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Wednesday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AMC, Apple, Facebook, First Solar, Kansas City Southern, Roku, SolarEdge and More

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Wednesday morning futures were very positive, looking to extend gains from August. Although the markets pulled back on Tuesday, the August gains are locked in, notching the seventh straight month of gains for the S&P 500 and an increase of over 20% for the year thus far. The positive action in the markets has been underscored by some positive economic numbers, namely employment. Investors are now looking ahead to the August employment report due out on Friday.

For the employment report, analysts are targeting a “robust” 750,000 jobs coming back in August, according to Bloomberg. Note that this is still an impressive number by prepandemic standards, but it does demonstrate a deceleration from July’s report, which saw 943,000 jobs added. Also, analysts are expecting the unemployment rate to narrow to 5.2% in August from July’s reported 5.4%.

While many expect the report to be a fairly positive one, it will still reflect the surge in coronavirus cases that we saw across the United States over the past month. It goes without saying that the Federal Reserve also will be monitoring these numbers, per its dual mandate, and the report could influence the Fed’s monetary policy to come later this year. For now, the labor market appears to be improving and the Fed policy is favorable.

With major Wall Street firms still warning of the potential for impending 5% to 10% correction across the board, which may have seen beginning last week, it makes sense for investors to continue building some cash reserves into any market strength while repositioning portfolios for the balance 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, September 1, 2021.

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC): Macquarie’s downgrade was to Underperform from Neutral. The shares have a $5.44 consensus target, and Tuesday’s close was at $47.13.

American Water Works Co. Inc. (NYSE: AWK): HSBC Securities downgraded the stock to Hold from Buy and raised the price target to $190 from $181. Shares last closed at $182.25, and the consensus price target is $177.53.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL): Wolfe Research upgraded the stock to a Peer Perform rating from Underperform and raised the price target to $155 from $135. That compares with a $166.23 consensus target and Tuesday’s close at $151.83.


AvalonBay Communities Inc. (NYSE: AVB): Barclays initiated coverage with an Underweight rating and a $225 price target. The $233.55 consensus target is above Tuesday’s close at $229.58.

Ballard Power Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: BLDP): Wolfe Research initiated coverage with an Underperform rating and a $16 price target. Shares most recently closed at $16.80 and have a consensus price target of $23.24.

Bloom Energy Corp. (NYSE: BE): Wolfe Research started coverage with a Peer Perform rating and a $25 price target. The shares last closed at $21.42, and the consensus price target is $32.14.

Boston Beer Co. Inc. (NYSE: SAM): Zacks selected this as its Bear of the Day stock. The analyst pointed out that the beverage company fell well short of second-quarter earnings estimates back in July and disappointing guidance has helped send the stock plummeting. Shares last closed at $570.21, and the consensus target price is all the way up at $899.60.

Denali Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: DNLI): SMBC Nikko started it with an Outperform rating and a $78 price target. Shares last closed at $53.20, but they have traded as high as $93.94 in the past year.

Enphase Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: ENPH): Wolfe Research initiated coverage with an Outperform rating. The shares most recently closed at $173.73 and have a consensus price target of $196.62.


Essex Property Trust Inc. (NYSE: ESS): Barclays started coverage with an Equal Weight rating and a $335 price target. Shares last closed at $330.74 and have a consensus price target of $340.33.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB): Rosenblatt downgraded it to Neutral from Buy and has a $400 price target. The shares most recently closed at $379.38 and have a consensus price target of $414.79.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR): Wolfe Research initiated coverage with a Peer Perform rating and a $100 price target. The stock was last seen on Tuesday trading at $94.00, in a 52-week range of $59.52 to $112.50.

Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU): The Loop Capital downgrade was to Hold from Buy. Shares most recently closed at $280.67, and the consensus price target is $292.38.
Kite Realty Group Trust (NYSE: KRG): Barclays started it with an Overweight rating and a $27 price target. The shares most recently closed at $20.26 and have a consensus price target of $22.61.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG): Wolfe Research initiated coverage with an Outperform rating and a $34 price target. The closing share price on Tuesday was $26.06. The 52-week trading range is $10.56 to $75.49.

Roku Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU): This stock was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that while the stock traded at new highs just around a month ago, it fell heading into its quarterly report in early August and then tumbled afterward on the back of what appear to be more near-term concerns. Shares most recently closed at $352.40 and have a consensus price target of $470.67.

Schrodinger Inc. (NASDAQ: SDGR): Morgan Stanley raised its Equal Weight rating to Overweight and has an $82 price target. The stock was last seen on Tuesday trading at $59.69, in a 52-week range of $46.27 to $117.00.

SolarEdge Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SEDG): Wolfe Research initiated coverage with an Outperform rating. The shares most recently closed at $289.78 and have a consensus price target of $313.23.

Sunnova Energy International Inc. (NYSE: NOVA): Wolfe Research started it with an Outperform rating and a $50 price target. The last trade for Tuesday hit the tape at $36.20. Analysts have a consensus price target of $54.16.

Sunrun Inc. (NASDAQ: RUN): Wolfe Research started it with an Outperform rating and a $67 price target. Shares last closed at $44.25, and the consensus price target is just $77.64.


With a confluence of negative factors mounting, it makes sense for investors to take some simple, but smart steps to soften the blow if we do get a sizable market correction. Veteran investors know that it is not a question of if a sizable correction will come but when.

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Tuesday’s early top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Dominion Energy, FireEye, GoodRx, Intuit, Occidental Petroleum, Unity Software and Virgin Galactic. More analyst calls were seen later in the day, including on Callaway Golf, Chewy and Zoom Video Communications.

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