Stocks managed to close positive on Thursday, and the indexes were indicated up on Friday morning. Yet, the number of job loss forecasts is surpassing even alarming levels, and California is becoming a shutdown state. Analyst ratings changes are still being made with a hope that “this too shall pass,” but some target price cuts we are seeing are so large that some of the Outperform and Buy ratings seem hard to fathom.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week in an effort to find new trading ideas for investors and traders. Some of the daily analyst calls cover stocks to buy, while some calls cover stocks to sell or to avoid. As noted above, ratings and or price targets are rapidly chasing down the earnings and revenue estimates.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations from Friday, March 20, 2020.
Accenture PLC (NYSE: ACN) was maintained as Overweight but its target price was cut to $185 from $190 at Morgan Stanley.
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) was maintained as Buy but the target price was cut to $119 from $148 (versus a $77.07 prior close) at Nomura/Instinet.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) was downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc Capital Markets.
Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) was raised to Buy from Neutral but the target price was cut to $105 from $111 (versus a $46.26 close) at Nomura/Instinet.
Carrols Restaurant Group Inc. (NASDAQ: TAST) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that shares of this Burger King and Popeyes franchisee have plunged 80% in 2020. Shares last closed at $1.40 and have a consensus price target of $7.90.
Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) was maintained as Equal Weight but the target price was slashed to $52 from $126 at Morgan Stanley. KeyBanc Capital Markets maintained its Overweight rating but slashed its target price to $50 from $135.
Discover Financial (NYSE: DFS) was raised to Buy from Neutral but the target price was cut to $59 from $82 at Nomura/Instinet.
GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform and the target price was cut to $4.25 from $8.00 at Wedbush Securities. Despite its low price, the firm sees significant headwinds that the video game retailer faces from coronavirus and the challenging current-generation video game retail marketplace.
Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) was raised to Buy from Hold at DZ Bank.
Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. (NYSE: KL) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that while everyone else is cutting their dividend, this gold producer just doubled it. Shares most recently closed at $26.95, in a 52-week range of $18.02 to $51.08.
Kraft Heinz Co. (NASDAQ: KHC) was raised to Neutral from Sell with a $22 target price (versus a $22.28 close) at Guggenheim.