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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Baxter, Boeing, Goldman Sachs, NRG Energy, Ralph Lauren, Skyworks, Stitch Fix, Western Digital and More

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The futures traded lower on Friday as a wild roller-coaster trading week and month on Wall Street come to an end. All three major indexes ended higher, while many of the highly shorted “casino stocks” saw some dreadful selling. Top analysts on Wall Street already were starting to point to “bubble” type metrics, and the stunning gains and now losses in the short interest plays are an example. With fourth-quarter earnings reports continuing to stream in, most across Wall Street will not only be examining the results but also looking to see what guidance for the first quarter and the rest of 2021 looks like. With the major indexes and the Russell 2000 still very close to all-time highs, it makes sense for investors to start building some cash reserves while positioning portfolios for the rest of 2021.

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, January 29, 2021.

ADT Inc. (NYSE: ADT) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup, though it raised the price target on the home security giant to $10.75. The consensus target is $11.38. The stock closed trading on Thursday at $9.63.

Alliance Data Systems Corp. (NYSE: ADS) was upgraded to Equal Weight from Neutral at Wells Fargo, which also raised the price target to $75. That compares with the consensus target of $86.44 and Thursday’s close of $70.79.

Automatic Data Processing Inc. (NYSE: ADP) was upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup, while the price target was raised to $190. The consensus target is $177.59, and the stock closed Thursday at $166.75.

Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Sandler, which lowered the price target to $80. The consensus target is $93.71 and Thursday’s close was at $77.15.

Calix Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: CALX) was downgraded from Outperform to Market Perform with a $30 target at Northland Capital. The posted consensus target is $34. The last trade for Thursday came in at $32.54, which was down almost 6% on so-so earnings.

Chico’s FAS Inc. (NYSE: CHS) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that the stock was trading above the most optimistic price targets and investors should liquidate any positions and thank the heavens that they were able to get such a good price for them. Shares last closed at $2.25 but have a consensus price target of $1.38.

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. (NASDAQ: CTSH) was raised at Morgan Stanley from Equal Weight to Overweight with a $95 price target. The consensus target is $82.85. The last trade on Thursday came in at $78.90, after a one-day gain of almost 4%.

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was raised to Overweight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley with a $230 price objective. The consensus price objective across Wall Street for the aerospace giant is set at $229.17. The shares were last seen Thursday at $197.23.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that this company is adaptable and resourceful, and no matter what the economy throws at it, Goldman Sachs will come out on top. Shares most recently closed at $275.02 and have a consensus price target of $334.10.


Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ: JACK) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Cowen, which has a $120 price target for the fast-food chain. The consensus target is $103.67. The stock closed Thursday at $94.28.

Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE: MSI) was upgraded at JPMorgan to Neutral from Underweight. The firm also raised the price target to $171. That compares with a higher $187.20 consensus target and Thursday’s $169.83 final print.

NICE Ltd. (NASDAQ: NICE) was upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays, which raised its price target to $330. The $290 consensus target is still well above the most recent close of $262.66, despite an almost 4% gain on Thursday.

NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE: NRG) was started at Goldman Sachs with a Buy rating and a $57 price target. The consensus target for the utility giant is $47.40. The closing price on Thursday was $41.22, after an almost 4% gain on the day.

Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE: RL) saw its $88 price target at Telsey Advisory Group raised to $120. The firm maintained its Outperform rating on the stock. The consensus target is $111.59. The share price rose almost 3% on Thursday and closed at $103.54.

Sallie Mae Corp. (NYSE: SLM) was upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets, which also raised the target price to $20. The consensus target is $15.23. The last trade to hit the tape came in at $13.93 on Thursday, which was a whopping 14% gain for the day. Shares were up another 3% in Friday’s premarket action.

Skyworks Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: SWKS) saw its target price raised to $215 from $185 at Cowen. The posted consensus target is $171.81. The shares were last seen on Thursday at $159.79.

Stitch Fix Inc. (NASDAQ: SFIX) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird, which raised the price target to $85. The much lower consensus target is $51.88. However, the last trade on Thursday was reported at $99.87, despite pulling back over 6% for the day.

STMicroelectronics N.V. (NYSE: STM) saw its price target raised to $49 from $45 at Cowen, which reiterated its Outperform rating. The consensus target is $43.73. Thursday’s close was at $40.33, which was up almost 7% on the day.

Tractor Supply Co. (NASDAQ: TSCO) saw its price target raised to $175 from $165 at Telsey Advisory Group. The consensus target is $159.63, and shares were last seen changing hands on Thursday at $149.44.

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) was upgraded to Outperform from In-line with the price target raised to $80 at Evercore ISI. The much lower consensus target is $55.78. The stock ended Thursday’s session at $52.65. The shares were up almost 10% in the premarket, after posting solid results yesterday.


Many leading technology stocks have been delivering stellar earnings results, which prompted BofA Securities to raise price targets. With the potential for a correction very possible, the firm has four top stocks that may be worth a look now.

Thursday’s early top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Abbott Laboratories, American Express, eBay, Exact Sciences, Lam Research, ServiceNow, Tesla and Twitter. Analyst calls made later in the day featured Apple, Bed Bath & Beyond, First Solar, Snap and more.

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