Sachs. Its prior consensus target price was $83.89, and its post-IPO range has been $44.58 to $101.88.

CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the price target was lowered to $74 from $82 at Deutsche Bank.

Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN) was reiterated as Outperform and the target price was raised to $33 from $31 (versus a $22.53 close) at Wells Fargo.