Stocks rose about 2% on Wednesday as the markets cheered the second round of small business loans to act as coronavirus pandemic support. Thursday’s market indications were mixed, with another high level of 4.4 million weekly jobless claims, although that is down about 800,000 from the prior week. Many investors were caught off guard when the raging bull market turned into a roaring bear market, and they were caught off guard again when the markets rallied so much that they recovered over half of the stock market’s entire peak-to-trough losses. Many of those same investors are now looking for new ideas about how to be best positioned for growth or safety for the rest of 2020.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. Our goal is to find some of those new ideas for long-term investors and short-term traders alike. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, and some of the analyst reports cover stocks to sell or avoid. Consensus analyst target prices are from Refinitiv.
Many upgrades, downgrades, reiterations and initiations are still being seen ahead of and after key earnings reports. A dominant trend after the market drop and in the recovery is that analysts have been lowering their target prices in most stocks, even if they are maintaining their prior official ratings. Still, there remain many traditional upgrades and reiterations as if things were still close to normal. Remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.
These are the top analyst calls tracked for Thursday, April 23, 2020.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was maintained as Buy with a $235 price target (versus a $276.10 prior close) at Wedbush Securities, with the firm noting that earnings will be weak and guidance likely bad, but also noting that investors are trying to look beyond for strong recoveries late this year and into 2021.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was maintained as Buy but its price target was lowered to $38 from $39 at Nomura/Instinet, and BofA Securities maintained its Buy rating while lowering its price objective to $36 from $43. CFRA maintained its Buy rating but cut its price target to $37 from $42.
Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CAR) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight with a $13 price target (versus a $12.00 close, after a 5% drop) at JPMorgan.
Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) was maintained as Overweight but its price target was lowered to $136 from $140 at KeyBanc Capital Markets. Shares closed up 0.35 at $101.75 ahead of the call.
Baker Hughes Co. (NYSE: BKR) was maintained as Overweight but its price target was cut to $17 from $18 at Wells Fargo, and Barclays maintained its Overweight rating but trimmed its price target to $14 from $15.
Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) fell 9.4% to $298.01 after earnings and a delay on its Alzheimer’s drug submission to the FDA. Oppenheimer maintained it as Outperform but cut its price target to $365 from $390. Barclays maintained its Overweight rating but lowered its price target to $370 from $389. Raymond James downgraded it to Underperform from Market Perform, and Citigroup downgraded it to Sell from Neutral.
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (NYSE: CP) was reiterated as Buy at Argus, with the independent research firm noting that recent weakness offers a buying opportunity.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was up 12% at $882.26 on Wednesday. BMO Capital Markets upgraded it to Market Perform from Underperform and raised its price target to $780 from $680.
CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX) was reiterated as Buy and its price target was raised to $71 from $68 (versus a $60.89 close) at CFRA.
Gladstone Commercial Corp. (GOOD) was maintained as Buy with an $18 price target (versus a $13.90 close) at Janney, which noted that it received 98% of its April rents.
Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ) was downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.