Stocks were indicated to open slightly higher on Friday, and the S&P 500, Dow Jones industrials and Nasdaq have all been testing record highs again this week. Despite the record levels in the past two weeks, the investor community still has 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 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 sell-side research service.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations for Friday, November 15, 2019.
Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) was reiterated with a Buy rating and put on the Focus List at Argus in its post-earnings review.
Ambev S.A. (NYSE: ABEV) was reiterated with a Sell rating and its target price was lowered to $3.90 from $4.30 (versus a $4.15 prior close on its American depositary shares) at UBS.
American Water Works Co. Inc. (NYSE: AWK) was started with a Neutral rating and a $127 target price (versus a $117.85 prior close) at JPMorgan. it has a consensus target price of $126.10 and a 52-week trading range of $85.89 to $129.89.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was reiterated with an Outperform rating and its price target was raised from $300 to $325 at Wedbush Securities. The firm noted a higher sum of the parts valuation, and it believes that any trade deal with China would remove an overhang on this name. JPMorgan reiterated its Overweight rating with a $290 target price on Apple, and Piper Jaffray reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target to $290 from $270. Shares closed down 0.7% at $262.64 on Thursday, with a $1.18 trillion market cap and with a prior consensus target price of $255.51.
Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) was last seen up about 6% at $60.050 after beating earnings expectations. Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its earnings estimates ahead after seeing that the upside was driven by logic and foundry operations, while NAND was showing signs of a recovery and DRAM was still correcting.
BeiGene Ltd. (NASDAQ: BGNE) was indicated up 5.5% at $207.00 after a first FDA approval for a Chinese cancer-based therapy for mantle cell lymphoma. Guggenheim reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $228 from $205. The shares closed at $196.40 on Thursday, and its 52-week range was $108.00 to $200.00, with an $11.7 billion market cap before this pop.
CenterPoint Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNP) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform and the target price was lowered to $28 from $31 at Credit Suisse. The firm noted that the Houston electric rate case outcome came in worse than expected and that it was lowering earnings estimates as a result. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey downgraded it to Hold from Buy, and Guggenheim downgraded it to Neutral from Buy. The stock was down almost 5% at $26.69 on Thursday and was indicated down another 5.4% at $25.25 on Friday.
Fortinet Inc. (NASDAQ: FTNT) was raised to Neutral from Underperform and the target price was raised to $95 from $79 (versus a $100.12 close) at Credit Suisse.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) was reiterated as Outperform with a $170 target price (versus a $147.31 close) at Wedbush. The call is after Amazon lived up to expectations by challenging the huge government/DoD JEDI cloud contract, but Wedbush believes Microsoft will come out on top as the sole award winner and that this is a game-changer for Microsoft in winning many other enterprise cloud battles over Amazon and Jeff Bezos.