Stocks have risen and risen, with all three major U.S. indexes hitting new highs, but profit-taking and more coronavirus news dominated the headlines on Thursday morning. 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 Thursday, February 13, 2020.
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) was started with a Neutral rating at Goldman Sachs.
Allegion PLC (NYSE: ALLE) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Merrill Lynch.
Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) was up 1.4% at $65.37 ahead of earnings and was indicated up 1.9% at $66.60 in the post-earnings reaction. Wells Fargo reiterated it as Overweight and raised its target to $78 from $70, Citigroup reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $76 from $70, and Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target price to $85 from $70.
Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX) was started with a Buy rating and $118 target price at Goldman Sachs.
Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE: BSX) was started with a Neutral rating at Goldman Sachs.
Century Communities Inc. (NYSE: CCS) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Wedbush Securities, with the firm noting a valuation downgrade as its shares came within less than 5% of its target price.
Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was maintained as Outperform and its target price was lowered to $54 from $55 at Raymond James. Nomura Instinet maintained its Neutral rating but raised its target price to $47 from $45. Credit Suisse maintained its Neutral rating but lowered its target price to $45 from $46. Cisco stock closed up 1.6% at $49.93 ahead of earnings but was indicated down about 5.5% at $47.18 afterward.
Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. (NASDAQ: CTSH) was reiterated as Overweight and its target price was raised to $76 from $73 (versus a $69.43 prior close) at Wells Fargo.
Columbia Sportswear Co. (NASDAQ: COLM) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that the company received a Strong Sell rating after missing earnings on February 6. The shares last closed at $91.71 and have a consensus price target of $103.60.
Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) was started with a Neutral rating and a $328 target price (versus a $315.12 close) at Credit Suisse. Costco had a prior $311.75 consensus target price.
Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW) was started with a Neutral rating at Goldman Sachs.