Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AMD, Applied Materials, Carnival, Dell, Karuna Therapeutics, Lowe’s, Noble Energy, PayPal, Square, Target, Virgin Galactic and More

November 21, 2019 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks hit new highs earlier in the week, but more caution about a trade deal has added some uncertainty to the markets. Stocks were mixed on Thursday after having been lower all morning, but the direction of the day seemed far from certain. Investors are starting to see upside targets being issued for 2020. Despite markets at record levels recently, 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 to make in 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 Thursday, November 21, 2019.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) was down 0.75% at $40.98 on Wednesday and was indicated down 0.9% at $40.60 on Thursday. Northland Securities downgraded AMD to Market Perform from Outperform with a $36 target price. It had a $35.57 consensus target price, and its 52-week range is $16.03 to $41.79.

Alliant Energy Corp. (NYSE: LNT) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $58 target price (versus a $53.14 prior close) at Barclays.

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNY) was up 10.5% at $108.21 on Wednesday after an FDA approval for it to treat a rare metabolic disorder. Barclays reiterated its Overweight rating and raised the target price to $131 from $125.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $48 target price (versus a $59.65 close) at UBS. It also was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that this company posted stronger-than-expected results on November 14. Shares closed down 1.8% to $59.65 on Wednesday and were indicated down almost 3% more at $57.90 on Thursday. The consensus price target is $67.09.

Builders FirstSource Inc. (NASDAQ: BLDR) was started as Buy with a $29 price target (versus a $25.36 close) at Deutsche Bank.

Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $47 target price (versus a $43.67 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Children’s Place Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCE) was removed from the Best Ideas List at Wedbush Securities, with the firm noting its investment price discipline. The shares closed down almost 6% at $71.54 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $69.94 to $134.52.

Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE: DELL) was started as Neutral with a $60 target price at Nomura/Instinet. Dell closed down 1.67% at $55.27 a day ahead of the call, and its consensus target price was $66.16.

Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $98 target price (versus an $87.13 close) at Barclays.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC (NYSE: GSK) was raised to Buy from Neutral at UBS, with the firm noting that GSK has lagged major pharma stocks in Europe this year and showing indications that its business is turning the corner with better results in HIV, oncology and shingles vaccine.

Karuna Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: KRTX) has seen a wild week, and it priced $250 million in share sales after a pop from very positive schizophrenia treatment study news took its shares up to $96.00 from $17.68 earlier in the week, and it closed as high as $123.99 before closing down 12% at $108.95 on Wednesday. Wedbush reiterated its Outperform rating with a $134 target, and the firm noted this capital raise should fund it to profitability in 2023.

KLA Corp. (NASDAQ: KLAC) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $140 target price (versus a $173.67 close) at UBS. It closed down 1.3% on Wednesday and was indicated down another 3% at $168.50 on Thursday.

Lam Research Corp. (NASDAQ: LRCX) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $240 target price (versus a $274.13 prior close) at UBS.

Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) was up 3.9% at $117.83 after beating earnings and doing better than rival Home Depot. Wedbush reiterated it as Outperform with a $135 target price, and Goldman Sachs reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $135 from $123. Robert W. Baird reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $145 from $135.

MacroGenics Inc. (NASDAQ: MGNX) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight with a $6 target price (versus an $8.63 close) at Morgan Stanley. Shares were indicated down 5.5% at $8.15 on the news, and the consensus target price had been closer to $25.

Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) was started with a Buy rating and a $27 target price (versus a $20.08 close) at MKM Partners.

OneMain Holdings Inc. (NYSE: OMF) was up 5.8% at $43.11 on Wednesday after earnings and guidance. Janney said it had a very bullish tone at its investor day, and the firm reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $55 from $48. The consensus target price was $48.65.

PayPal Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) announced a $4 billion pending acquisition of Honey Science to boost consumers’ shopping experiences beyond the checkout phase. Wedbush reiterated its Outperform rating and $140 target price. PayPal closed down 0.8% at $104.09 ahead of the call and was indicated down 1.2% at $102.85 on Thursday morning. It has a 52-week range of $76.70 to $121.48 and a consensus target price of $126.00.

Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) was reiterated as Outperform and its target price was raised to $195 from $185 at Cowen, and Wedbush reiterated its Outperform rating and $192 target price, and it was maintained on the firm’s Best Ideas List.

Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) was reiterated as Neutral with a $75 target price (versus a $67.17 close) at Wedbush, with the firm noting that it was positive on the investment strategy after an advisor luncheon but the firm still sees its leverage being elusive.

Summit Materials Inc. (NYSE: SUM) was started as Buy with a $32 price target (versus a $24.15 close) at Deutsche Bank.

Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) rose 14% to $126.43 on Wednesday’s post-earnings-beat reaction. Merrill Lynch reiterated its Buy rating and raised its price objective to $150 from $125. KeyBanc Capital Markets reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target to $140 from $130, while Robert W. Baird reiterated its Outperform and raised its target to $140 from $115.

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) was reiterated as Outperform and its target price was raised to $125 from $100 (versus a $123.33 close) at Wells Fargo. Its shares were higher by 3% at $127.10 on Thursday on word that LVMH is getting access to its books after it was reported that the company is raising its buyout offer to $130 per share from $120.

TopBuild Corp. (NYSE: BLD) was started as Buy with a $129 price target (versus a $110.27 close) at Deutsche Bank.

Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) was started with an Outperform rating at Credit Suisse. Its post-SPAC trading range has been $8.56 to $12.09, and it recently closed at $9.10 after a 3% drop.

Warrior Met Coal Inc. (NYSE: HCC) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that this stock has plummeted over 20% in 2019 as part of a larger downturn in the coal industry. Shares last closed at $18.42 and have a consensus price target of $28.63.

Raymond James started coverage on engine and auto parts and industrial components. Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) and Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) were started as Market Perform. Wabash National Corp. (NYSE: WNC) was started as Strong Buy with a $19 target (versus a $15.01 close), PACCAR Inc. (NASDAQ: PXCAR) was started as Strong Buy with a $90 Target (versus a $78.85 close) and Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ALSN) was started as Outperform with a $50 target (versus a $45.44 close).

Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades include Amarin, Baker Hughes, Canopy Growth, Home Depot, Intelsat, Johnson & Johnson, Replimune, Schlumberger, Transocean and many more.

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