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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Biogen, Cabot Oil & Gas, CenturyLink, NetApp, Square, T-Mobile, Wix.com and More

After a week of stocks seeming to look for a direction, while still bumping up against all-time highs, the major stock indexes were all indicated handily lower on Thursday morning. Some of the weakness seems tied to revisions of the tax reform plans being released late in the day, but that remains to be seen. There was also a sharp sell-off in Japan after an initial big breakout gain.

The trend that has prevailed in this nearly nine-year-old bull market is that investors keep managing to find new reasons to buy stocks after every sell-off. Investors are also looking for new investing and trading ideas to generate gains and income ahead.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. The goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these analyst reports and research notes cover stocks to buy. Others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional color and commentary has been added on most of these daily analyst calls. Consensus analyst price target data and valuation metrics are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Thursday, November 9, 2017.

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) was started as Outperform and assigned a $350 price target (versus a $313.57 prior close) at Oppenheimer. The firm sees its leadership in neuroscience driving long-term growth. Biogen has a 52-week trading range of $244.28 to $348.84 and a consensus analyst target price of $345.99.

Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (NYSE: COG) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $32 price target (versus a $27.82 close) at Drexel Hamilton. Its shares were indicated up another 1.4% at $28.23 on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $20.55 to $29.03 and with a consensus price target of $29.64.

CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) was last seen down 7.8% at $14.97 after earnings. Jefferies maintained it at Hold, but the price target was cut to $17 from $22. Other price target cuts have been seen as well: Deutsche Bank to $16 from $20, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey to $19 from $25, JPMorgan to $26 from $28. CenturyLink has a 52-week range of $16.04 to $27.61.

NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $52 price target (versus a $45.33 close) at Barclays. Shares were up 1.5% on Wednesday and up another 1.3% at $45.92 early Thursday. NetApp’s 52-week range is $32.77 to $45.50, and the consensus target price is $46.86.

Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) was last seen down 2.3% at $35.80 after earnings. Guggenheim raised the stock to Buy from Neutral with a $44 price target. Square was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $38 target at Citigroup. Wedbush maintained its Neutral rating and $37 target. The 52-week trading range is $11.43 to $37.75.

T-Mobile US Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $65 price target (versus a $56.22 close) at Deutsche Bank. This is not the first upgrade this week, after the Sprint deal has been called off, and this was a $58.91 stock last Friday. T-Mobile has a 52-week range of $51.00 to .88.

Wix.com Ltd. (NASDAQ: WIX) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform and the price target was cut to $65 from $86 (versus a $60.03 close) at Wedbush. The firm believes that Wix represents the best web-building solution for small and midsized businesses but sees higher R&D costs, uncertainty around the go-to-market strategy for Code, and uncertainty around growth and free cash flow generation. The 52-week trading range is $42.80 to $86.15.

Also note that 11 key Sell ratings were issued earlier in the week, where analysts want their clients to sell the shares.

Other key analyst calls from Thursday are featured below.

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Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: AMPH) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.

AnaptysBio Inc. (NASDAQ: ANAB) was started as Buy and with a $101 price target (versus a $65.59 close) at Jefferies. The firm believes that AnaptysBio looks attractive based on its two lead assets with multiple shots on goal in the inflammatory disease space.

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Cars.com Inc. (NYSE: CARS) was maintained as Buy but the price target was cut to $32 from $36 (versus a $22.00 close) at B. Riley.

Cornerstone OnDemand Inc. (NASDAQ: CSOD) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight with a $40 price target (versus a $37.60 close) at Piper Jaffray.

Egalet Corp. (NASDAQ: EGLT) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Gabelli.

HC2 Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HCHC) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $11.50 from $10.00 (versus a $5.32 close) at B. Riley.

Idera Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: IDRA) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $4 price target (versus a $1.77. close) at H.C. Wainwright. The stock was down 5.6% at $1.77 on Wednesday but was indicated up by the same amount at $1.87 on Thursday.

Match Group Inc. (NASDAQ: MTCH) was up 10% at $29.59 after earnings and after Tinder drove shares. It was downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer, noting the stock has become too rich. Jefferies reiterated it as a Buy and raised the price target to $35 from $30, as well as calling Match a top mid-cap pick.

Meet Group Inc. (NASDAQ: MEET) was last seen down 23% at $2.65 after earnings. The parent of MeetMe was downgraded to Market Perform from Market Outperform at JMP Securities.

Nektar Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: NKTR) was up 12.9% at $20.30 on Wednesday. Canaccord Genuity started it at Buy with a $35 price target (versus a $30.30 close).

Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: PCRX) was up 17% to $41.00 on Wednesday after earnings but the $1.6 billion company was given two opposite calls on Thursday. The firm H.C. Wainwright started Pacira as Buy with a $52 price target, but Janney maintained its Sell rating and $27 target.

PRA Group Inc. (NASDAQ: PRAA) was raised to Neutral from Sell at Janney.

Tactile Systems Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: TCMD) was down 8.4% at $24.45 on Wednesday after earnings. It was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $34 price target at BTIG on Thursday, and shares were indicated up 1% at $24.69 on Thursday.

Telephone & Data Systems Inc. (NYSE: TDS) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $34 price target (versus a $25.33 close) at Drexel Hamilton.

Vonage Holdings Corp. (NYSE: VG) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $10 from $9 (versus an $8.82 close) at Oppenheimer.

Wednesday’s top analyst calls included Equifax, Mallinckrodt, Nabors, Qualcomm, Salesforce.com, Snap and many more.

By Jon C. Ogg


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