Thursday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Arm, CrowdStrike, Dow, Hudson Pacific Properties, Lithium Americas, LyondellBasell, Match, Pinterest, Uber and More

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The futures traded mixed on Thursday. This after another risk-off day that saw all the major indexes finish the day lower. The major focus for the market now is the geopolitical issues in the Middle East. Protests all over the region are starting to dominate the spotlight and the news cycle. Strategists noted that there is a historical tendency for risk assets to not show any predictable trends during global instability. For now, the short term looks like we could head lower.

With Treasury yields soaring higher on Tuesday after the massive retail numbers were released, many are starting to speculate that the Federal Reserve will hold rates steady at its next meeting in less than two weeks. Some buyers emerged Wednesday for the shorter maturities. The carnage drove the 10-year to the highest level since 2007, closing at 4.91%. The two-year attracted some buyers and closed at 5.23%. The 30-year bond will likely gather attention now after closing at 5% for the first time since March of 2006. The rising rates have mortgages for a 30-year fixed rate at 8%, the highest since 2000.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude continued their climb Wednesday. This followed the day off on Tuesday as calls for an oil embargo on Israel by Iran were ignored by OPEC+. Brent closed the on Wednesday up 1.58% at $91.32. WTI closed the session at $88.14, a gain of 1.48%. Furthermore, natural gas closed lower on Wednesday at $3.08 after some profit-taking.

Gold also rallied Wednesday after a slow start to the week. Profit takers took advantage of a strong move higher recently by the bullion due to safe-haven buying. The December contract closed the day 1.35% higher at $1,961.70. In addition, Bitcoin, which exploded higher Monday on hopes for an exchange-traded fund approval, closed down 0.55% at $28,252.30.

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 19, 2023.

The Upgrades

Brinker International Inc. (NYSE: EAT): Raymond James raised its Outperform rating to Strong Buy. Yet, its $45 target price dropped to $40. The consensus target is $37.81. The closing share price on Wednesday was $33.20.

Broadstone Net Lease Inc. (NYSE: BNL): Wolfe Research’s upgrade was from Peer Perform to Outperform with a $17 target price. The consensus target is $19.20. Wednesday’s close was at $14.89.

Dow Inc. (NYSE: DOW): BofA Securities boosted its Underperform to Neutral and its $55 target price to $59. The consensus target is $55.26. The stock closed on Wednesday at $50.15.

Editas Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ: EDIT): J.P. Morgan upgraded the shares from Underweight to Neutral with an $8 target price. The consensus target is $13.60. The stock closed on Wednesday at $6.72.

Elastic N.V. (NYSE: ESTC): As Jefferies raised its Hold rating to Buy, the target price rose to $100 from $75. The $82 consensus target is in line with Wednesday’s final print of $82.01.

FB Financial Corp. (NYSE: FBK): Hovde upgraded the stock to Outperform from Market Perform. Its $35.50 target price is higher than the consensus target of $34.50. Wednesday’s close was at $29.48.

First Watch Restaurant Group Inc. (NASDAQ: FWRG): Though Raymond James upgraded the stock to Strong Buy from Outperform, its target price decreased to $22 from $24. The consensus target is $23.22. Wednesday’s close was at $17.20.

Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. (NYSE: HPP): Mizuho upgraded the stock to Neutral from Underperform. Yet, the analyst lowered the $10 target price to $7, near the $7.04 consensus figure. The shares closed on Wednesday at $5.57.

Huntsman Corp. (NYSE: HUN): The BofA Securities upgrade was from Underperform to Buy with a $27 target price. The consensus target is $28.13. The stock closed at $23.15 on Wednesday.

LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (NYSE: LYB): When BofA Securities lifted its Underperform rating to Neutral, the target price grew to $107 from $99. That compares with an $82 consensus target and Wednesday’s closing share price of $82.50.

Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER): Zacks selected this as its Bull of the Day stock, citing record free cash flow and better-than-expected results. Shares last closed at $43.00, and its $57.20 consensus price target would be a 52-week high.

The Downgrades

Albemarle Corp. (NYSE: ALB): BofA Securities downgraded the shares to Underperform from Neutral. It also slashed its $212 target price to $161. The consensus target is up at $254.68 for now. The stock closed almost 10% lower at $152.89 after the downgrade.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS): Zacks named this stock as its Bear of the Day, citing “crunched profitability stemming from elevated inventory shrink.” In the past year, the shares have traded as high as $152.61, but they closed most recently at $110.07.

Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE: LAC): Deutsche Bank’s downgrade to Hold from Buy included a target price cut from $25 all the way to $7. The consensus target is $13.80 for now. Wednesday’s $8.22 close was down by almost 10% for the day, due to the downgrade and oversupply issues as EV sales have slowed.

Sherwin-Williams Co. (NYSE: SHW): BofA Securities cut its Neutral rating to Underperform and its $300 price target to $275. The consensus target is $298.32. Tuesday’s close at $268.04 was almost 4% lower for the day, after the downgrade.

Sibanye-Stillwater Ltd. (NYSE: SBSW): RBC Capital Markets both downgraded the stock to Sector Perform from Outperform and reduced its $9 target price to $6.50. The consensus target is $8.13. On Wednesday, the closing share price was $5.55.


Arm Holdings PLC (NASDAQ: ARM): KeyBanc Capital Markets has set an Overweight rating and a $65 target price. The consensus target is not yet available as the company had a recent high-profile IPO. The stock closed on Wednesday at $52.

CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CRWD): DZ Bank started coverage with a Buy rating and a $215 target price. The consensus target is $196.29. Wednesday’s close was at $188.24.

Fortinet Inc. (NASDAQ: FTNT): DZ Bank started coverage with a Hold rating. Its $58 price target is less than the consensus target of $73.74 but in line with Wednesday’s close at $57.97.

Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: PANW): DZ Bank began coverage with a Buy rating and a $310 target. The consensus target is $278.51. The closing price on Wednesday was $263.24 per share.

Pinterest Inc. (NYSE: PINS): The Hold rating at Jefferies comes with a $30 price target. The consensus target is $32.93. The stock ended Wednesday trading at $26.86 a share.

Vestis Corp. (NYSE: VSTS): Stifel started coverage with a Buy rating and a $20 price target. The $20.50 consensus target is also higher than Wednesday’s final print of $15.27.

And More

Bumble Inc. (NASDAQ: BMBL): Goldman Sachs lowered its $26 target price on the Buy-rated shares to $23. This compares to the $23.07 consensus target and Wednesday’s close at $13.65.

Match Group Inc. (NASDAQ: MTCH): Goldman Sachs dropped its $60 target price to $53 while staying with a Buy rating. The consensus target is $55.90. Both are way above Wednesday’s closing trade of $35.59.

Gold is considered a safe-haven asset, so six dividend-paying gold stocks are likely to benefit if the Hamas-Israel war escalates. They look like great ideas for worried investors now.

Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included APA, Applied Materials, Array Technologies, Dollar Tree, Etsy, Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, Mondelez International, Patterson-UTI Energy, Sabra Healthcare REIT and SunPower.

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