Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AutoNation, CDW, Cree, Costco, Deere, Etsy, Lowe's, Roku, Target, Ulta, Vaxart and More

Stocks were set to open higher on Wednesday, and the S&P 500 remains within striking distance of its pre-recession, all-time high. Earnings season has now peaked while economic numbers remain weak, and many investors feel as though they may have missed the recovery rally. This will send those investors to look for new ideas for how to be positioned in 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 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 call should ever be used as a basis to buy or sell a stock. Consensus analyst target data is from Refinitiv.

These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations from Wednesday, August 12, 2020.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) was started with a Neutral rating at UBS.

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that the global pandemic has brought movie theater businesses to a complete halt. Shares last closed at $4.56 and have a consensus price target of $3.50.

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (NYSE: AEO) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

AutoNation Inc. (NYSE: AN) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $69 price target at Guggenheim.

Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) was reiterated as Equal Weight but its target price was cut to $10 from $11 (versus a $15.82 prior close) at Morgan Stanley.

Carvana Co. (NYSE: CVNA) was started as Hold at Stifel.

CDW Corp. (NASDAQ: CDW) was started with a Buy rating and a $140 price target at Citigroup.

Children’s Place Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCE) was started with a Neutral rating at UBS.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) was reiterated as Outperform and its price target was raised to $355 from $325 at Raymond James.

Coupa Software Inc. (NASDAQ: COUP) was downgraded to In-Line from Outperform at Evercore ISI.

Cree Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) was started with a Neutral rating at Citigroup.

Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Etsy Inc. (NASDAQ: ETSY) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that the firm’s niche e-commerce platform was steadily growing over the past several years, and the coronavirus pandemic only accelerated this. Shares most recently closed at $127.50, with a consensus price target of $153.44.

Fulcrum Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: FULC) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA Securities.  Morgan Stanley downgraded it to Equal Weight from Overweight.

Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) was reiterated as Buy and its price target was raised to $178 from $135 (versus a $153.87 close) at Truist Securities.

Plexus Corp. (NASDAQ: PLXS) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Roku Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) was started as Buy with a $185 price target at Deutsche Bank, which noted that its near-50% market share is an impressive and large installed customer base.

Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) was reiterated as Overweight and it was added to the Analyst Focus List at JPMorgan, with the call coming ahead of earnings and based on strong expectations when its second-quarter report is released.

Ulta Beauty Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA) was started as Neutral with a $230 price objective (versus a $216.19 close) at BofA Securities. It had a $264.48 consensus target price.

Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN) was started with a Neutral rating at UBS.

Vaxart Inc. (NASDAQ: VXRT) was reiterated as Buy and its target price was raised to $17 from $7 at H.C. Wainwright. Shares closed up 14% at $10.75 on Tuesday, with a $16.33 consensus target price.

BofA Securities has made some changes to its top picks on the US 1 List for late-summer buying opportunities.

Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Bed Bath & Beyond, Booking, Carvana, Electronic Arts, EOG Resources, Honeywell, Intercontinental Exchange, Livongo Health, Nucor, Seres Therapeutics and Sunrun.

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