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Friday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Adobe, Citigroup, FedEx, Foot Locker, Intel, Nike, Qualcomm, Under Armour and More

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The futures were mixed on Friday, and investors and traders will be more than happy to put this wacky week behind them. All the major indexes once again were pounded lower early on Thursday but reversed late morning to close higher. The culprit initially was the European Central Bank, which surprised Wall Street and the rest of the world by raising interest rates by 50 basis points. Many expected 25 basis points or perhaps even a pause, with the ongoing issues at Credit Suisse, which was tossed a $53 billion lifeline loan from the Swiss Central Bank. Many now feel that the ECB increase could pave the way for the Federal Reserve to continue hiking at the end of March.

Treasury yields were all over the place, as some investors continued to seek security in the safe haven trade of government debt while others sold bonds and took some solid gains on Thursday. The benchmark 10-year note rose nine basis points to close the day at 3.59%, which is still the lowest since early September. The short two-year note closed the day at 4.23%. While the inversion between the two securities has narrowed dramatically over the past few weeks, the anomaly still signals a recession is on the way.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate rallied off lows posted early Thursday, and both of the benchmarks ended only modestly lower, after being down 2% and trading at the lowest levels since September of 2021. This came despite oil production falling in January and Goldman Sachs lifting the firm’s outlook for China’s economic growth this year. Natural gas also closed flat on the day.

Investors continued to charge into gold, as they have for the entire week as the potential for systemic banking issues continues to loom. The bullion closed Thursday up $11.90 to finish the trading day at $1,931. Bitcoin continued a wild roller-coaster week, up 2.3% to close at $24,935. Strategists continue to point to the ongoing banking crisis as the tailwind from the cryptocurrency giant.

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 St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17, 2023.

Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE): Stifel reiterated a Buy rating with a $400 target price. The consensus target is $387.29. The shares closed on Thursday at $353.29, which was up close to 6% on the day after solid numbers for the quarter beat analysts’ estimates.


BioMarin Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN): Truist Financial reiterated a Buy rating with a $140 target. The consensus target is $122.76. The stock closed up over 6% on Thursday, thanks to positive clinical data.
Choice Hotels International Inc. (NYSE: CHH): Baird upgraded the stock to Outperform from Neutral and bumped the $133 target price to $134. The consensus target is $1244.44. Thursday’s close at $116.28 was up close to 4% for the day.

Circor International Inc. (NYSE: CIR): Stifel raised its target price on the Buy-rated shares to $40 from $30. The consensus target is $34. Thursday’s close at $30.91 was a one-day gain of 15% after solid results.

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C): Jefferies reiterated a Hold rating with a $45 target price. The consensus target is $58.32. The stock closed on Thursday at $45.62.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX): Stifel upgraded the delivery giant to Buy from Hold, and its price target jumped to $222 from $171. The consensus target is $209.81. Thursday’s $204.05 close was up almost 5% on the day after strong quarterly results.

Five Below Inc. (NASDAQ: FIVE): Goldman Sachs raised its $187 price target all the way to $209. The consensus target is $215.05. The stock closed on Thursday at $195.33.

Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL): Telsey Advisory upgraded the retailer to Outperform from Market Perform. Its $39 target price rose to $50, above the $42.63 consensus target. The stock ended Thursday’s session at $42.70, up over 4% on the day. The company will report earnings next week.


Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE): Oppenheimer reiterated a Buy rating, and its $20 target price is higher than the $17.40 consensus figure. The stock closed almost 4% higher on Thursday at $14.31.

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC): When Susquehanna upgraded the legacy chip giant to Neutral from Negative, its target price increased to $26 from $23. The consensus target is $27.37. The shares closed over 6% higher on Thursday at $30.18, as all of the top chip stocks rallied.

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (NYSE: JLL): Wolfe Research upgraded the stock to Outperform from Peer Perform. Its $218 target price is well above the consensus target of $201.33. The stock closed on Thursday at $148.88.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU): Redburn initiated coverage with a Sell rating and a $257 target price. The consensus target is up at $377.27, and the stock closed on Thursday at $297.40.
Medical Properties Trust Inc. (NYSE: MPW): The BofA Securities downgrade was from Buy to Neutral with a $10 target price. The consensus target is $13.92. The stock closed on Thursday at $8.01.

Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE: MSI): J.P. Morgan’s upgrade to Overweight from Neutral included a target price bump to $305 from $300. The consensus target is $291.89. The shares ended Thursday trading at $268.58.

NerdWallet Inc. (NASDAQ: NRDS): Oppenheimer maintained an Outperform rating with a $21 target price. The consensus target is $20.71. The shares were last seen on Thursday trading at $16.81.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) Redburn initiated coverage with a Sell rating and a $100 target price. The consensus target is $129.88. The shares closed on Thursday at $120.65.

Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM): Susquehanna upgraded the stock to Positive from Neutral. The analyst raised the $110 target price to $135, while the consensus target is up at $152.23. The stock closed Thursday at $120.51, which was a gain of over 4% on the day.


Skyworks Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: SWKS): Susquehanna upgraded the stock to Positive from Neutral, and its $110 target price increased to $135. The consensus target is $125.22. Shares closed on Thursday at $115.73, up just shy of 4% on the day.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (NYSE: TAK): BofA Securities upgraded the shares from Neutral to Buy with a $20 target price. The consensus target is $20.92. The stock closed on Thursday at $16.44.

Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UAA): Redburn initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $13.50 target. The consensus target is $12.63. The shares closed on Thursday at $8.58.


Given that the Nasdaq has only twice had two down years in a row, the five highest-yielding stocks in the index offer a contrarian angle for 2023 for growth and income investors looking for a way forward on what could be a rocky road.

Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Azul, Charles Schwab, Comerica, Darden Restaurants, Harley-Davidson, KeyCorp, Meta Platforms, Microsoft, Netflix and Truist Financial.

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