Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Autodesk, Costco, Interactive Brokers, SBA Communications, Western Digital, Zscaler and More

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The futures traded higher on Friday, after recovering from huge overnight losses and after a strong February jobs report. Investors will probably be very glad to see this week come to an end after massive selling, especially in the momentum stocks. Everything from the electric vehicles and solar-related stocks to SPAC conversions were absolutely hammered, not to mention the new-age tech companies that have big prospects but lose money consistently. Top analysts on Wall Street continue pointing to “bubble” metrics, like the massive “meme” retail stock and option trading, huge hedge fund leverage and IPOs that don’t make money as examples, and many are urging continued near-term caution.

With fourth-quarter earnings results almost complete, most across Wall Street have not only been examining the final results but also looking to see what guidance for the balance of the first quarter and the rest of 2021 looks like. With stocks still near overbought conditions, and major Wall Street firms still warning of the potential for impending 5% to 10% correction (which already may have begun), 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 Friday, March 5, 2021.

Autodesk Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that the valuation is high for this stock, but on the bright side, margins are improving. Shares last closed at $265.44 and have a consensus price target of $320.95.

Azul S.A. (NYSE: AZUL) was raised at Deutsche Bank from Hold to Buy with a $25 price target. The consensus target is just $20.79. The last trade for Thursday came in at $20.36 a share.

Capital Southwest Corp. (NASDAQ: CSWC) was started with a Buy rating and a $24 price objective at Hovde. The consensus target is down at $20, and Thursday’s final trade hit the tape at $21.74.

Cardlytics Inc. (NASDAQ: CDLX) was raised at BofA Securities from Underperform to Neutral with a $128 price target. The consensus target is $117.20, and Thursday’s close was at $126.02.

Chuy’s Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CHUY) was reiterated with a Market Perform rating at Telsey Advisory, which raised the price target on the Mexican food restaurant chain to $42 from $30. The consensus price target is $34.43, and Thursday’s close was at $39.82, down almost 5% on the day despite earnings and revenue topping estimates.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) saw its target price lowered to $375 from $430 at Telsey Advisory, which kept its Outperform rating on the stock. The consensus target is $398.89, and the shares closed on Thursday at $319.04.

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) saw its target price raised at Telsey Advisory to $27 from $23. The firm maintained its Market Perform rating on the clothing retailer. The consensus target is $24.97. The last trade for Thursday came in at $25.38. The stock was up almost 4% in premarket trading.

Genesco Inc. (NYSE: GCO) saw its target price raised to $54 from $43 at Pivotal Research. That compares with a much lower consensus target of $41.25 and Thursday’s final trade of $46.76, which was down over 4% for the day.

HarborOne Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: HONE) was raised from Neutral to Buy with a $15 price target at D.A. Davidson. That compares with a consensus target of $12.50 and a Thursday close of $12.78.

Interactive Brokers Group Inc. (NASDAQ: IBKR) was started at Jefferies with a Buy rating and an $89 price objective. The lower consensus target for the fast-rising brokerage firm is $76.92. The stock was last seen trading at $74.80 on Thursday.

Limoneira Co. (NASDAQ: LMNR) was upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens, which raised the price target to $20. The consensus target is $18.60. The stock was last seen on Thursday at $15.84.

Michaels Companies Inc. (NYSE: MIK) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Loop Capital, which also lowered the price target on the arts and crafts retailer to $22. The consensus target is $18.27. Thursday’s last trade came in at $21.83.

NextCure Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTC) was raised from Hold to Buy with a $19 price target at Truist Securities. The consensus target is up at $22.67. The final trade on Thursday was reported at $11.39.

Paycom Software Inc. (NYSE: PAYC) was raised at Jefferies from Hold to Buy with a $470 price target. The consensus target is $464.69. The stock closed on Thursday at $348.69.

SBA Communications Corp. (NYSE: SBAC) was raised at Raymond James from Outperform to Strong Buy with a $309 price target. That is lower than the $319.53 consensus target. Thursday’s closing share price was $235.92.

Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: SWBI) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Craig Hallum, which has a $17 price target on the venerable gun manufacturer. The consensus target is $22.40. The final Thursday trade was reported at $15.79. The shares traded almost 6% higher in premarket action.

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) was upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs, which raised the price target on the hard disc drive giant to $85 from $56. The consensus target is $69.86. Thursday’s last trade came in at $62.49, down almost 9% for the day. Shares bounced back 3% in the premarket.

Zscaler Inc. (NYSE: ZS) was upgraded to Buy from Hold at Berenberg, which also raised the price target to $235 from $209. That compares with a slightly lower $229.25 consensus target and Thursday’s close at $180.90.

Five top BofA Securities stock picks in different sectors come with 6% or better dividends that look like they will remain safe. These stocks make sense for investors looking to increase their income streams and have total return potential.

See why Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest just bought more than 450,000 shares of Zillow. Also, see why Deutsche Bank thinks Snowflake is due for a bounce, and Walmart is considering a SPAC IPO.

Thursday’s early top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Bumble, Marathon Oil, Okta, Qualcomm, Snowflake, Stitch Fix and Walmart. Analyst calls seen later in the day were on Anthem, BioMarin, CRISPR, GE and more.

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