Stocks were up again on Tuesday for the indexes to challenge new highs, and Wednesday morning was looking like another strong open as the market has almost entirely discounted the long-term impact of the coronavirus into a short-term blip, even as the death toll has risen.
Many investors have yet to make any major changes to their holdings after the incredible gains from 2019. This is an election year with much at stake, and strategists are largely calling for single-digit percentage gains in 2020.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. our goal is to try to find 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.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations from Wednesday, February 12, 2020.
Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) was reiterated with a Buy rating and its target price was raised to $68 from $61 (versus a $61.19 prior close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. The previous consensus target price was $66.03, and the 52-week high is $62.84.
Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) was reiterated as Buy and its target price was raised to $112 from $102 (versus a $96.37 close) at Needham. It had a $97.53 prior consensus target price, and the prior 52-week high was $97.97. The stock was indicated up 4.4% at $100.60 after earnings.
Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that the e-commerce giant looks ready to continue its expansion in the post-Jack Ma era. Shares most recently closed at $217.21, with a consensus price target of $241.91.
Ardelyx Inc. (NASDAQ: ARDX) was started with a Buy rating and a $13 target price at Citigroup. Shares closed up 1.3% at $7.43 ahead of the call, with a $495 million market cap and a $13.40 prior consensus target price.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) was reiterated as Outperform and with an $18 target price at Wedbush Securities, with the call saying that the decline after its update showed even weaker margins represents a buying opportunity to reconsider this turnaround story as the company looks for asset sales and embarks on the new CEO’s transformation plan. Raymond James maintained its Strong Buy rating but trimmed its target price to $14 from $17. The stock had a $14.85 prior close, but shares were last seen down 25% at $11.05 on Wednesday morning.
Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was maintained with a Neutral rating at Credit Suisse, but the firm did lift its target price back up to $367 from $321. The firm noted that the cash costs appear to be loaded upfront, with more positive views after a sell-side meeting on Tuesday. Boeing closed down less than 0.1% at $344.42 ahead of the call, after showing new plane orders fell off a cliff, and the stock was indicated up almost $1.00 ahead of the opening bell on Wednesday.
Cardinal Health Inc. (NYSE: CAH) was raised to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley. Its shares closed up almost 0.4% at $59.41 ahead of the call and were indicated up 1.5% at $60.25 afterward, with a prior consensus target price of $57.29 and against a 52-week high of $60.48.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSE: GT) was down 12.3% at $11.56 on Tuesday’s post-earnings decline. JPMorgan downgraded it to Neutral from Overweight and lowered its target price to $14 from $20.
Insperity Inc. (NYSE: NSP) was maintained with a Buy rating but its target was lowered to $112 from $128 (versus an $89.08 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. The stock was up 3% at $89.08 ahead of earnings but was indicated down 21% at $70.50 afterward.
Lyft Inc. (NASDAQ: LYFT) was up 0.4% at $53.94 on Tuesday ahead of earnings, but it was indicated down 4.6% early Wednesday at $51.50 despite beating sales expectations and showing a 23% jump in active riders. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey maintained it as Buy and cut its target to $74 from $75, and Stifel maintained its Buy rating but trimmed its target price to $56 from $60. Wells Fargo reiterated an Overweight rating and raised its target to $70 from $60, and RBC Capital Markets maintained its Outperform rating while cutting its target to $75 from $82. Goldman Sachs reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $64 from $58.
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