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Thursday's Top Analyst Downgrades and Upgrades: Costco, CrowdStrike, Dick's Sporting Goods, GE, PayPal, Six Flags and More

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The futures traded lower, after another mixed day across Wall Street that saw all the major indexes start lower before the Nasdaq and S&P 500 were able to grind out a small gain into the close. After Federal Reserve Chair Powell’s comments in front of Congress on the speed and size of rate hikes for the rest of the year, all eyes across Wall Street will be on the nonfarm payrolls numbers for February on Friday morning. While nobody expects a blow-out print like last month, any number that is way above expectations could bring another big round of selling.

Treasury yields were slightly lower to flat again on Wednesday, with the 10-year slowly pulling back from the 4% level to close at 3.98%. With the two-year paper closing at 5.06%, the spread between the two securities is 108 basis points, the widest since 1981. The bond market takes a dim view of the wide inversion as it signals a recession could be on the way soon.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude closed lower for the second day in a row, despite the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s inventory draw of 1.7 million barrels for the week to March 3. The draw comes after weeks of rising inventory builds, which has kept pressure on benchmark pricing. Natural gas closed lower Wednesday, down over 4% to close at $2.60. Gold closed the day modestly higher, while Bitcoin was down yet again, closing at $22,054. The cryptocurrency giant has plunged nearly 12% in two weeks.

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, March 9, 2023.

AGNC Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: AGNC): J.P. Morgan upgraded the stock to Overweight from Neutral with a $12.50 target price. The consensus target is $11.60, and the stock closed on Wednesday at $10.81.

Ares Commercial Real Estate Corp. (NYSE: ACRE): Keefe Bruyette downgraded the stock to Market Perform from Outperform and has a $12.50 target price. The consensus target is $13.08. The stock closed over 6% lower on Wednesday at $10.58 despite an earnings beat.


Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure PLC (NASDAQ: AY): BofA Securities upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral and has a $32 target price. The consensus target is $31.90. The shares closed on Wednesday at $28.87.

Axon Enterprise Inc. (NASDAQ: AXON): Goldman Sachs initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $263 target price. The consensus target is $232.00. The stock closed on Wednesday at $221.80.
Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. (NYSE: BAH): Stifel reiterated a Buy rating with a $110 price target. The consensus target is $112.67. The last trade on Wednesday was posted at $92.52, which was down 3% on the day.

Bowlero Corp. (NYSE: BOWL): Canaccord Genuity started coverage with a Buy rating and a $22 target price. The consensus target is $18.71. The stock closed on Wednesday at $17.12.

Cara Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CARA): The BofA Securities downgrade to Underperform from Neutral included a price target cut to $6 from $13. The consensus target is $18.86. The shares closed down almost 4% on Wednesday at $6.41, in the wake of a larger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings miss.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST): Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating with a $550 target price. The consensus target is $547.66. Wednesday’s close was at $486.04.

CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CRWD): Goldman Sachs raised its $141 target price on the Buy-rated company to $159. The consensus target for the cybersecurity leader is up at $166.46. The shares closed on Wednesday at $128.2, up over 3% for the day after posting stellar quarterly results.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS): Goldman Sachs raised its $142 target price on the Buy-rated retailer to $163. The consensus target is $149.16. The last trade on Wednesday was for $149.73 a share.

ESAB Corp. (NYSE: ESAB): Stifel raised its $60 price target to $72 and reiterated a Buy rating. The consensus target is $65.00. The shares closed on Wednesday at $61.32.

Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB): Jefferies reiterated a Buy rating and has a $41 target price. The consensus target is $40.15. The shares were last seen on Wednesday trading at $33.69, down close to 2% for the day.


General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE): Oppenheimer raised its $82 target price to $98 while keeping an Outperform rating. The consensus target is $87.56. The shares closed on Wednesday at $86.98.

Lantheus Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LNTH): JMP Securities started coverage with a Market Outperform rating. The firm’s $120 target price compares with a consensus target of $106.71 and Wednesday’s close at $75.24, which was up just shy of 4% on the day after solid results.

PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL): Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating with a $90 target price. The consensus target is higher at $100.95. Tuesday’s close was at $75.84.

Piedmont Lithium Inc. (NASDAQ: PLL): Macquarie started coverage with an Outperform rating. Its $140 target price is well above the $107.14 consensus target. The stock closed on Wednesday at $59.53, which was up over 4% for the day on the coverage addition.
Planet Fitness Inc. (NYSE: PLNT): Stifel maintained a Buy rating and has a $93 price objective. The consensus target is $95.40. The stock closed at $80.72 on Wednesday.

Sabre Corp. (NASDAQ: SABR): Bernstein started coverage with an Underperform rating and a $4 price target. The consensus target is $6.92. The stock closed over 4% lower on Wednesday at $4.86 after the downgrade.

Six Flags Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: SIX): Citing post-pandemic pent-up demand, Zacks selected this as its Bull of the Day stock. Shares of the amusement park operator last closed at $28.47, which is up more than 22% year to date.

Solid Power Inc. (NASDAQ: SLDP): Needham resumed coverage with a Buy rating and a $5 price target. The consensus target is $6.40. The stock closed on Wednesday at $3.02.

Squarespace Inc. (NYSE: SQSP): Goldman Sachs raised its $22 target price to $27 but maintained a Neutral rating. The consensus target is $26.08. Wednesday’s final trade was for $27.25 a share.


TCR2 Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: TCRR): Truist Financial lowered its Buy rating to Hold and cut its $8 target price to $3. The consensus target is $9.65 for now. The $1.55 closing share price on Wednesday was down 3% on the day.

United Natural Foods Inc. (NYSE: UNFI): Roth MKM’s downgrade to Neutral from Buy included a bit price target cut, from $63 to $34. The consensus target is $47.55 for now. The stock closed on Wednesday at $29.47, down over 28% after the company slashed profit guidance.

Visteon Corp. (NYSE: VC): As Goldman Sachs reiterated a Buy rating, it moved its $180 price target up to $200. The consensus target is $170. The stock closed over 3% higher on Wednesday at $171.28.


Three Dividend Aristocrats have been longtime members of Warren Buffett’s portfolio. Because they generate dependable, growing dividends, you can bet that they will remain Berkshire Hathaway holdings for years to come.

Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Bluebird Bio, Boeing, Coinbase Global, Costco Wholesale, Envista, Merck, New Fortress Energy, NexTier Oilfield Solutions, Radius Global Infrastructures, Regions Financial and Wayfair.

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