Stocks were indicated to open marginally lower on Friday, with better U.S. retail sales data offsetting weak economic data in China. Earnings season is winding down at the same time that the S&P 500 has tried to challenge its all-time high from February. Many investors missed the ride higher as the recession forced many out of the market, whether they wanted to stay in or not. Investors have been looking 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.
Now that stocks have recovered so much, analyst calls have basically 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 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 Friday, August 14, 2020.
AES Corp. (NYSE: AES) was reiterated as Overweight and its price target was raised to $19 from $18 at Morgan Stanley. Shares closed up 3% at $17.79 ahead of the call, with an $18.93 consensus price target.
Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) closed down 2.1% at $65.07 on Thursday, but its shares were up 3.8% at $65.07 after beating earnings and raising expectations. Morgan Stanley kept its Equal Weight rating but raised its price target to $72 from $60, and Mizuho reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $77 from $70. KeyBanc Capital Markets reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target to $81 from $76, and Needham reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target from $70 to $76.
Bloom Energy Corp. (NYSE: BE) closed up 9% at $14.41 on Thursday and was indicated up another 1% at $14.56 on Friday. Morgan Stanley reiterated it as Overweight and raised its target price to $21 from $20. The consensus price target was $15.57 ahead of the call.
Cadence Bancorp. (NYSE: CADE) was raised to Buy from Hold and its target price was raised to $14 from $9 (versus a $9.10 close) at Truist Securities.
Chimera Investment Corp. (NYSE: CIM) was reiterated as Outperform and its target price was trimmed to $10 from $11 (versus an $8.65 close) at RBC Capital Markets. The consensus target price was $9.38, and this real estate investment trust still has a yield handily above 10%.
China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) was reiterated as Buy at Nomura/Instinet.
Co-Diagnostics Inc. (NASDAQ: CODX) closed up 7.3% at $21.00 ahead of earnings, but the shares were last seen down 15% at $17.85 after the COVID-19 testing company posted lower than expected revenues. H.C. Wainwright maintained its Buy rating but lowered its price target to $33 from $35.