Investing

Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AGNC, Amazon, Amgen, Coca-Cola, Danaher, EA, IBM, Miragen, Proofpoint, Sprint, UPS, Uber, Vertex, Visa and More

Jon C. Ogg

Stocks hit new all-time highs before recent days brought weakness around the coronavirus, which has now escalated into an international health emergency (WHO declaration). Stocks managed to recoup most of Thursday’s earlier losses to close up on the day, after having been down sharply at the open. The Dow Jones industrials and S&P 500 were indicated to open down about 0.4% or so on Friday.

Many investors still have not made portfolio changes since the very strong market in 2019. This is also an election year in which much is at stake, and strategists overall are calling for single-digit percentage gains in 2020.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week with a goal of finding 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 analyst calls in a quick-hit summary for easy reading, and additional comments and trading data have been added on many of the calls. The consensus analyst price targets and other valuation metrics are from the Refinitiv sell-side research service.

Just like that, the end of the first month of 2020 is here. These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations from Friday, January 31, 2020.

AGNC Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: AGNC) was down 1.3% at $18.50 right before Thursday’s closing bell, with a consensus target price of $17.61. Wedbush Securities reiterated its Neutral rating and raised its target price to $19.25 from $18.25, based on higher tangible book value and better dividend coverage.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) closed up 0.7% at $1,870.68 ahead of earnings, and Friday’s post-earnings reaction had shares trading up over 10% at $2,065.00 in early indications. Amazon already had seen many analysts hike their price targets ahead of the report, and its consensus target price was $2,191.96. The company is now the fourth tech giant in the $1 trillion market cap club.

KeyBanc reiterated its Overweight rating on Amazon and raised its target price to $2,400 from $2,200. Raymond James reiterated it as Outperform and raised its target price to $2,400 from $2,020. Wells Fargo reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target to $2,500 from $2,300. Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $2,400 from $2,100. Mizuho reiterated it as Buy and raised its target to $2,400 from $2,150. Goldman Sachs reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $2,600 from $2,200. Other firms have raised target prices as well.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) closed down 0.4% at $226.15 ahead of earnings and was last seen trading down 2.9% at $219.50 in the post-earnings reaction, compared with a prior $245.50 consensus target price. Robert W. Baird downgraded it to Underperform from Neutral but lifted its target price to $185 from $173.

Beazer Homes USA (NYSE: BZH) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $16 target price (versus a $17.21 prior close) at Wedbush, with the valuation downgrade taking place after its price target was achieved.

Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) was up 3.2% at $58.86 on Thursday’s post-earnings reaction, with a $60.29 consensus analyst target. UBS reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target price to $65 from $63.

Danaher Corp. (NYSE: DHR) was reiterated as Buy and its target price was raised to $195 from $180 (versus a $169.05 close) at Citigroup.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) traded down 0.5% at $111.64 before earnings, and the post-earnings reaction had shares down another 1.7% at $109.75. EA had a $115.31 consensus target price. Wedbush reiterated it as Outperform with a $135 target price. UBS reiterated its Buy and raised its target to $126 from $122, while Nomura/Instinet reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $120 from $110.

Global Blood Therapeutics Inc. (NYSE: GBT) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $75 target price (versus a $67.98 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) finally named a new CEO, Arvind Krishna (head of the strategic imperatives), with Rometty to stay as board chair. IBM shares initially rose more than 4% to $143, after closing at $136.77 on Thursday. Nomura/Instinet reiterated IBM as a Buy with a $170 target price.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ: JAZZ) was reiterated as Buy and the target price was raised to $171 from $166 (versus a $145.29 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. The firm believes its small-cell lung cancer could be approved in the second half of this year and that lurbinectedin has significant market potential.

KB Home (NYSE: KBH) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that the stock is in the midst of a stellar year. Shares most recently closed at $38.02, with a consensus price target of $40.00.