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Thursday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Amgen, Arista Networks, Boeing, CSX, Netflix, Unilever, Ventas and More

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The futures traded higher after a solid day across Wall Street on Wednesday. All the major indexes finished the day higher. While the market has largely shaken off the geopolitical concerns, the same issues are providing headwinds, like higher rates and a surge in inflation. Wednesday’s producer price index print came in above expectations and with Thursday’s number also higher, inflation worries may be back front and center.

Treasury yields plunged, with the exception of some of the shorter maturities. The benchmark 10-year note closed the session at 4.56%, while the shorter two-year paper closed flat at 4.99%. Traders and investors continue to flock to safe haven sovereign debt over fears that the Middle East situation could explode into a bigger conflict.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate both closed solidly lower again on Wednesday. The big news in the sector was the Exxon Mobil purchase of Pioneer Natural Resources. This will merge the largest and most powerful energy leader with one of the giants of the shale revolution that put U.S. production back on the map over the past 15 years. Brent closed down 2.38% at $85.56, while WTI closed 3.12% lower at $83.29.

Gold tacked on another solid day, as safe-haven buying and reported short covering drove the bullion up again. The December contract closed trading at $1,887.20, up 0.63%. Bitcoin was hammered yet again, closing down 2.45% at $26,705.90. The cryptocurrency giant was trading over $30,000 in mid-July.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each weekday 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, October 12, 2023.

Upgrades

Ball Corp. (NYSE: BALL): Barclays upgraded the stock to Overweight from Equal Weight. The analyst also trimmed the $61 target price to $59. The consensus target is $60.42, and shares were last seen Wednesday trading at $45.99.

Cava Group Inc. (NYSE: CAVA): Though Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to Overweight from Equal Weight, it also cut its $45 target price to $41. The consensus target is $45.67. The closing share price on Wednesday was $32.55.

Coherent Corp. (NYSE: COHR): B. Riley Securities boosted its Neutral rating to Buy and its $31 target price to $37. The consensus target is $42.06. Shares closed over 5% higher on Wednesday at $34.79 after the upgrade.

CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX): J.P. Morgan’s Neutral rating is now Overweight, and its $37 target price rose to $40. The consensus target is $36.04. Wednesday’s close was at $31.61.

PPG Industries Inc. (NYSE: PPG): The Barclays upgrade was from Equal Weight to Overweight with a $160 target price. The consensus target is $160.36. Wednesday’s close was at $132.52.

Shoals Technologies Group Inc. (NASDAQ: SHLS): Goldman Sachs upgraded the shares to Buy from Neutral, and its $27 target price inched up to $28. The consensus target is $30.07. Wednesday’s $17.62 close was over 5% higher for the day due to the upgrade.

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO): Raymond James upgraded the stock to Outperform from a Market Perform. Its $170 target price is higher than the consensus target of $156.44 and Wednesday’s close at $144.75.

Downgrades

Arista Networks Inc. (NYSE: ANET): Piper Sandler downgraded the shares to Neutral from Overweight and has a $190 target price. The consensus target is $200. The stock closed on Wednesday at $191.82.

Cboe Global Markets Inc. (CBOE): Deutsche Bank’s downgrade was from Buy to Hold with a $168 target price. The consensus target is $165.08. Wednesday’s close was at $161.70.

HubSpot Inc. (NYSE: HUBS): As Raymond James cut its rating from Strong Buy to Outperform, the $600 target price dropped to $520. The consensus target is $603.24. The shares closed at $455.36 on Wednesday.

Silk Road Medical Inc. (NASDAQ: SILK): When Stifel downgraded the stock to Hold from Buy, the analyst slashed the $45 target price to $12. The consensus target is $32.11 for now. The shares closed Wednesday at $7.13, which was down 49% for the day. The company’s CEO is stepping down, and the reported preliminary results were disappointing.

Timken Co. (NYSE: TKR): BofA Securities downgraded the shares to Underperform from Neutral. It also lowered its $100 target price to $74, well below the $93.22 consensus target. The stock closed on Wednesday at $73.10.

And More

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN): BofA Securities resumed coverage with a Neutral rating and a $290 target price. The $265.26 consensus target is less than Wednesday’s $283.60 close.

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA): UBS initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $275 target price. The consensus target is $247.25. Wednesday’s close was at $196.07.

Globant S.A. (NYSE: GLOB): BofA Securities initiated coverage with a Neutral rating and a $202 target price. That compares with a $225.14 consensus target and Wednesday’s close at $196.02.

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX): TD Cowen reiterated an Outperform rating, but its $515 target price slipped to $500. The consensus target is $465.47. The shares closed on Wednesday at $365.93.

Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC): UBS initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $500 target price. The consensus target is $501.53, and Wednesday’s close at $473.37.

Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA): TD Cowen reiterated an Outperform rating and raised its target price to $700 from $600. The consensus target is $631.95. The stock closed at $468.06 on Wednesday.

Unilever PLC (NYSE: UL): BofA Securities resumed coverage with an Underperform rating and a $44 target price. That compares with a $58 consensus target and Wednesday’s closing price of $48.34.

Ventas Inc. (NYSE: VTR): Exane BNP Paribas initiated coverage with an Outperform rating. Its $47 target price is less than the consensus target of $50.41. The shares were last seen on Wednesday at $43.11, up close to 3% for the day.

Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Amazon.com, Arm, Corning, Dollar General, Electronic Arts, Estee Lauder, Juniper Networks, Next Era Energy Partners, Realty Income, Rivian Automotive, Sabra Healthcare REIT and Starwood Property Trust.

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