Stocks were mixed on Tuesday, and the markets were indicated to open softer on Wednesday. The indexes have all recovered almost everything from their panic-selling lows in March, and many investors are now wondering about valuations and how much higher stocks can go during the recession. This is also the week that the earnings floodgates open wide, and that means many analysts will be making tweaks ahead of reports and there will be many upgrades and downgrades afterward. With an election coming up and with what is still a very deep recession, investors need to be considering how they want their assets positioned for the second half of 2020 and as 2021 comes into focus.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week in an effort to find new ideas for long-term investors and short-term traders alike. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, and others cover stocks to sell or avoid.
Remember that 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 Wednesday, July 22, 2020.
AGCO Corp. (NYSE: AGCO) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at BofA Securities. Shares closed up 1% at $61.97 ahead of the call and were indicated up almost 1% more at $62.50 on Wednesday. Its consensus target price was $59.43.
Air Transport Services Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ATSG) was reiterated as Buy and its price target was raised to $30 from $27 (versus a $24.19 prior close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.
Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) was reiterated as Buy and its target was raised to $70 from $62 at Mizuho.
Autolus Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ: AUTL) was started with a Buy rating and a $38 price target (versus a $14.95 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.
Boot Barn Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BOOT) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that this stock was a healthy growing company coming into the pandemic but this has turned it around. Shares last closed at $19.62 and have a consensus price target of $23.91.
Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) was up 2.3% at $47.20 on Tuesday after earnings and shares were indicated up almost 1% at $47.60 on Wednesday. Morgan Stanley raised it to Overweight from Equal Weight and raised its price target to $54 from $52.
Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.
Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) was started with an Underperform rating and was effectively given a $0.00 price target at Wedbush Securities. While the analyst call signaled a relatively high level of value embedded in the company’s underlying enterprise value (and ample room for a substantial capital raise), the dilution to existing holders of the public shares in any recapitalization is likely to be substantial and may cut the value to essentially zero for the common shares.
FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) was down about 17% at $34.25 after being involved in a bribery investigation, and its shares were last seen down another 8% at $31.50 on Wednesday morning. Guggenheim downgraded it to Neutral from Buy. Evercore ISI downgraded it to In-Line from Outperform with a $41 target price.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a $120 price target (versus a $99.41 close) at Atlantic Equities.
Lam Research Corp. (NASDAQ: LRCX) was reiterated as Buy and its target was raised to $385 from $290 at Mizuho.