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Wednesday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Applied Materials, CrowdStrike, First Solar, Newmont, Occidental Petroleum, Palo Alto Networks, Take-Two Interactive, Twilio, Zscaler and More

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The futures traded lower after a risk-off Valentine’s Day that saw two of the major indexes finish the day lower. Only the Nasdaq ended the day higher. The impetus behind the selling was the consumer price index data, which somewhat unexpectedly rose on a year-over-year basis and came in at 6.4% versus expectations of 6.2%. The core reading, which omits the volatile food and energy data, also was up year over year, at 5.6 versus 5.5%. This data almost guarantees another federal funds rate hike in late March.

Treasury yields were higher across the curve, as sellers came in as the inflation numbers were above estimates. The yield on the five-year note pushed back to the 4% level, while the 10-year note closed at 3.76%, up from 3.48% just one month ago. With the two-year paper closing at 4.62% (the highest since November), the two-year/10-year inversion remains in place. It is seen as a sign of impending recession.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both finished the day down over 1%, despite OPEC output falling as Saudi production was down 156,000 barrels per day in January. Natural gas was a winner on Tuesday, closing almost 7% higher at $2.57. Gold finished the day lower, while Bitcoin rallied, closing up almost 2% to recapture the $22,000 level.

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 Wednesday, February 15, 2023.

Alkermes PLC (NASDAQ: ALKS): Jefferies reiterated a Buy rating and has a $42 target price. The consensus target is lower at $32.30. The stock closed on Tuesday at $27.67.

Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY): Jefferies reiterated a Hold rating with a $30 target. The consensus target is $35.24. The shares closed on Tuesday at $32.61.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT): Stifel reiterated a Buy rating with a $132 target price. The consensus target is $121.04, and the stock closed at $118.44 on Tuesday.


Core & Main Inc. (NYSE: CNM): Loop Capital initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $28 price target. The slightly higher $29.86 consensus target also compares with Tuesday’s closing print of $22.92, which was up 2% on the day.
CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CRWD): Goldman Sachs started coverage on the cybersecurity giant with a Buy rating and a $141 price target. The consensus target is $167.51. Tuesday’s $116.31 was up close to 4% for the day on the upgrade.

Encore Capital Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ECPG): Northland Capital cut its Outperform rating to Market Perform with a $58 target price. The consensus target is $62.25. The stock closed on Tuesday at $55.61, down almost 4% for the day on the downgrade.

Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (NYSE: FIS): Morgan Stanley’s upgrade to Overweight from Equal Weight included a target price hike to $79 from $73. However, Credit Suisse lowered its Outperform rating to Neutral and dropped the $85 target price to $75, while Citigroup’s downgrade was to Neutral from Buy and its $85 target price dropped to $70. The consensus target is $85.23, and the stock closed 3% higher on Tuesday at $67.81.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR): Although Evercore ISI downgraded the stock to In Line from Outperform, it also lifted its $150 target price to $157. The consensus target is up at $174.87. The shares closed on Tuesday at $165.04.

Five Below Inc. (NASDAQ: FIVE): Truist Financial raised its target price to $217 from $196. The consensus target is $205.91, but shares ended trading on Tuesday at $206.44.

Fortinet Inc. (NASDAQ: FTNT) Goldman Sachs began coverage with a Buy rating and a $73 price target. The consensus target is $68.50. Tuesday’s closing share price was $61.19.

Haemonetics Corp. (NYSE: HAE): Estimates and price targets are on the rise after a strong quarter, says Zacks, which selected this stock as the Bull of the Day. The shares last closed at $82.97, and the $100.86 consensus price target would be a 52-week high.


Indie Semiconductor Inc. (NASDAQ: INDI): As B. Riley Securities upgraded the shares to Buy from Neutral, it bumped up the $10 price target to $13. The consensus target is $13.50. Tuesday’s closed at $9.38 was up almost 15% for the day on the upgrade.

Lattice Semiconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: LSCC): Stifel raised its $46 target price on the Hold-rated shares to $71. The consensus target is $74.54. Tuesday’s $89.27 closed was a gain of almost 8% on the day after outstanding results were posted.

Newmont Corp. (NYSE: NEM): The Buy rating at UBS dropped to Hold, and the analyst also lowered the $59 target price to $53. The consensus target is $73.02. Tuesday’s final trade was reported at $47.01.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY): The upgrade at Goldman was from Neutral to Buy with an $81 target price. The consensus target is $75.73. Tuesday’s close at $66.34 was up close to 3% for the day on the upgrade.
Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: PANW): Goldman Sachs initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $205 price target. The consensus target is $205.89. The stock closed on Tuesday at $170.14.

SolarEdge Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SEDG): Oppenheimer raised its $379 target price on the Outperform-rated shares to $383. The consensus target is $352.95. The closing share price on Tuesday was at $315.43.

Sonoco Products Co. (NYSE: SON): Argus upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold and has a $67 target price. The consensus target is $66.83. The last trade on Tuesday was for $60.51 a share.

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO): DZ Bank downgraded the stock to Hold from Buy and has a $105 target price. The consensus target is $129.86. The shares closed on Tuesday at $112.09.

Trade Desk Inc. (NASDAQ: TTD): Citing that analysts are lowering estimates, Zacks named this as its Bear of the Day stock. Shares have traded as high as $86.88 in the past year but closed most recently at $49.92.

Twilio Inc. (NASDAQ: TWLO): Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating with a $75 target price. The consensus target is $79.46. The closing trade for Tuesday was recorded at $62.10.

Tyler Technologies Inc. (NYSE: TYL): Truist Financial reiterated a Buy rating and has a $475 target price. The consensus target is just $419.48, and shares ended Tuesday trading at $326.19.


Viad Corp. (NYSE: VVI): Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating with a $42 price objective. The consensus target is $40.50, and the stock closed on Tuesday at $25.99.

XPO Inc. (NYSE: XPO): Evercore ISI’s downgrade to In Line from Outperform came with a target price cut to $35 from $44. The consensus target is $47.64. Tuesday’s close at $37.82 was up close to 4% on the day, despite the downgrade.

Zscaler Inc. (NASDAQ: ZS): Goldman Sachs initiated coverage with a Neutral rating and a $148 target price. The consensus target is $170.15. The stock closed at $136.19 on Tuesday.


With the economic storm clouds growing, seven safe-haven stocks with total return potential may be the smart move for investors now.

Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Amgen, Caterpillar, CF Industries, Coinbase Global, Fastly, Match, Newmont, Okta, Progressive, Toast, Under Armour, Walt Disney and Zim Integrated Shipping Services.

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