Investing

Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Altria, Beyond Meat, Chevron, Chipotle, Epizyme, FedEx, Home Depot, Mattel, Morgan Stanley, Oracle, Qualcomm, Target and More

The markets staged a massive comeback on Monday but sold off again on Tuesday. Wednesday’s opening bell was indicated to open up almost 600 points on the Dow Jones industrial average and almost 60 points on the S&P 500. The market was not as pleased with the emergency rate cut as the Federal Reserve might have hoped.

Despite the volatility due to coronavirus outbreak fears and the added pressure coming 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 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 have not hit the panic button, as they maintain 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 Wednesday, March 4, 2020.

AGNC Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: AGNC) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Wedbush Securities.

Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) was maintained as Buy at Merrill Lynch, but the firm trimmed its price objective to $55 from $58. Altria closed down 0.4% at $41.90, with a 52-week high of $57.88 and a consensus target price of $54.89.

American States Water Co. (NYSE: AWR) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $93 target price (versus an $81.16 prior close) at Janney.

American Water Works Co. Inc. (NYSE: AWK) was reiterated as Buy with a $153 target price (versus a $131.42 close) at Janney.

Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND) was started with a Buy rating and a $130 target price at Argus. Shares closed down 0.7% at $95.43, and the consensus target price is $103.66.

Big Lots Inc. (NYSE: BIG) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that after a poor quarter, coronavirus fears have earnings estimates falling at this discount retailer. Shares last closed at $17.64, with a consensus price target of $21.71.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) was maintained as Neutral but its target price was lowered to $100 from $120 at Citigroup. Chevron closed down 2.3% at $94.39 on Tuesday, with a 52-week high of $127.34 and a $130.14 consensus target price.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $1,000 target price (versus a $736.07 close) at Wells Fargo. It had a $937.35 consensus target price, and its 52-week trading range is $604.64 to $940.28.

Dynatrace Inc. (NYSE: DT) was started as Outperform with a $38 target price at Raymond James. The stock closed down 2.6% at $31.54, with a $35 consensus target price and a 52-week trading range of $17.05 to $37.06.

Epizyme Inc. (NASDAQ: EPZM) was started with an Overweight rating and a $33 target price (versus a $20.72 close, after a 9.9% drop) at Barclays.

Fate Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: FATE) was started with an Overweight rating and a $40 target price (versus a $28.25 close, after an 8.9% drop) at Barclays.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) was maintained as Outperform but its target price was lowered to $159 from $170 at Credit Suisse. FedEx closed down 4.77% at $133.09 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $132.56 to $199.32 and with a $172.52 prior consensus target price.

Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $251 target price at Nomura/Instinet. Home Depot shares closed down almost 0.9% at $227.94, with a $253.46 consensus target price and a 52-week trading range of $179.52 to $247.36.

Innovative Industrial Properties Inc. (NYSE: IIPR) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that as interest rates fall, the yield on this unique REIT looks better and better. Shares most recently closed at $95.45 and have a consensus price target of $150.50.

Iovance Biotherapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: IOVA) was started with an Overweight rating and a $45 target price (versus a $35.79 close) at Barclays.

Installed Building Products Inc. (NYSE: IBP) was raised to Buy from Hold and the target price was raised to $78 from $71 (versus a $64.83 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS) was down 2.6% at $37.43 on Tuesday. Citigroup maintained its Neutral rating but cut its target price to $35 from $49. Credit Suisse maintained its Neutral rating and lowered its target from $48 to $40.