The futures were crushed on Thursday after a brutal risk-off day on Wall Street Wednesday. The Russians finally played the invasion card and moved into Ukraine as many had anticipated. Stocks fell to eight-month lows Wednesday and likely will be headed to lows last printed in 2020 in the not too distant future. While it is highly unlikely there will be any response from the United States military, it is a very strong bet that each and every sanction that the U.S. president can use against Russia is being discussed and deployed.
Oil and gold stocks surged, as did the U.S. Treasury bonds, as investors here and abroad seek safe havens. It is important to remember that selling into this kind of headline event is probably not the best idea, as the chance that this event spreads further into Europe is highly unlikely.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week with a goal of finding fresh 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 24, 2022.
ADTRAN Inc. (NASDAQ: ADTN): Loop Capital started coverage with a Hold rating and a $21 price target. The consensus target is higher at $28.50. The final trade on Wednesday was at $20.09 a share.
Affirmed N.V. (NASDAQ: AFMD): Cantor Fitzgerald started coverage with an Overweight rating and a $12 target price. The consensus target is $13.29. The close on Wednesday was at $4.22 a share.
Cadence Design Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CDNS): Berenberg upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold and has a $180 price objective. The consensus target is $182.18. The last trade on Wednesday came in at $140.88, up over 4% after the company posted stellar results.
Caesars Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ: CZR): Deutsche Bank reiterated a Buy rating on the casino and gambling giant but sliced the $110 target price to $105. Stifel kept a Buy rating and cut its target to $120 from $138, while Cowen maintained an Outperform rating but dropped the price objective to $110 from $125. The consensus target is $129.21. Wednesday’s last trade was reported at $78.68, which was up close to 3% for the day.
Calix Inc. (NYSE: CALX): Loop Capital started coverage with a Buy rating and a $70 price objective. The consensus target is just $56.43. The stock closed on Wednesday at $51.66.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX): Cowen maintained an Outperform rating on shares of the mega-cap energy giant and increased the price target to $140 from $133. The consensus target is $141.26. The last trade on Wednesday was over 2% higher to $135.55.
DoubleVerify Holdings Inc. (NYSE: DV): JPMorgan downgraded the shares to Neutral from Overweight and cut the price objective to $32 from $42. The consensus target is $37.70. The stock closed on Wednesday at $24.02, down close to 11% for the day.
Exact Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ: EXAS): Goldman Sachs lowered the target price on the home colonoscopy test company to $100 from $114 while keeping a Buy rating on the shares. The consensus target is $127.12. The stock was last seen Wednesday at $68.99, down 6% on the day.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM): Cowen reiterated a Market Perform rating on the energy giant and bumped the target price to $77 from $71. The consensus target is $80.81. The final trade on Wednesday at $76.77 per share.
Fluor Corp. (NYSE: FLR): Baird upgraded the stock to Outperform from Neutral but trimmed the target price to $29 from $30. No consensus target was available. The shares ended Wednesday at $21.08, which was up close to 6% for the day.
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Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS): This retailer was selected as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The analyst ponders how bad apparel retail really is. Shares hit a new 52-week low of $13.51 on Wednesday and were even lower in premarket trading.
Ginkgo Bioworks Holdings Inc. (NYSE: DNA): Goldman Sachs started coverage with a Neutral rating and a $7 target price. That compares with the higher $11.80 consensus target and Wednesday’s final trade of $4.26.
Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD): Telsey Advisory reiterated an Outperform rating on the big-box retail heavyweight but cut the target price to $375 from $425. The consensus price objective is $402.45, and Wednesday’s closing trade was at $308.45 a share.
MKS Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: MKSI): Loop Capital initiated coverage on the stock with a Buy rating and a $200 price objective. That compares with the $204.70 consensus target and Wednesday’s closing print of $143.07.
New York Mortgage Trust Inc. (NASDAQ: NYMT): Keefe Bruyette upgraded the stock from Market Perform to Outperform with a $4.50 target price. The consensus target is $4.63. The shares closed on Wednesday at $3.43. Note that the company is a real estate investment trust that pays a huge 11.53% dividend.
Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX): B. Riley Securities kept a Buy rating but slashed the $315 target price to $265. The $215 consensus target is much lower, but the last trade for Wednesday came in at $73.49, after retreating over 7% for the day.
NOV Inc. (NYSE: NOV): Goldman Sachs downgraded the shares from Hold to Sell with a $16 target price. The consensus target is $16.05. The shares closed at $17.17 on Wednesday.
Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: PANW): JPMorgan raised its Underweight rating to Neutral and lifted the target price to $620 from $600. The consensus target for the cybersecurity heavyweight is $616.02. The stock closed on Wednesday at $477.61.
RingCentral Inc. (NYSE: RNG): Goldman Sachs kept a Buy rating on the stock but slashed the target price to $205 from $240. The consensus target is up at $306.32. The stock closed Wednesday at $124.04, down 16% on the day.
Similarweb Ltd. (NYSE: SMWB): Barclays upgraded the shares to Overweight from Equal Weight and has a $22 target price. The consensus is set at $25.20, and the stock closed Wednesday at $12.51.
SoFi Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SOFI): Goldman Sachs trimmed its price target to $14 from $16 while keeping a Neutral rating on the shares. The consensus target is $18.50. The stock closed Wednesday at $9.82, down over 4% for the day.
BofA Securities has a list of tech stocks that feature high one-year return on equity, solid relative strength numbers, high earnings-per-share revisions and high free cash flow/enterprise value metrics. Five of those stocks also pay solid and dependable dividends.
Wednesday’s early top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Bloomin’ Brands, ChargePoint, Clorox, Cloudflare, Intel, Novavax, Owens Corning, Palo Alto Networks and PPL. Analyst calls seen later in the day were on Altice, Dollar Tree, Macy’s, Marathon Oil and more.
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