Investing

Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Chevron, FedEx, Hilton, Plug Power, Snap, Spotify, UPS, Virgin Galactic and More

Stocks managed to close higher at the end of last week, and the gains were being continued on Monday, at close to 1.4% on the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 indexes. Many investors missed out on the recovery from late in March through September.

Because of this month’s selling pressure, some of the key leadership stocks that had led the recovery have now pulled back significantly from their highs. 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 Monday, September 28, 2020.

Bloomin’ Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: BLMN) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that the operator of Outback Steakhouse and other popular spots is weathering the storm well. Its shares recently closed at $15.26, but note that they have a consensus price target of $15.27.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) was raised to Buy from Neutral at BofA Securities. Shares closed at $71.83 on Friday and were indicated up 2% at $73.30 on Monday. Chevron still had a $100.25 consensus price target.

Expedia Group Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $318 price target (versus a $250.17 prior close) at Deutsche Bank. It had a $281.92 consensus target price.

Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) was reiterated as Outperform and its price target was raised to $92 from $90 (versus an $85.93 close) at Raymond James. It had an $87.35 consensus target price.

Itron Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI) was raised to Strong Buy from Outperform with a $78 price target at Raymond James. The stock closed at $56.23 on Friday and has a $76.25 consensus price target.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $14 price target at Morgan Stanley. The stock closed up 3.6% at $11.65 on Friday and was indicated up 7% at $12.50 on Monday. It had a $13.50 consensus price target.

Grid Dynamics Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: GDYN) was started as Buy with a $10 price target at Canaccord Genuity. The stock closed up 1% at $6.80 on Friday and was indicated up 12% at $7.65 on Monday. Its consensus target price was $11.83 ahead of the call.

MercadoLibre Inc. (NASDAQ: MELI) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $1,350 price target (versus a $1,062.00 close) at Jefferies.

Pinterest Inc. (NYSE: PINS) was started with a Buy rating and a $48 price target at Guggenheim.

Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim, which raised its price target to $28 from $22. Its shares closed up 1.5% at $24.69 on Friday and were indicated up 3% at $25.45 on Monday. The consensus target price was $26.08.

Spotify Technology S.A. (NYSE: SPOT) was raised to Neutral from Sell with a $250 price target at Guggenheim. It closed up 2% at $235.98 on Friday and was indicated up over 3% at $243.95 on Monday. The consensus price target was $261.35 ahead of the call.

United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) was raised to Overweight from Sector Weight with a $190 price target at KeyBanc Capital Markets. UPS closed up 3.5% at $166.12 a share on Friday and has a $151.87 consensus target price.

Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) was started with a Buy rating and a $35 price objective at BofA Securities. Susquehanna started it as Positive but with a more modest $20 price target. The stock closed up 3.2% at $16.43 a share on Friday and was indicated up over 9% at $18.00 on Monday morning. It had a $25.33 consensus target price.

Among the Jefferies high-conviction stock picks are five from the health care sector that could be big winners in the fourth quarter and beyond.

Friday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Baidu, Carnival, Costco, Coty, CSX, Darden, DraftKings, Fifth Third, Rite Aid and Unity Software.