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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Ally Financial, Carnival, Charter Communications, General Dynamics, Honeywell, Philip Morris and More

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The futures were mixed on this Friday, after investors watched the S&P 500 close at yet another all-time high Thursday, with all of the other major indexes closing positive as well. While the unemployment numbers came in higher than expected, the continued optimism over the broad reopening of the economy, the tailwind from the stimulus package and the ongoing Federal Reserve pledges to keep interest rates contained are seen as key reasons for the continued moves higher in the equity markets. It also should be noted that money markets are still seeing massive inflows, which is another big plus.

Some across Wall Street continue pointing to “bubble” metrics, like the massive “meme” retail stock and options trading by the WallStreetBets and Robinhood crowds, but some of that volume is starting to wane. Most investors now will be turning their attention to first-quarter earnings results, which start in earnest next week.

With major Wall Street firms still warning of the potential for impending 5% to 10% correction across the board, it makes sense for investors to continue building some cash reserves into the market strength, while repositioning portfolios for the start of the second quarter and 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, April 9, 2021.

Alliance Data Systems Corp. (NYSE: ADS) was started with an Outperform rating and a $116 price target at Evercore ISI. The consensus target price is $108.06. The last trade on Thursday hit the tape at $111.67.

Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) was started with an Outperform rating and a $55 price target at Evercore ISI. The consensus price objective for the bank is $52.68, and the last trade for Thursday came in at $47.07.

Altice USA Inc. (NYSE: ATUS) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup, which also lowered the price target to $35. The consensus price target is $41.76, and Thursday’s last trade was at $33.24.

Ball Corp. (NYSE: BLL) was started at Goldman Sachs with a Buy rating and a $98 price target. The consensus target is higher at $103.92, and the shares closed on Thursday at $87.63.


Boise Cascade Co. (NYSE: BCC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at D.A. Davidson. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $25.21 to $65.45 and have a $56.25 consensus price target. The stock closed Thursday at $65.34, which was up almost 3% on the day. As it is trading at a one-year high, this looks like a valuation call.

British American Tobacco PLC (NYSE: BTI) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan. The 52-week trading range is $31.60 to $41.45. The consensus price target is $49.56. The shares ended Thursday at $39.79.

Carnival Corp. & PLC (NYSE: CCL) was upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse, which raised the price target on the popular cruise line to $40. The consensus target is a much lower $24.95, and the shares closed at $28.56 on Thursday.

Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup, which lowered the price target on the cable and communication giant to $680. The consensus target is $713.86, and Thursday’s last trade came in at $615.16.

Chuys Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CHUY) was lowered from Buy to Hold with a $45 price target at Stifel. The consensus target for the popular Mexican restaurant chain is $42.29, and the stock closed Thursday at $47.79. As it is just shy of a 52-week high, this could be another valuation call.


Commscope Holding Co. Inc. (NASDAQ: COMM) was raised from Neutral to Buy with a $21 price target at Rosenblatt. The consensus target is lower at $17.71, and the stock popped over 6% on Thursday to close at $16.35. The shares followed through in Friday’s premarket, adding almost 3%. The company announced this week that it is spinning off its home-networking business to shareholders.

Dana Inc. (NYSE: DAN) was upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays, where the analysts raised the price target to $32. The posted consensus target is $25.78, and Thursday’s last trade hit the tape at $24.40. The stock was up almost 3% in the premarket.

Farfetch Ltd. (NYSE: FTCH) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm questioned whether this luxury online marketplace can keep its pandemic momentum. Shares last closed at $51.75 and have a consensus price target of $67.00.

General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD) was downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at Wolfe Research. The defense leader has traded in a 52-week range of $121.67 to $186 and has a $175.17 consensus target. The stock closed at $184.11, and this looks like yet another valuation call.
Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) was upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank, which raised the price target on the industrial giant to $244. The consensus target is lower at $222.81, and the shares ended Thursday trading at $219.86 apiece.

Industrious Bachoco SAB de C.V. (NYSE: IBA) was raised at JPMorgan from Neutral to Overweight with a $50 price target. The consensus target is $41, near Thursday’s close of $41.30 a share.

MDC Holdings Inc. (NYSE: MDC) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which pointed out that this homebuilder is dirt cheap as earnings soar. Shares most recently closed at $59.49 and have a consensus price target of $63.90.

MicroStrategy Inc. (NASDAQ: MSTR) was started with a Buy rating and a $920 price target at Canaccord Genuity. The consensus target is much lower at $625, and Thursday’s last trade came in at $690.12.

New Frontier Health Corp. (NYSE: NFH) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse, which has a $12 price target. The consensus target is $13, and the stock closed Thursday at $11.21.

Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) was resumed in coverage with an Outperform rating at Wolfe Research, which has a $392 price target for the aerospace and defense giant. The consensus target is $366.39, and Thursday’s final trade was reported at $336.12.

Okta Inc. (NASDAQ: OKTA) was raised from Neutral to Buy with a $280 price target at BTIG Research. The consensus target is $267.50, and the stock was last seen on Thursday at $238.48.

Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM) was upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan, which raised the price target on the tobacco giant to $105. The consensus target is $98.54, and the stock ended Thursday’s trading session at $89.44 per share.


Thought the sector that has lagged over the past year, Jefferies favors these five top aerospace and defense stocks going into the second quarter and for the rest of the year.

Also, BofA Securities has resumed coverage of six hot software stocks that have a significant presence in enterprises large and small.

Thursday’s early top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Adobe, HubSpot, NXP Semiconductor, Splunk, Textron, TJX Companies, VMWare and Wingstop. Analyst calls seen later in the day were on Carvana, DocuSign, Organigram and more.

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