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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Apache, Check Point, Chipotle, EA, Inogen, Microsoft, Moderna, Shopify, Tesla, Varonis and More

Stocks were looking for direction on Thursday as earnings in some of the key market leadership names are coming in more or less in line with expectations. Valuations are becoming of concern now that the S&P 500 is actually back to positive year to date, and the major stocks are up huge from March’s panic-selling lows. Many analysts will be making tweaks ahead of reports, and many upgrades and downgrades will follow. With an election coming up and with what is still a very deep recession, investors should 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 Thursday, July 23, 2020.

Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) was reiterated as Buy and its target was raised to $87 (versus an $81.10 prior close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Antero Resources Corp. (NYSE: AR) was started as Neutral at Mizuho.

Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with an $18 price target (versus a $14.51 close) at JPMorgan.

Bloomin’ Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: BLMN) was raised to Neutral from Underperform with a $13 price objective at BofA Merrill Lynch. Shares closed up 2.4% at $10.67, and the consensus target price was $13.61.

Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (NYSE: COG) was started as Neutral at Mizuho.

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP) was reiterated as Outperform and its target was raised to $140 from $125 (versus a $123.02 close) at Wedbush Securities. SunTrust reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $145 from $115.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) closed up 1.9% at $1,185.27 ahead of earnings and was last seen down 1.7% at $1,165.00 on Thursday ahead of the opening bell. SunTrust reiterated it as Buy and raised its target to $1,358, and Wedbush reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $1,320. Wells Fargo reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $1,282.

Comstock Resources Inc. (NYSE: CRK) was started as Buy with a $9 price target (versus a $5.18 close) at Mizuho.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) was reiterated as Buy and its price target was raised to $153 (versus a $138.30 close) at SunTrust.

Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that this multilevel marketing company is in the right place. Shares most recently closed at $50.80 and have a consensus price target of $61.00.

Inogen Inc. (NASDAQ: INGN) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham. The stock closed down 2.8% at $34.97 on Wednesday, with a $54.67 consensus target price and a $31.21 to $76.89 trading range over the past 52 weeks.