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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AK Steel, CenterPoint, Marvell, Nike, Salesforce, Tesla, Tyson Foods, UnitedHealth, Zscaler and More

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Stocks had sold off handily in the past three days on extended trade war concerns, but that’s still after hitting all-time highs last week. Stocks were indicated to open higher on Wednesday. Investors are starting to see upside targets issued for 2020, but many pressing issues and risks remain 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 to 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 others 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 calls. The consensus analyst price targets mentioned and other valuation metrics are from the Refinitiv sell-side research service.

These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations for Wednesday, December 4, 2019.

AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS) was up just 4% at $3.01 on Tuesday after news that Cleveland-Cliffs will acquire it. JPMorgan raised AK Steel to Neutral from Underweight.

Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that this stock has fallen over 25% in 2019 as the broader global economic slowdown hampers demand for aluminum. Shares last closed at $19.79 and have a consensus price target of $25.42.

Atmos Energy Corp. (NYSE: ATO) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price target was raised to $120 from $119 (versus a $105.47 prior close) at UBS. It had a consensus target price of $115.50.

CenterPoint Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNP) was maintained as Buy but the target price was lowered to $29 from $32 at UBS. Shares closed at $24.40 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $24.25 to $31.42, but this is down from about $29 last month after other downgrades following a negative rate case outcome.

Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ: PLAY) was maintained as Market Perform but the target was lowered to $42 from $44 (versus a $40.42 close) at Wells Fargo.

Eaton Corp. (NYSE: ETN) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL) was down 2.5% at $25.16 ahead of earnings and was last seen up 1% at $25.42. BMO Capital downgraded it to Market Perform from Outperform, and JPMorgan reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target to $31 from $27.

Mesa Laboratories Inc. (NASDAQ: MLAB) was started as Buy with a price target of $275 at Jefferies. Shares closed up almost 1% at $232.46 on Tuesday, with a $1 billion market cap and a $262.67 prior consensus target price.

Middlesex Water Co. (NASDAQ: MSEX) was started with an Outperform rating and a $69 target price (versus a $61.56 close) at Robert W. Baird.


NetEase Inc. (NASDAQ: NTES) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the target price was raised to $368 from $300 (versus a $317.32 close) at Goldman Sachs.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that this stock has outpaced its broader industry in 2019 and it looks poised to continue to expand around the globe. The shares most recently closed at $92.46, with a consensus price target of $102.40.

Owens Corning (NYSE: OC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch.

Primo Water Corp. (NASDAQ: PRMW) was maintained as Outperform but the target price was lowered to $14 from $15 (versus a $10.48 close) at Imperial Capital.

Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) was up 0.35% at $161.57 ahead of earnings but was last seen down about 0.5% at $160.85 afterward and guidance seemed to be more steady and predictable. Credit Suisse maintained its Outperform rating and raised its target to $185 from $175, and Wedbush Securities maintained its Outperform rating with a $192 target price. Morgan Stanley reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target to $197 from $180.

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) was maintained with a Sell rating at Citigroup, but the firm raised its target price to $222 from $191. Tesla closed up 0.4% at $336.20 on Tuesday, with a consensus target price of about $278.50.

Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) was maintained as Neutral but its target price was raised to $89 from $83 at JPMorgan.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) was down 1% at $276.90 on Tuesday, but shares were up 1.3% at $280.62 ahead of Wednesday’s opening bell. Wells Fargo reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $318 from $288. Credit Suisse reiterated it as Outperform and raised its target price to $320 from $293, and Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target from $310 to $315.

ViewRay Inc. (NASDAQ: VRAY) was up 30.6% at $4.44 on Tuesday after announcing a collaboration with Medtronic and Elekta, and even the announcement of a secondary offering only had shares down close to 2% on Wednesday. B. Riley downgraded the shares to Neutral from Buy and cut its target to $5 from $9.

Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZBH) was upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform and the price target was raised to $170 from $160 at Raymond James.

Zscaler Inc. (NASDAQ: ZS) closed up 3.4% at $52.80 ahead of earnings but its guidance had shares down 5% at $50.15 as the mostly in-line forecast still has very high valuations that are hard to justify. Wedbush reiterated its Outperform rating and $80 target price after noting that the company had strong performance with billings and its new CRO is making an impact out of the gates. Merrill Lynch reiterated its Buy rating and raised its price objective to $70 from $68.

Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Alphabet, Amazon.com, Beyond Meat, CommScope, Enphase Energy, Nabors Industries, Netflix, Nike, Roku, Tesla, Uber Technologies, Williams Companies and many more.

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