Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Aflac, CME, Chevron, CVS, DR Horton, Goodyear, Lam Research, Micron, US Steel and More

Lam Research Corp. (NASDAQ: LRCX) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham. The semiconductor equipment giant has traded in a massive 52-week range of $181.38 to $517.72, and it has a $469.16 consensus price target. With the stock closing at $514.46, this surely looks like a straight valuation call.

Meridian Bioscience Inc. (NASDAQ: VIVO) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that this small-cap diagnostics player will grow sales over 20% based on COVID-19 testing alone. Shares most recently closed at $21.09 and have a consensus price target of $26.67.

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) was raised to Buy from Hold at Summit Insights. The chip leader has traded in a 52-week range of $31.13 to $80.08, and it has a posted consensus price target of $84.08. The shares closed Thursday at $79.11, up close to 3% for the day.

Ping Identity Holding Corp. Inc. (NYSE: PING) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs, which also lifted the price target on the cybersecurity software company to $34. It has a $33.29 consensus target, and Thursday’s close was at $28.51.

Progressive Corp. (NYSE: PGR) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs, which also lowered the price target to $90. It has a higher $100.81 consensus target, and it closed Thursday at $94.74 a share.

Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette. The bank has traded between $6.94 and $17.93 over the past year. The shares were last seen Thursday at $17.66.

Sarepta Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SRPT) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James, while the analysts at Morgan Stanley cut the shares to Equal Weight from Overweight with a $95 price target. The stock was blasted after the company reported disappointing gene therapy study results. The consensus price target of $190.24 is sure to be slashed, as the stock, which closed at $168.95, was down around $87 in the premarket, a stunning 49% drop.

U.S. Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) was raised at Deutsche Bank from Sell to Buy with a $28 price objective. It has a very low consensus target of $10.62. The last trade on Thursday hit the tape at $20.45.

Ventas Inc. (NYSE: VTR) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital Markets, which also dropped the price target to $49. That compares with a $46.95 consensus and Thursday’s final trade of $47.44.

Voya Financial Inc. (NYSE: VOYA) was downgraded from Outperform to In-Line with a $64 target at Evercore ISI. The consensus target is $65.08. The shares closed most recently at $61.12.

Goldman Sachs is very positive on four leading financial companies that pay solid dividends and have a very bright outlook for this year and beyond.

Note that electric vehicle stocks continue to soar and that mining and metals stocks have been hitting new 52-week highs.

Thursday morning’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Coca-Cola, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, McDonald’s, Royal Caribbean, Tesla, 3M and Wells Fargo. Analyst calls made later in the day included Domino’s Pizza, FedEx, Lockheed Martin, Roku and more.

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