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More Wednesday Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Biopharma Stocks Beware -- Johnson & Johnson, Edwards Life Sciences and More

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Markets started out Wednesday on a fairly positive note, with all the major indexes up over 1%. The Nasdaq led the charge with a 2% gain. In any other situation, it might seem strange that equity markets would be pushing so much higher on anticipation of a rate hike, but these are strange times marked by high inflation and bear markets.

Inflation is at levels not been seen in 40 years, and it is making the case for an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has not shied away from this proposition, actually supporting it in his most recent tour of Congress earlier this month. While this is a step in the right direction, there are questions as to how quickly this will take effect and curb inflation, and then how many more rate hikes may follow.

Some analysts are convinced that the rate hike is already priced in, considering the recent decline across the broad markets. Even though a majority of this downturn can be attributed to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the pullback in equities has been significant enough, with the Nasdaq near bear market territory and both the Dow Jones industrials and S&P 500 in correction territory.

24/7 Wall St. is reviewing more big analyst calls seen on Wednesday. We have included the latest call on each stock, as well as a recent trading history and the consensus targets among analysts. Note that analyst calls seen earlier in the day were on ­­­eBay, Micron Technologies, Nvidia, SoFi Technologies, Starbucks and many more.

Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACAD): Canaccord Genuity upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold and raised the price target to $31 from $30. The 52-week trading range is $15.68 to $28.31, and shares were trading near $24 on Wednesday.

Constellation Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: CEG): Morgan Stanley initiated coverage with an Overweight rating and a $63 price target. The stock traded near $52 on Wednesday. The 52-week range is $38.00 to $56.57.

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW): Bernstein’s upgrade to Outperform from Market Perform included a price target hike to $135 from $132. The 52-week trading range is $78.44 to $131.73, and shares were trading near $108 apiece on Wednesday.

Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. (NASDAQ: HST): Raymond James upgraded the shares to Outperform from Market Perform and has a $21 price target. Shares were trading near $18 on Wednesday. The 52-week range is $14.67 to $19.75.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ): Bernstein downgraded it to Market Perform from Outperform and raised the $180 price target to $183. The stock was trading near $174 on Wednesday, and the 52-week range is $155.72 to $179.92.

KE Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BEKE): Though Morgan Stanley raised its Equal Weight rating to Overweight, the firm also cut the price target to $16 from $23. Shares were trading near $14 on Wednesday. The 52-week range is $7.31 to $67.38.

Magna International Inc. (NYSE: MGA): Raymond James upgraded the stock from Underperform to Market Perform with a $68 price target. Shares were trading near $60 on Wednesday. The 52-week range is $54.60 to $104.28.

Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: RARE): Credit Suisse’s upgrade was to Outperform from Neutral, and it raised the $99 price target to $105. Shares were trading near $66. The 52-week range is $61.21 to $130.68.


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