Stocks have continued to hit all-time highs, and the positive economic news is overpowering any of the ongoing noise and concerns. Investors have moved into risk assets again and have moved away from those imminent recession calls. Though many positives are being seen in the market, there are still many pressing issues, risks and potential pitfalls as the current bull market has raged on for longer than a decade. Investors need to consider what changes to make in their portfolios and assets heading into 2020.
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 calls. The consensus analyst price targets and other valuation metrics are from the Refinitiv sell-side research service.
With this being the last day of the last full workweek of 2019, it is very likely that the research departments issuing analyst reports will be more dependent on actual news and events until the first full trading week of 2020.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations for Friday, December 20, 2019.
Accenture PLC (NYSE: ACN) was reiterated as Buy and the target price was raised to $230 from $211 (versus a $208.30 prior close) at Citigroup.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $51.50 from $39.00 (versus a $42.83 close) at Wedbush Securities. The firm believes that AMD’s executions will bring additional market share gains in 2020.
American Electric Power Co. Inc. (NYSE: AEP) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform and its target price was raised to $102 from $93 (versus a $93.97 close) at Scotia Capital.
America’s Car Mart Inc. (NASDAQ: CRMT) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that this small market used car chain has competitive advantages in both sales and financing. Shares most recently closed at $108.67 and have a consensus price target of $113.25.
Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) was reiterated as Outperform and the target price was raised to $70 from $67 (versus a $60.67 close) at Wells Fargo.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $305 from $290 at Piper Jaffray. Apple closed up 0.1% at $280.02 a share on Thursday, and its consensus target price was $265.25 ahead of this call.
BOK Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: BOKF) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $90 target price (versus an $87.46 close) at Wedbush. The firm cited earnings challenges ahead in 2020.
Brunswick Corp. (NYSE: BC) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets.
Chesapeake Utilities Corp. (NYSE: CPK) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the target price was raised to $107 from $95 (versus a $96.75 close) at Janney.
Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. (NASDAQ: DNKN) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim.
Gladstone Land Corp. (NASDAQ: LAND) was started as Neutral with a $13.38 target price (versus a $12.71 close) at Wedbush, based on lower rental yields on the real estate investment trust’s farmlands and compression to its book value.
Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) was reiterated as Outperform and the target price was raised to $150 from $125 (versus a $137.35 close) at Wells Fargo. It previously had a $126.71 consensus target price.