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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Abercrombie, Akamai, Citigroup, Pollo Loco, Netflix, Salesforce and Many More

Stocks were indicated lower on Friday, as many investors and traders decided to lock in bottom-fishing profits ahead of the unofficial last weekend of summer. This week proved one thing: even after almost four years, investors will still buy pullbacks. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning of the week to find new trading and investing ideas for its readers. Some analyst calls cover stocks to buy, while other calls cover stocks to sell or avoid. These are this Friday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) was raised to Sector Perform from Underperform with a $20 price target (versus an $18.86 close) at RBC Capital Markets. Abercrombie was raised one day earlier to Buy from Neutral at Stifel Nicolaus, and the price target was set at $24 in that call. The stock has a consensus price target of $20.52 and a 52-week trading range of $15.42 to $42.97.

Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a price target of $85.00 (versus a $70.50 close) at JMP Securities. Akamai has a consensus price target of $75.00 and a 52-week range of $51.74 to $78.44.

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $60 price target (versus a $53.44 close) at Guggenheim. As pointed out earlier this week, that would still be under book value.

El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LOCO) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $17 price target (versus a $12.62 close) at Stifel Nicolaus. The Crazy Chicken has a consensus price target that is even higher at $20.67, as well as a 52-week range of $10.25 to $40.89.

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at BNP Paribas. Its consensus analyst price target is $118.39 and the 52-week range is $45.08 to $129.29.

Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) was raised to Outperform from Neutral with an $82 price target (versus a $69.94 close) at BNP Paribas. The consensus price target here is $80.80, and the 52-week range is $51.04 to $78.46.

ALSO READ: 5 Stocks Warren Buffett Likely Bought More of During the Sell-Off

Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades this Friday include the following:

Aegon N.V. (NYSE: AEG) was raised to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

American Capital Mortgage Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: MTGE) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS.

Banco Santander S.A. (NYSE: SAN) was raised to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

BorgWarner Inc. (NYSE: BWA) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at R.W. Baird.

Cameron International Corp. (NYSE: CAM) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Societe Generale after the acquisition by Schlumberger was announced.

First Cash Financial Services Inc. (NASDAQ: FCFS) was maintained as Neutral at Janney Capital Markets, noting that the currency woes are again threatening its guidance.

Golar LNG Ltd. (NASDAQ: GLNG) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $45 price target (versus a $36.40 close) at Stifel Nicolaus.

Intercontinental Hotels Group PLC (NYSE: IHG) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

The Medicines Co. (NASDAQ: MDCO) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $43.00 price target (versus a $31.75 close) at Jefferies.

Onconova Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ONTX) was maintained as Neutral at Janney Capital Markets, but the fair value estimate of $3.00 compares to a current share price of $1.52.

Ryder System Inc. (NYSE: R) was raised to Strong Buy from Outperform with a price target of $105 (versus an $81.32 close) at Raymond James.

United Natural Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: UNFI) was started as Sell with a price target of $36.00 (versus a $49.60 close) at Pivotal Research.

Willis Group Holdings PLC (NYSE: WSH) was reiterated as Buy at Janney Capital Markets.

In case you missed out on Thursday’s top upgrades and downgrades, they included Abercrombie & Fitch, Amazon.com, Monsanto, Schlumberger, SolarCity, Western Digital, Yelp and over a dozen more.

By Jon C. Ogg


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