Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AstraZeneca, Dollar General, Lowe’s, Nike, Nvidia, Shopify, Square and More

The futures were slightly lower on Thursday after another wild day on Wall Street, which saw the futures reverse before the open, and stocks sold off fast. However, like Tuesday, there was a major reversal mid-morning, and all of the major indexes and the Russell 2000 took off higher. The Dow Jones industrial average printed a new all-time high, as did the transports, which we have noted bodes well for the economy and the bull market long term. Top analysts continue pointing to “bubble” metrics, like the massive retail stock and option trading, huge hedge fund leverage and IPOs that don’t make money as examples, and many are urging caution.

While fourth-quarter earnings results are almost complete, most across Wall Street still are not only examining the results but also looking to see what guidance for the balance of the first quarter and the rest of the year looks like. With stocks very overbought, major Wall Street firms are warning of an impending 5% to 10% correction, so it makes sense now 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 Thursday, February 25, 2021.

AstraZeneca Inc. (NASDAQ: AZN) was raised to Buy from Neutral at UBS. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $36.15 to $64.94 and have a consensus price target of $62.35. The stock closed trading on Wednesday at $50.10.

Chuy’s Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CHUY) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital Markets, which also raised the target price on the Mexican-style restaurant chain to $42. The consensus target is $32.71, and the stock closed Wednesday at $43.95, up close to 4% on the day. As it is trading just shy of a 52-week high, this looks like a valuation call.

Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) was downgraded at BofA Securities from Buy to Neutral with a $215 price target. That compares with the higher consensus of $239.88 and Wednesday’s $192.61 final trade.

Epizyme Inc. (NASDAQ: EPZM) was downgraded at Morgan Stanley from Overweight to Equal Weight with a $14 price target. The consensus target is $21.25, and the last trade for Wednesday came in at $10.19.

Evoqua Water Technologies Corp. (NASDAQ: AQUA) was raised at Credit Suisse from Neutral to Outperform with a $30 price target. That compares to the $29.55 consensus and Wednesday’s $24.67 final print.

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