Investing

Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Activision, Akamai, Avis Budget, BlackRock, ConEd, DocuSign, Livongo, Nu Skin, Rio Tinto, Tesla and More

Stocks surged on Thursday after a solid jobs number for June. The stock market has been weighing a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases while the better economic readings are still signaling an underlying weak recovery. Many investors are looking for new ideas for how to be positioned heading into the second half of 2020 and ahead of the election.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. Our goal is to find new ideas for long-term investors and short-term traders alike. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, and some cover stocks to sell or avoid.

Now that stocks have recovered so much, analyst calls basically have normalized, with fewer extreme target changes. Some calls are praising growth over value, and others are focused on base economy stocks that already have begun recovering.

Remember, no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision. Consensus analyst target prices are from Refinitiv.

These are the top analyst calls we have seen on Thursday, July 2, 2020.

Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $90 from $75 (versus a $78.03 prior close) at Needham.

Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform and the price target was raised to $150 from $107 (versus a $106.33 close) at Cowen.

Applied DNA Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: APDN) was started as Buy with a $19 target price (versus a $7.75 close) at H.C. Wainwright.

Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CAR) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $37 price target (versus a $22.48 close) at Morgan Stanley. It had a $32.00 consensus target price.

BHP Group Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank. Shares closed down 0.5% at $49.45 on Wednesday, and the consensus target price was $49.65.

BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK) was reiterated as Overweight and its target price was raised to $630 from $560 (versus a $544.32 close) at Morgan Stanley.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (NYSE: CNQ) was reiterated as Outperform but added to the Top Picks List with a $32 price target at Credit Suisse.

Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ) was reiterated as Equal Weight and the price target was raised to $196 from $183 at Morgan Stanley.

Consolidated Edison Inc. (NYSE: ED) was reiterated as Underweight and its price target was cut to $71 from $77 (versus a $73.10 close) at Morgan Stanley.

Corporate Office Properties Trust (NYSE: OFC) was raised to Overweight from Neutral and its target price was raised to $29 from $26 (versus a $25.27 close) at JPMorgan.

DocuSign Inc. (NASDAQ: DOCU) was reiterated as Outperform and its price target was raised to $210 from $170 (versus a $178.96 close, after a 3.9% gain) at RBC Capital Markets. It had a $163.81 consensus target price.

EQT Corp. (NYSE: EQT) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Franklin Electric Co. (NASDAQ: FELE) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at D.A. Davidson.

Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: KPTI) was started as Overweight with a $34 price target (versus a $19.25 close) at Morgan Stanley.

Livongo Health Inc. (NASDAQ: LVGO) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: NUS) was up over 15% at $44.50 after a better than expected outlook. D.A. Davidson upgraded it to Buy from Neutral and raised the price target to $54 from $35, and Jefferies raised its rating to Buy from Hold and lifted the price target from $42 to $50.

Nutrien Ltd. (NYSE: NTR) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that 2020 would not be the turnaround year for fertilizer makers after all. Shares last closed at $32.17 and have a consensus price target of $58.28.

Rio Tinto Group (NYSE: RIO) was raised to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Rocket Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: RCKT) was started as Overweight with a $38 price target (versus a $20.50 close) at JPMorgan.

Sonic Automotive Inc. (NYSE: SAH) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that more consumers are looking to buy cars this summer. Its shares most recently closed at $31.58 and have a consensus price target of $28.40.

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) surged after beating second-quarter delivery expectations. Wedbush Securities raised its official price target to $1,250 from $1,000 on Thursday, but the firm’s bullish case is now at $2,000, despite a Neutral rating. Tesla was indicated up 8% at $1,205 a share on Thursday morning.

Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included AGCO, Anthem, AT&T, Caterpillar, Comcast, Cogent Communications, CVS Health, DraftKings, FedEx, Papa John’s, Square, UnitedHealth and more.