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Wednesday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Carnival, Fox, Marathon Petroleum, Occidental Petroleum, Paramount, Salesforce and More

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Futures traded higher on Wednesday after an up-and-down Tuesday that saw stocks trade higher early, but lose their footing in the afternoon after technology stocks got hit. Analysts cited economic data and interest rates continuing higher as the main cause for the selling that hit the major indexes, each of which closed lower.

While the financial crisis headlines are starting to die down, a very contentious Senate Banking committee meeting took place Tuesday in which three top regulators called for very stringent rules for banks with more than $100 billion in assets. This comes after revelations that the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England voiced concerns on Silicon Valley Bank as early as 2021.

Treasury yields, as mentioned, jumped higher across the curve, with the biggest moves on the shorter end. The two-year crossed the 4% level to close at a 4.08% yield, while the 10-year note closed at 3.56%. The inversion between the two had narrowed dramatically at the height of the financial contagion worries but is widening again. The inversion signals a recession may be on the way.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude followed up Monday’s 5% rally by both closing higher Tuesday. Analysts cited a degree of bullishness returning to the sector after the recent price crash that drove benchmark pricing to the lowest level since late 2021 and the ongoing halt of Kurdistan exports as the impetus for recent strength. Natural gas finished lower on the day at $2.03.

Gold finished the day higher, after a 1.5% drop on Monday, closing up close to 1% at $1,974. Bitcoin finished the day down modestly higher at $27,263. Note that the cryptocurrency giant is up a stunning 62% this year.

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, March 29, 2023.

Array Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: ARRY): Truist Financial upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold and has a $26 target price. The consensus target is $26.94. The last trade on Tuesday was for $19.62 a share.

Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CAR): With rising earnings estimate revisions, industry dominance and strong enterprise value, the Zacks Bull of the Day could soar, says the analyst. Shares closed at $177.58 on Tuesday, and the $256.25 consensus target signals more than 44% upside.


Blink Charging Co. (NASDAQ: BLNK): Barclays initiated coverage with an Equal Weight rating and an $11 price target. The consensus target is up at $21.57, but the stock closed on Tuesday at $7.41.
Bowlero Corp. (NYSE: BOWL): Stifel started coverage with a Buy rating and a $26 price target. The consensus target is $19.29. The stock closed on Tuesday at $16.38, which was up almost 8% for the day on the initiation.

Carnival Corp. & PLC (NYSE: CCL): Wells Fargo lifted its Underweight rating to Equal Weight with a $9 target. The consensus target is $10.93. The shares closed up over 6% on Tuesday at $9.33. Solid results were posted this week.

Carrier Global Corp. (NASDAQ: CARR): Oppenheimer initiated coverage with an Outperform rating and a $51 target price. The consensus target is $49.34, and Tuesday’s close was at $44.75.

Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN): As Raymond James upgraded the stock to Strong Buy from Outperform, it boosted its $58 target price to $70. The consensus target is $63.64 for now. Tuesday’s close at $50.81 was up over 4% on the day after the upgrade and the company’s entry in the edge router silo.

DocuSign Inc. (NASDAQ: DOCU): Jefferies reiterated a Buy rating with an $80 target price. The consensus target is just $68.12. Shares closed at $57.04 on Tuesday.

Easterly Government Properties Inc. (NYSE: DEA): Janney upgraded the shares from Neutral to Buy with a $17 target price. The consensus target is $14.83. Tuesday’s close at $13.19 was up over 4% for the day on the upgrade.

Elevance Health Inc. (NYSE: ELV): RBC Capital Markets upgraded the stock to Outperform from Sector Perform. It also raised its $523 price objective to $572, more in line with the $572.71 consensus target. The shares closed on Tuesday at $458.58.

Fox Corp. (NASDAQ: FOXA): The BofA Securities downgrade to Neutral from Buy included a target price cut to $34 from $42. The consensus target is $38.38. Shares closed on Tuesday at $32.76.

Genesco Inc. (NYSE: GCO): Seaport Research Partners upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral and has a $50 target price. The consensus target is $43.00. Tuesday’s $36.29 close was up close to 8% for the day on the upgrade and positive comments.


Inari Medical Inc. (NASDAQ: NARI): Truist Financial boosted its $65 target price to $68 while keeping a Hold rating. The consensus target is up at $89.14. Tuesday’s close was at $62.45.

Marathon Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: MPC): Though J.P. Morgan downgraded the stock to Neutral from Overweight, the analyst lifted the $137 target price to $149. The consensus target is $152.27. The last trade on Tuesday was reported at $131.57.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY): TD Cowen lifted its Market Perform rating to Outperform. It also lifted its target price to $70, still below the $71.56 consensus target. Tuesday’s closing print of $62.22 up close to 4% on the day. Warren Buffett added millions of shares this month when crude traded lower.

PagSeguro Digital Ltd. (NYSE: PAGS): Citigroup’s upgrade was from Neutral to Buy with a $12 target price. The consensus target is $14.44. The $8.33 close on Tuesday was up over 4% on the upgrade.
Paramount Global (NASDAQ: PARA): The BofA Securities upgrade to Buy from Neutral came with a target price increase to $32 from $24. The consensus target is $20.98. The shares closed on Tuesday at $21.41.

Penumbra Inc. (NYSE: PEN): Truist Financial reiterated a Buy rating and raised its target price to $320 from $284. That compares with the $291.40 consensus target and Tuesday’s close at $275.54.

Repligen Corp. (NASDAQ: RGEN): Benchmark began coverage with a Buy rating and a $230 price target. The consensus target is $205.64. The stock closed on Tuesday at $167.58.

Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE: QSR): Scotiabank resumed coverage with a Sector Outperform rating and a $72 price target. The consensus target is $70.354. Tuesday’s close was at $64.58.

Salesforce Inc. (NYSE: CRM): Jefferies reiterated a Buy rating with a $250 target price. The consensus target is $219.01, and Tuesday’s close was at $192.30.

Ulta Beauty Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA): Canaccord Genuity initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $622 target price. The consensus target is just $555. The stock closed at $531.79 on Tuesday.


Viking Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: VKTX): Maxim Group reiterated a Buy rating and has a $25 target price, up from a $15 target. The consensus target is $19.50. Wednesday’s $15.44 close was up 70% on the day after positive clinical results were posted.

Vulcan Materials Co. (NYSE: VMC): Citing a weakening industry, Zacks selected this building materials supplier as its Bear of the Day stock. Shares have traded as high as $197.76 in the past year but closed most recently at $168.04. That is down about 7% in the past 30 days.

Williams Companies Inc. (NYSE: WMB): Truist Financial downgraded the shares to Hold from Buy and has a $31 target price. The consensus target is $37.26. Tuesday’s last trade came in at $28.88.


Four top exploration and production leaders and a high-yielding energy master limited partnership could offer serious upside with a move higher in benchmark pricing, making them tempting buys now for stock investors looking to add or increase energy exposure.

Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Alphabet, Caterpillar, Corning, Digital Realty Trust, Dish Network, KeyCorp, Nvidia, Pinterest, Roku, Tesla and Wynn Resorts.

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