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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Activision, Aetna, Apple, Blue Apron, Pandora, Starbucks, Twitter, YogaWorks and More

Stocks were indicated higher on Friday ahead of the key unemployment and payrolls report, but the gains were not so strong that the day’s outcome looked locked in. Still, investors know that the bull market is nearing nine years and that the major indexes are at or close to all-time highs. The one trend that prevails is that investors keep finding new reasons to buy stocks after every sell-off. Those same 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 to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some analyst reports and research notes cover stocks to buy, and others cover stocks to sell or 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 Friday, November 3, 2017.

Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) was up 0.2% at $65.45 ahead of earnings but was indicated up 2.5% at $67.07 afterward. Jefferies reiterated Activision Blizzard as a Buy and raised its target to $82 from $80. Wedbush Securities reiterated its Outperform rating with a $75 price target.

Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) traded as high as about $185 on past merger rumors in the past two weeks, but the shares were most recently back at $172.32. Raymond James raised the stock to Outperform from Market Perform with a $200 price target. Aetna has a 52-week trading range of $105.39 to $184.98 and a consensus analyst target price target of $174.27.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was up 0.7% at $168.11 ahead of earnings and was indicated up 4.2% at $175.10 afterward, in a prior 52-week range of $104.08 to $169.94. The prior consensus target price was $175.19. Apple’s target was raised to $195 from $175 at Sanford Bernstein and to $185 from $180 at Raymond James. Canaccord Genuity raised its target to $195 from $180, while Citigroup raised its target to $200 from $170. RBC raised its target to $190 from $180, and Morgan Stanley raised its target from $199 to $200.

Blue Apron Holdings Inc. (NYSE: APRN) was down 18.6% at $3.80 a share on Thursday after earnings showed lower repeat customers. Barclays downgraded it to Underweight from Equal Weight. The consensus target price was $6.71, with a new post-IPO trading range of $3.75 to $11.00.

Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) was last seen down 18.5% at $6.04 on Friday in the post-earnings reaction due to soft revenues, under its prior 52-week range of $6.76 to $14.10. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey downgraded Pandora to Hold from Buy with an $8 price target. But Wedbush Securities maintained an Outperform rating with a $12 price target.

Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) was down 0.5% at $54.87 ahead of earnings and was indicated to open down another 1.3% at $54.15 Friday morning. Credit Suisse lowered its target price to $54 from $56, Instinet lowered its target to $63 from $67 and BMO Capital Markets cut its target to $52 from $56. Jefferies maintained its Buy rating and $65 target. Starbucks has a 52-week range of $50.84 to $64.87, and the pre-earnings consensus analyst price target was $63.98.

Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $25 price target (versus a $19.71 prior close) at Argus. The independent research firm sees Twitter as increasing user engagement and generating strong EBITDA growth, with a return to annual growth in 2018. Shares closed down 4.4% at $19.71 on Thursday but were indicated up 1.5% at $19.99 on Friday. Twitter has a 52-week range of $14.12 to $21.96 a share.

Wayfair Inc. (NYSE: W) was down 15.5% at $62.84 on Thursday after earnings. Wedbush maintained Wayfair as Outperform but cut the price target to $72 from $82. Other target cuts: Citigroup to $66 from $80, Credit Suisse to $69 from $78, and Cowen to $72 from $82. The 52-week trading range was $27.60 to $84.19.

YogaWorks Inc. (NASDAQ: YOGA) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $5 price target (versus a $2.77 close) at Imperial Capital. YogaWorks shares were up 4.5% at $2.77 on Thursday, and its post-IPO range is $2.41 to $28.22.

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:

A Hedge Fund manager focusing on restaurants ordered a single muffin every day so he could see the invoice number, using this info to estimate sales volume.

BenefitFocus Inc. (NASDAQ: BNFT) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair.

Bluebird Bio Inc. (NASDAQ: BLUE) was raised to Equal Weight from Underweight with a $151 price target (versus $154.05 close) at Morgan Stanley.

Why Doctors In The Know No Longer Prescribe Blood Pressure Meds

Bruker Corp. (NASDAQ: BRKR) was down 1.8% at $31.30 before beating earnings. Bruker was raised to Neutral from Underperform with a $34 price objective at Merrill Lynch. JPMorgan raised Bruker to Neutral from Underweight with a $28 price target.

CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) was down 3.1% at $54.46 ahead of earnings, and it was down 1.1% more at $53.85 after earnings. CBS was maintained as Buy but the price target was cut to $66 from $73 (versus a $54.46 close) at Jefferies. The company claims it can operate with and without cord-cutting. CBS was maintained as Outperform but the target was cut to $70 from $75 at Credit Suisse.

Citrix Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CTXS) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $109 price target (versus $82.36 close) at Goldman Sachs. This big upside call was creating a 2% gain on Friday to $83.99, versus a prior consensus analyst target of $85.50 and versus a 52-week range of $65.56 to $87.99.

Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: DRNA) was up 28% to $7.23 on Thursday, and while it posted another loss it also announced a collaboration agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim to develop novel chronic liver disease treatments. H.W. Wainwright reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $10 from $6 in the call.

Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) was started as Underweight with a $72 price target (versus an $82.51 close) at Wells Fargo.

Green Plains Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRE) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a $25 price target at Piper Jaffray. This was after a 7.6% post-earnings (and a miss) drop to a closing price of $16.77 on Thursday. It has a 52-week trading range of $16.25 to $29.85.

Insulet Corp. (NASDAQ: PODD) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $65 price target (versus $58.15 close) at Canaccord Genuity. Wedbush reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $72 from $65 in its call.

Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K) was started as Underweight with a $67 price target (versus $62.38 close) at Barclays.

Mattel Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) may be battered, but the firm D.A. Davidson raised its rating to Neutral from Underperform based upon cost cuts after recent weakness.

NICE Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: NICE) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight with a $90 price target (versus $83.86 close) at JPMorgan. Jefferies maintained its Hold rating and raised its target to $87 from $84.

Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE: OAS) was raised to Outperform from In-Line with a $14 price target (versus $9.89 close) at Evercore ISI.

TreeHouse Foods (NYSE: THS) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $44 price target (versus a $43.03 close) at Stifel.

Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ: WING) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $40 price target (versus a $32.19 close) at Stifel.

Thursday’s top analyst calls included Devon Energy, Facebook, HollyFrontier, Kimberly-Clark, Square, U.S. Steel, Yelp and many more.

By Jon C. Ogg


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