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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AMD, Chevron, GM, Intel, Merck, Nokia, Under Armour and More

Stocks were indicated to open lower on Monday after hitting all-time highs last week. With the bull market now nearing nine years old, the one trend that has prevailed for more than five years now without fail is that investors keep finding new reasons to buy stocks after every market sell-off. Those same investors are also hunting 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. Our goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these daily analyst reports and research notes cover stocks to buy, and others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

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

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Monday, October 30, 2017.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) was down 1.4% at $11.84 on Friday and was indicated down 4% at $11.35 on Monday, and AMD was up at $14.25 last week before earnings. The stock was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight with an $8 price target at Morgan Stanley. The shares have a 52-week trading range of $6.22 to $15.65, and the prior consensus analyst target price was $14.28.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) closed down 4.1% at $113.54 on Friday after earnings. Chevron was reiterated as Buy with a $137 target price at Jefferies. The firm said that Friday’s 4% drop following its earnings release represents a buying opportunity in an oil giant poised for both significant production growth and a major inflection in its cash cycle. Chevron has a 52-week range of $102.55 to $120.89 and a consensus price target of $122.57.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) was down 1.3% at $44.64 on Friday and was indicated down 3.3% at $43.16 on Monday. Goldman Sachs downgraded GM shares to Sell from Neutral with a $32 price target. The 52-week range is $30.21 to $46.76, and the consensus price target is $46.35.

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $58 price target (versus a $44.40 prior close) at BMO Capital Markets. This is after Intel saw numerous target hikes after beating and earnings and as shares broke out to new 17-year highs. Intel now has a 52-week range of $33.23 to $45.00 and a consensus price target of $44.74.

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) was down 6% to $58.24 on Friday and shares were indicated down another 3.6% at $56.12 on Keytruda weakness and downgrades. Merck was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays, noting a lack of meaningful upside after Keytruda. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey downgraded Merck to Hold from Buy, and Morgan Stanley downgraded its rating on Merck to Equal Weight from Overweight. Merck had a prior 52-week range of $57.82 to $66.80 and it had a consensus price target of $69.35.

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) was up 3% at $4.91 on Friday, but that was after a 21% post-earnings drop to $4.76 on Thursday. Nokia was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus on Monday, with the firm noting worsening challenges ahead for Nokia. Nokia has a 52-week range of $4.04 to $6.65 and had a consensus price target of $6.15.

Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UAA) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral and the price objective was slashed down to $12 from $21 at Merrill Lynch. Under Armour was down 2% at $16.04 on Friday and was indicated down 4% more at $15.55 on Monday, versus a 52-week range of $15.75 to $33.45 and has a consensus price target of $18.40.

Follow @Jonogg on Twitter to receive the daily analyst calls and other market research calls directly on your feed.

Other key analyst calls were seen as follows:


Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNY) was started as Buy with a $150 price target (versus a $119.92 close) at FBR Capital Markets.

Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $166 from $163 at Oppenheimer. Celgene was down 1.8% at $98.17 on Friday, but that was after falling 16% from $119.56 the prior day. Celgene has a 52-week range of $94.55 to $147.17.

Century Aluminum Co. (NASDAQ: CENX) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Conagra Brands Inc. (NYSE: CAG) was raised to Buy from Hold at Stifel.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) was reiterated as Hold with an $84 price target at Jefferies.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSE: GT) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) was down 14.75% at $3.12 on Friday after lowering its full year guidance. J.C. Penney was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup; and J.C. Penney was downgraded to Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna. This stock now has a 52-week range of $2.76 to $10.74.

JD.com Inc. (NASDAQ: JD) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $48 price target (versus a $37.36 close) at UBS. JD.com has a 52-week range of $23.38 to $48.99.

Leggett & Platt (NYSE: LEG) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray.

Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup.

Office Depot Inc. (NYSE: ODP) was downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan. Office Depot closed down 0.25% at $3.72 on Friday, versus a 52-week range of $3.01 to $6.26.

Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) was maintained as Outperform with a $15 price target (versus a $7.20 close) at Wedbush Securities. The firm is expecting third quarter results at the high-end of guidance with progress On EBITDA and subscribers in focus.

Piper Jaffray (NYSE: PJC) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette & Woods.

Rhythm Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: RTYM) was started as Buy with a $30 price objective at Merrill Lynch. Rhythm Pharma was started as Outperform with a $40 price target at Cowen, and it was started as Equal Wight with a $23 price target at Morgan Stanley. Rhythm Pharma closed up 3.3% at $23.72 on Friday and it has a post-IPO range of $21.38 to $33.81.

Turtle Beach Corp. (NASDAQ: HEAR) was reiterated as Outperform with a $1.50 price target (versus a $0.71 close) at Wedbush. This micro-cap headset maker is said to have an improved execution and has moved beyond issues that hurt it in recent years, and a lower cost structure will help drive EBITDA growth in 2017 and beyond.

Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VNDA) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $26 from $21 (versus a $14.70 close) at Oppenheimer.

Friday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Aetna, Alphabet, Amazon, Celgene, First Solar, Intel, IBM, Microsoft, Tesla, Twitter and many more.

By Jon C. Ogg


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