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Friday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Danaher, First Majestic Silver, First Solar, Illumina, KB Home, NetApp, Nvidia, Salesforce, Snowflake and More

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The futures were lower, after a solid risk-on day Thursday when all the major indexes closed higher. Wall Street is more than ready for Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell to deliver the highly anticipated keynote speech at the economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Financial pundits are mixed across the banks and brokerage firms we cover, as some feel that Powell may signal a reduction in the size of the rates increases, while others feel he will keep a very hawkish tone. The likely result is that he will wait for more inflation data in September before making a choice between an increase of 50 or 75 basis points in the federal funds rate.

Yields were down across the Treasury curve, as buyers returned after yields had hit two-month highs, possibly adding positions in the safe-haven government securities in anticipation of the aforementioned more hawkish tone from the Fed chair. The inversion between the two-year and 10-year notes remained in place, with the latter closing at a 3.03% yield while the former closed at 3.38%. The spread between the two has narrowed over the past few weeks but still signals recession, which the second look at gross domestic product for the second quarter on Thursday confirmed at −0.6%.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude closed flat on Thursday, after a strong showing this week that pushed Brent briefly back over the $100 level. Natural gas was modestly higher at $9.36, after hitting the highest level since 2008 earlier this week. Both gold and Bitcoin closed somewhat higher Thursday.

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 Friday, August 26, 2022.

Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CAR): Zacks named this car rental leader as its Bull of the Day. The analyst pointed out that earnings momentum is accelerating as the stock consolidates. The shares most recently closed at $185.68. Reaching the consensus price target of $229.33 would be a gain of more than 23%.

BioMarin Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN): Baird reiterated an Outperform rating with a $112 target price. The consensus target is $113.10. The stock closed on Thursday at $93.30.

ChampionX Corp. (NASDAQ: CHX): Benchmark started coverage with a Buy rating and a $32 target price objective. That compares with a $28.88 consensus target and Thursday’s close at $23.22.


Danaher Inc. (NYSE: DHR): Credit Suisse started coverage with an Outperform rating and a $340 target price. The consensus target is $326.28. Thursday’s final stock trade was reported at $290.97.

Dream Finders Homes Inc. (NASDAQ: DFH): BofA Securities upgraded the stock to Neutral from Underperform and moved its $10 target price up to $12.50. The consensus target is $12.83. The stock closed Thursday at $12.30, up closer to 8% for the day on no news we could source other than the upgrade.
Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX): Goldman Sachs reiterated a Neutral rating and kept a $215 target price. The consensus target is $225.28. The last trade Thursday was for $207.72 a share.

Exact Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ: EXAS): Credit Suisse started coverage with an Outperform rating and a $55 price objective. That compares with the higher $71 consensus and Thursday’s close at $39.20, up close to 7% on the day, likely due to the upgrade.

First Majestic Silver Corp. (NYSE: AG): Zacks selected this as its Bear of the Day stock, citing slumping metals prices. The shares have traded as high as $14.67 in the past year but last closed at $8.00. That is down 29% or so in the past six months.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR): BofA Securities upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral and raised the $104.50 price objective to $141. The consensus target is $112.07. The stock closed on Thursday at $121.69.

FREYR Battery (NASDAQ: FREY): The Goldman Sachs upgrade to Buy from Neutral included a target price hike to $19 from $11. The consensus target is $16.60. The $12.60 close on Thursday was a 19% gain on the day, after the company announced an impressive new partnership agreement.

GDS Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: GDS): Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock from Buy to Hold with a $32.80 target. The consensus target is $50.90. The stock closed almost 8% on Thursday at $29.00. The company posted solid results earlier this week but cut its fiscal 2022 outlook.

Illumina Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN): Credit Suisse started coverage with a Neutral rating and a $230 target price. The consensus target is $460.17. The stock closed over 3% higher on Thursday at $217.52.

KB Home (NYSE: KBH): BofA Securities cut its Buy rating to Neutral and has a $34 target price for the builder. The consensus target is $39.43. Thursday’s $31.05 close was up almost 3% on the day.


Kinetik Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: KNTK): Morgan Stanley initiated coverage with an Equal Weight rating and a $46 target price. The consensus target is $41.33. The stock closed almost 4% lower on Thursday at $36.99 despite posting reasonable results.

NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP): Goldman Sachs raised its $60 target price on the Sell-rated shares to $68. The consensus target is $86.67. The stock closed Thursday at $78.56, a gain of almost 8% on the day after fiscal first-quarter results topped revenue and earnings estimates.

NICE Ltd. (NASDAQ: NICE): Piper Sandler initiated coverage with a Neutral rating and a $236 target price. The consensus target is $281.90, and the closing share price on Thursday was $220.69.

Nvidia Inc. (NASDAQ: NVDA): Baird lowered its $150 price target on the semiconductor giant to $135 while keeping a Neutral rating. The consensus target is up at $224.63. The stock closed 4% higher on Thursday at $179.13 despite the company posting disappointing quarterly results.
Pennant Group Inc. (NASDAQ: PNTG): Oppenheimer started coverage with an Outperform rating and a $22 price target. The consensus target is $19.00. The stock was last seen Thursday at $17.15, which was a 4% gain on the day.

PerkinElmer Inc. (NYSE: PKI): Credit Suisse initiated coverage with a Neutral rating and a $175 target. The consensus target is $173. The stock closed on Thursday at $144.42.

Salesforce Inc. (NYSE: CRM): Goldman Sachs reiterated a Buy rating for the stock, which is on the firm’s Conviction List of top picks. The firm’s $320 target price is well above the $243.35 consensus target. The stock closed on Thursday at $173.91, down close to 4% for the day after the revenue outlook was cut but the company announced a $10 billion stock buyback.

Snowflake Inc. (NYSE: SNOW): Goldman Sachs maintained its Buy rating with a $220 target price. The consensus target is lower at $200.92. The shares closed Thursday at $196.28, up a stunning 23% on the day after the company demolished Wall Street earnings expectations.

Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK): Goldman Sachs reiterated a Buy rating and has a $200 target price. The consensus target is just $135.69, and shares closed down 12% on Thursday at $97.12, despite posting solid results, as new business is slowing down.

TechnipFMC PLC (NYSE: FTI): Benchmark started coverage with a Buy rating and a $12 target. The consensus target is $9.24. The stock closed at $8.72 on Thursday.

Verve Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: VERV): The Hold rating at Stifel rose to Buy from, and the $32 target price catapulted to $56. The consensus target is $50.43. The stock was last seen Thursday trading at $41.31, a 3% gain on the day.


With the potential for a serious downside move looming, and interest rates headed higher, investors may want to consider the Dividend Aristocrats. Seven of these stocks are in defensive sectors and look poised to do well for the rest of 2022.

See which four tech stocks Cowen loves now. And, do analysts see Nvidia’s latest results as a fender bender or a train wreck?


Thursday’s early top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Advance Auto Parts, Arista Networks, Carvana, Centennial Resource Development, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Frontier Group, Intuit, O’Reilly Automotive, SolarEdge Technologies and VICI Properties. Analyst calls seen later in the day were on Agilent Technologies, KB Home, Kosmos Energy, Lennar, Snowflake, Thermo Fisher Scientific and more.

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