Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Beyond Meat, CBOE, Chesapeake Energy, Dollar General, FLIR, Gilead, Lyft, Novavax, RBS, Uber, Zoom and More

Stocks have entered into formal correction mode with greater than a 10% drop from the high, and it took just six trading days to get there. This has been the worst week for stocks since the financial crisis, and the selling has been in most sectors. While the public may feel panic, many analysts and investors are trying to maintain their long-term views for what happens after the coronavirus fears of pandemic begin to dissipate (assuming they do), as has happened with other outbreaks. Despite the volatility and the added pressure from the political election cycle this year, many investors have not made that many major changes to their holdings after the incredible gains from 2019.

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 others cover stocks to sell or to avoid. Again, many analysts are sticking with their Buy and Outperform ratings on key stocks, even if they are trimming targets and earnings expectations due to coronavirus interruptions already seen or expected.

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 Friday, February 28, 2020. Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: ALRM) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that bulls are sounding the alarm on this security stock. Its shares most recently closed at $46.21 and have a consensus price target of $63.67.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) was reiterated as Outperform with an $18 target price (versus a $10.28 prior close) at Wedbush Securities, with the firm saying its restructuring plan with another 10% of staff cuts is another important step forward in its turnaround.

Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND) was down 5.6% at $106.14 ahead of earnings on Thursday, but the shares were last seen down 13% at $92.00 as the strong guidance was really just more at the high end of estimates for such a high-flyer and high-value stock. UBS reiterated its Neutral rating and raised its target price to $90 from $85.

CBOE Global Markets Inc. (BATS: CBOE) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Merrill Lynch.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at MKM Partners. The stock was kicked out of the S&P Mid-Cap 400 Index. It was down 15% at $0.26 on Thursday and was indicated down another 11% at $0.23 on Friday.

Continental Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLR) was maintained as Buy but the target price was lowered to $35 from $41 (versus a $17.46 close) at MKM Partners.

Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE: CCI) was down almost 9% to $148.40 on Thursday. Wells Fargo reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target price to $165 from $156.

Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE: DELL) was down over 5% at $43.56 on Thursday and was indicated down another 3.5% at $52.00 on Friday’s post-earnings reaction. Raymond James maintained its Outperform rating but lowered its target price to $55 from $59. Morgan Stanley maintained its Equal Weight rating and lowered its target price to $63 from $66.

Denali Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: DNLI) was raised to Outperform from Neutral with a $24 target price (versus a $19.02 close) at Wedbush.

Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $190 target price at Jefferies. Shares closed down 3% at $157.66 on Thursday, compared with a 52-week high of $167.04 and a prior consensus target price of $174.08.

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