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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Apple, Baker Hughes, BHP, Gilead, Microsoft, PG&E, Schlumberger, Shopify, Tesla, Uber, UPS, Vale, YETI and More

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The markets staged a massive comeback on Monday, with nearly a 1,300-point gain in the Dow Jones industrials, 136 points in the S&P 500 and a 385-point gain in the Nasdaq. Futures were looking for direction on Tuesday after a G7 call to coordinate efforts kept nations “ready to act,” but the lack of a coordinated effort and response now has kept a lid on the markets. Despite the volatility due to coronavirus outbreak fears and the added pressure coming from the political election cycle this year, and even with today being “Super Tuesday,” 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 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. It is worth noting that many analysts are also not hitting the panic button, as they are maintaining positive ratings on many of the top stocks, unless there has been a major change inside of a company.

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 Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

ABB Ltd. (NYSE: ABB) was started as Underperform at Jefferies, just a day after Morgan Stanley downgraded it to Underweight from Equal Weight.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) was raised to Buy from Hold at DZ Bank. Amex closed up 3.6% at $113.87 on Monday, down from a recent high of $138.13 and compared with a prior $139.57 consensus target price.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was reiterated as Buy with a $400 target price at Wedbush Securities. The firm noted that the coming 5G-cycle thesis remains very much intact, even as its supply chain recovery is the current front-and-center issue.

Baker Hughes Co. (NYSE: BKR) was maintained with a Buy rating but its target price was lowered to $26 from $30 at UBS.

BHP Group Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus. The firm lowered earnings estimates and noted that BHP has missed its consensus estimates in five of the past eight reporting periods and that its shares have significantly underperformed the market over the past quarter and the past year.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) was reiterated as underperform at Credit Suisse, which noted that its acquisition of $4.9 billion for Forty Seven more than fully values the opportunity that it brings to the table and that accretion is unlikely until 2025.

Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and its target price was slashed to $17.50 from $31.00 at UBS.

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $60 target price (versus a $53.12 close) at Argus, with the independent research firm expecting a return on equity that is at or above the peer median in the next few years, with a valuation of only about 10 times expected current-year earnings.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that coronavirus will have an impact on the supply chain for PCs this year, but much of that hit was just discounted. Shares most recently closed at $172.79, with a consensus price target of $194.19.

National Oilwell Varco Inc. (NYSE: NOV) was reiterated as Neutral and the target price was lowered to $21 from $25 at UBS.

Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Loop Capital.

OneWater Marine Inc. (NASDAQ: ONEW) was started as Outperform and an $18 target price (versus a $15.80 close) at Raymond James. Robert W. Baird started it as Outperform with a $22 target price, and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey started it with a Buy rating and $20 target price.


PG&E Corp. (NYSE: PCG) was maintained as Buy but its target price was lowered to $20.00 from $24.50 at Mizuho.

Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and its target price was cut to $30 from $47 at UBS.

Shopify Inc. (NYSE: SHOP) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that the announcement of a big investment year took 2020 EPS estimates down over 75%, but price targets jumped to $600. Shares last closed at $488.40 and have a consensus price target of $564.27.

StoneCo Ltd. (NASDAQ: STNE) was reiterated as Overweight and the target price was raised to $49 from $40 (versus a $43.86 close, after a 9.9% gain) at Cantor Fitzgerald.

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) was up 11.3% at $743.62 on Monday, but that is still down from its recent all-time high of $968.99. JMP Securities raised Tesla to Outperform from Market Perform with a $1,060 target price, with the firm noting that the backup in shares offered a good opportunity for investors to get back in.

Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) was maintained as Buy but its target price was lowered to $54 from $56 at Needham. Uber closed down 3% at $32.85 on Monday, despite the market rally, over concerns that the public will be taking fewer rides if they are worried about getting sick.

United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $119 target price (versus a $92.75 close) at Deutsche Bank. UPS had a consensus target price of $121.91, and its 52-week high is $125.31.

Vale S.A. (NYSE: VALE) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $13.50 target price (versus a $10.27 close) at Morgan Stanley.

Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: VECO) was upgraded to Buy from Hold and the target price was raised to $18 from $14 (versus a $13.46 close) at Stifel.

Warrior Met Coal Inc. (NYSE: HCC) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $33 target price at R. Riley FBR. The stock closed up 4.5% at $18.51 on Monday and was indicated up 1% on Tuesday. Its prior consensus target price was $28.25, and it is down from a 52-week high of $33.49.

WEX Inc. (NYSE: WEX) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL) was maintained with a Buy rating but its target price was slashed to $3 from $9 (versus a $1.70 close, after an 8% drop) at MKM Partners. Shares are down from a high of $30 last year, and the consensus target price was $6.98.

WW International Inc. (NYSE: WW), the parent of Weight Watchers, was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $37 target price at Citigroup. WW closed up just one cent at $30.01 a share on Monday, despite a major market rally, but its shares were indicated up over 6% at $31.90 on Tuesday morning.

YETI Holdings Inc. (NYSE: YETI) was raised to Buy from Neutral but its target price was lowered to $37 from $39 at Citigroup, with the firm noting that the sell-off of 2% to $29.61 from a prior high of $38.61 has been an oversold situation.

A firm called Capital Economics has lowered its first-quarter GDP expectations here in the United States to 1.8% from 2.0%, based on the coronavirus being at the early stage of a domestic epidemic and it having a worse economic impact than previously expected. The firm now sees the Federal Reserve cutting federal funds rate by 50 basis points between now and mid-year.

Monday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included ABB, Apple, Baidu, Casper Sleep, General Electric, Groupon, JPMorgan, Micron Technology, PPD, Verizon Communications, Wayfair and many more.

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