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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alcoa, Bed Bath & Beyond, Boeing, CenturyLink, DuPont, FedEx, Groupon, J&J, Micron, Microsoft, WPX Energy and More

Jon C. Ogg

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $170 target price (versus a $141.79 close) at Morgan Stanley. It had a consensus target price of $150.78 ahead of this call.

Laredo Petroleum Inc. (NYSE: LPI) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral and its target price was cut to $2.00 from $2.50 (versus a $2.82 close) at Goldman Sachs.

Lazard Ltd (NYSE: LAZ) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that this investment manager is looking to grow earnings on a year-over-year basis but recent reductions in estimates have not been helpful. Shares last closed at $39.08 and have a consensus price target of $39.75.

Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets. This compares with a $58.11 prior close, and it has a $65.40 consensus target price. It was indicated down 0.6% at $57.76 on Tuesday.

Liberty Braves Group (NASDAQ: BATRA) was started as Buy with a $35 target price (versus a $29.54 close) at Benchmark.

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LIND) was initiated as Buy and a $19 target price (versus a $15.89 close) at Janney, with the firm noting that it is an attractive growth story with positive industry dynamics.

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and its target price was raised to $65 from $45 (versus a $52.94 close) at Wedbush. The firm noted it is not a call on this week’s earnings but is more a call on an improving memory dynamic with stronger NAND/SSD pricing trends. Needham reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $70 from $60. Micron shares rose 3.4% the prior day on a similar analyst upgrade, but that one had an even higher target price.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $185 from $170 at Wedbush. The firm has increased confidence on it winning the next phase of the cloud battle with AWS and others, and the firm kept it as one of its top picks on the Wedbush Best Ideas List.

Pentair PLC (NYSE: PNR) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel in a valuation downgrade.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (NYSE: RBS) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup. Its American depositary shares closed up 2.25 at $6.96 on Monday, in a 52-week range of $4.33 to $7.31.

WPX Energy Inc. (NYSE: WPX) was reiterated as Outperform at Credit Suisse, and the firm raised its target price to $15 from $13 (versus an $11.90 close) and said it was uncovering a hidden gem. WPX was said to deliver on a deal that’s accretive on its cash flow while adding significant inventory running room in its core Delaware basin operations. Imperial Capital reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $17 from $13.

Xylem Inc. (NYSE: XYL) was started as Neutral at Citigroup.

YPF S.A. (NYSE: YPF) was started with a Sell rating at Goldman Sachs.

Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus, with the independent research shop stating that Yum’s prospects look to be slowing growth.

We have identified the preliminary 2020 Dogs of the Dow, and here are seven undervalued Dow stocks for 2020. Elsewhere, here are five utilities expected to Outperform from Credit Suisse and three top health care picks for upside in 2020 from Goldman Sachs.

Monday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Adobe, Amgen, Bank of America, Broadcom, CME, Goldman Sachs, Micron Technology, PepsiCo, UnitedHealth, Urban Outfitters, Vertex Pharmaceuticals and many more.