Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Baidu, Carnival, Costco, Coty, CSX, Darden, DraftKings, Fifth Third, Rite Aid, Unity Software and More

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Stocks managed to squeeze out minor gains on Thursday on hopes of stimulus measures, but Friday was indicated to be weak again and had the stock market at-risk for four straight weeks of selling. Many investors missed out on the recovery from late in March through September, but some of the key leadership stocks that had led the recovery have now pulled back significantly in September.

Investors are now firmly bracing for the election and a slower recovery alike. With interest rates likely to be low for a very long time, investors need to be considering new ideas and trying to decide how they want to be positioned heading into the fourth quarter.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week with a goal of finding new ideas for investors and traders alike. Some of these daily analyst calls cover stocks to buy. Other calls 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 seen on Friday, September 25, 2020.

Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) was reiterated as Overweight and its price target was raised to $177 from $155 at KeyBanc Capital Markets. Shares closed up 0.7% at $123.76 ahead of the call but were indicated down just over 0.5% Friday morning.

Callon Petroleum Co. (NYSE: CPE) was started with an Underweight rating at Wells Fargo. After a 4% gain on Thursday, Friday’s indications had shares down 3% to $5.10. It has a 52-week range of $3.80 to $49.80, and its prior consensus target price was $10.53.

Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays. Shares closed down 2.7% at $13.74 on Thursday but were indicated up 4.4% at $14.33 on Friday.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) was started as Overweight with a $46 price target (versus a $33.60 prior close) at KeyBanc Capital Markets. It had a $50.36 consensus target price.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) closed up 0.7% at $347.00 ahead of earnings and was indicated down 2.6% at $338.00 Friday morning. RBC Capital Markets reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its price target to $412 from $400, and BMO Capital Markets reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target price to $385 from $340.

Coty Inc. (NYSE: COTY) was raised to Neutral from Sell with a $3.25 price target (versus a $2.77 close) at Citigroup.

CSX Corp. (NASDAQ: CSX) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $95 price target at Benchmark. Shares closed at $76.58 on Thursday, and the consensus target price was $81.65.

Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) was reiterated as Buy and its price target was raised to $128 from $100 (versus a $97.31 close) at Truist Securities. BMO Capital Markets maintained its Market Perform rating and raised its target to $96 from $84. Raymond James reiterated it as Outperform and raised its price target to $115 from $100. The stock closed up 8% at $97.31 after earnings and before these calls, and it was indicated up almost 1% at $98.00 on Friday. The prior consensus price target was $101.77.

Datadog Inc. (NASDAQ: DDOG) was started with a Neutral rating and a $92 price target at Robert W. Baird. Shares closed down 3% at $88.37 on Thursday, with a $94.79 consensus target price.

DraftKings Inc. (NASDAQ: DKNG) was started with a Buy rating and a $65 target price at Argus. Shares closed at $50.57 ahead of the call and have a $50.33 consensus price target.

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