Investing

Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Beyond Meat, Comcast, Conoco, Kohl's, Plug Power, 3M, SBA Communications and More

The futures were flat on Wednesday after two huge back-to-back rally days helped soothe investors after last week’s selling. Positive numbers from big tech, and the fading of the Reddit/WallStreetBets short-selling frenzy seems to have restored some confidence, as the VIX has fallen back to the mid-20s from last week’s 37. Top analysts on Wall Street continue to point to “bubble” metrics, with the stunning gains and losses in the short interest plays were an example, and many are urging caution.

With fourth-quarter earnings reports still streaming in, most across Wall Street will not only be examining the results but looking to see what guidance for the first quarter and the rest of 2021 looks like. With all the major indexes and the Russell 2000 pushing back very close to all-time highs, it makes sense for investors to start building some cash reserves while repositioning 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 Wednesday, February 3, 2021.

Aspen Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: AZPN) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Baird, while the price target was raised to $165. The Wall Street consensus target is $147.17. The stock closed trading on Tuesday at $136.86 a share.

Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND) was downgraded from Neutral to Underperform with a $135 price target at D.A. Davidson. That compares with the $116.65 consensus target and a Tuesday closing price of $167.16, which was down over 6% for the day.

Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (NYSE: COG) was downgraded at JPMorgan from Overweight to Neutral with a $20 price target. The consensus target is just higher at $21.56. The shares closed trading on Tuesday at $18.27, after pulling back almost 2%.

Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Cowen, which raised the price target to $60. That is in line with the $59.21 consensus target. Tuesday’s closing trade was posted at $51.18.

ConocoPhillips Inc. (NYSE: COP) was resumed in coverage at Goldman Sachs with a $52 price target. The consensus target is $55.04. Shares of the integrated energy giant closed Tuesday at $40.97.

Crocs Inc. (NASDAQ: CROX) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that this footwear maker is seeing big growth as people still want to find comfort in uncomfortable times. Shares most recently closed at $75.46 and have a consensus price target of $83.50.

Douglas Dynamics Inc. (NASDAQ: PLOW) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Baird, which also raised the price target to $52. That compares to a $43.67 consensus target and a $42.29 close on Tuesday.

Express Inc. (NYSE: EXPR) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that this retailer has been caught up in the WallStreetBets trade as it struggles to rebound from COVID-19. Shares last closed at $3.38 but have a consensus price target of $1.42.

Ferrari N.V. (NYSE: RACE) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup. The luxury carmaker’s stock has traded in a 52-week range of $127.73 to $233.66 and has a $242.54 consensus price target. The shares closed Tuesday at $207.79, down almost 5% on the day, and the slide continued in the premarket, down another 2%.