Monday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Apple, Broadcom, Costco,, First Solar, Kroger, Lowe's, Marvell Technology, Procter & Gamble and More

monsitj / Getty Images

The futures were mixed to open up a new trading week, after a spectacular Friday that saw all the major indexes up big. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was the winner, closing up almost 2%. Needless to say, the same things that had been driving stocks lower were the impetus for the large move higher Friday: Interest rates finally took a breather and declined. The easing of rates, plus very oversold conditions, and some, albeit small, positive inflation data all combined to provide a nice tailwind for stocks on Friday.

Those Treasury yields dropped across the curve, with the benchmark 10-year note and the 30-year long bond both seeing double-digit declines as the buyers piled in to buy Treasury debt at the highest yields since November. While the short two-year note yield dropped to 4.86% (the Thursday close at 4.90% was the highest since 2006), the wide inversion with the 10-year note, which closed at 3.96%, remained. Bond traders and history both say that this gap is a precursor to a recession.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate both had a strong finish to the week, with WTI closing the day up almost 2% at $79.68. The two benchmarks finished the week strong, and many feel that pricing and demand could soar over the summer. Natural gas was the huge winner, finishing Friday at $3, up almost 9%. Gold finished the day flat, while Bitcoin was pounded again, closing down almost 5% at $22.301. This after trading over the $25,000 level just over two weeks ago.

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 Monday, March 6, 2023.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL): Morgan Stanley reiterated an Overweight rating and raised its target price to $180 from $175. The consensus target is $168.21. The shares closed Friday at $151.03, which was up close to 4% for the day on the strong technology tape.

Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGO): Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating and has a $720 target price for the stock. The consensus target is just $657.35. The stock closed almost 6% higher on Friday at $632.76 after a strong earnings beat.

Casey’s General Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: CASY): J.P. Morgan’s upgrade to Neutral from Underweight included a target price boost to $211 from $173. The consensus is up at $256.58. The stock closed at $213.18 on Friday.

ChargePoint Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CHPT): Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating with a $26 target price. The consensus target is $20.87. Friday’s final trade was for $11.08 a share.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: CHK): Wells Fargo downgraded the stock to Equal Weight from Overweight and slashed its $117 target price to $87. The consensus target is higher at $121.50, and Friday’s closing print of $84.17 was up almost 3% for the day on strong energy pricing.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST): Truist Financial raised its $568 target price to $571 while keeping a Buy rating. The consensus target is $552.48. Friday’s close at $475.26 was down 2% on the day. Inc. (NYSE: AI): BofA Securities reiterated an Underperform rating but raised its $14 target price to $16. The consensus target is $15.44 for now. Friday’s close at $28.48 was up 33% on the day, much of it clearly a short squeeze after the company reported results for the quarter that crushed analysts’ expectations.

Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE): Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating. Its $492 target price is higher than the $471.82 consensus target. Friday’s $430.28 close was a 2% gain on the day.

Domino’s Pizza Inc. (NYSE: DPZ): As Gordon Haskett downgraded the stock to Hold from Buy, it lowered its $344 target price to $315. The consensus target is $347.21. Friday’s last trade was delivered at $304.76 a share.

Empire State Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE: ESRT): BMO Capital Markets upgraded the stock from Market Perform to Outperform with a $9 target price. The consensus target is $7.95, and shares ended Friday trading at $7.74.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR): UBS upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral, and its $140 price target increased to $250, well above the consensus target of $186.91. Friday’s $182.21 close up 6% on the day after positive earnings and a host of Wall Street upgrades.

Generac Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GNRC): Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating and has a $145 target. The consensus target is $144.16. The shares ended Friday at $126.60, which was up close to 4% on positive Wall Street comments.

Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL): J.P. Morgan downgraded the stock to Underweight from Neutral and cut its $47 target price to $38. The consensus target is $44.99. The stock closed Friday at $40.63, which was down close to 3% for the day.

Itron Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI): J.P. Morgan downgraded the shares to Underweight from Neutral. It also trimmed its $53 target price to $50, further from the $58.86 consensus target. Friday’s final trade was for $56.77. As the stock is trading near a 52-week high, this may be a valuation call.

Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR): J.P. Morgan upgraded shares of the grocery giant to Overweight from Neutral. Its $54 target price compares with a $51.61 consensus target and Friday’s closing print of $45.98.
Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW): Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating and has a $275 target price. The consensus target is $228.75. Friday’s close was at $199.73.

Marvell Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MRVL): Goldman Sachs lowered its $54 target price on the Buy-rated company to $46. The consensus target is up at $61.83. Friday’s close at $44.04 was down close to 5% on the day after earnings beat expectations but the company offered downbeat guidance.

Playa Hotels & Resorts N.V. (NASDAQ: PLYA): Pointing out that travel bookings remain red hot in 2023, Zacks selected this as its Bull of the Day stock. Shares last closed at $9.44, and the $12.50 consensus target would be a 52-week high.

Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG): J.P. Morgan upgraded the legacy consumer staples giant to Overweight from Neutral. The analyst also nudged the $150 target price to $155, in line with the $155.02 consensus target. The final trade for Friday was reported at $140.95 a share.

Range Resources Corp. (NYSE: RRC): The Zacks Bear of the Day has seen earnings estimates falling alongside natural gas prices, says the analyst. Shares have traded as high as $37.44 in the past year but closed most recently at $27.92.

Six Flags Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: SIX): While Citigroup reiterated a Neutral rating, it also bumped its $27 target price to $30. The consensus target is $29.20. The last trade on Friday was reported at $30.40. That was up close to 8% for the day in the wake of solid fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street estimates.

Zscaler Inc. (NASDAQ: ZS): Stifel lowered their target price on the Buy-rated shares to $135 from $165. That compares with the higher (for now) $170.51 consensus target. The shares closed on Friday at $119.24, down over 11% on the day despite beating analysts’ estimates.

Two tech giants and a leading defense contractor are among five large-cap Wall Street favorites expected to raise their dividends this week, making their Buy-rated stocks excellent total return candidates for investors.

Friday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Advanced Micro Devices, Apple, Array Technologies, CarMax, Coupang, Discover Financial Services, Intel, Kohl’s, Marvell Technology, Moderna, Nio, Nvidia, Okta, Plug Power, Salesforce, Sandstorm Gold, Silvergate Capital, Uber Technologies and Western Digital.

ALERT: Take This Retirement Quiz Now  (Sponsored)

Take the quiz below to get matched with a financial advisor today.

Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests.

Here’s how it works:
1. Answer SmartAsset advisor match quiz
2. Review your pre-screened matches at your leisure. Check out the advisors’ profiles.
3. Speak with advisors at no cost to you. Have an introductory call on the phone or introduction in person and choose whom to work with in the future

Take the retirement quiz right here.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.