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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Adobe, Biogen, Google, PDC Energy, Rackspace, XL Group and Many More

Stocks were indicated lower after China weakened the value of its yuan to make exports more attractive. While this makes it harder for U.S. companies to export to China, it can be argued to have a mixed effect. Also, investors have a habit nearing four years old now of buying every single market dip, even if the reason each time is different. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst reports each morning to find new trading and investing ideas for its readers. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while some cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

These are this Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.

Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform, with its price target raised to $105 from $88 (versus an $83.62 close), at RBC Capital Markets.

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) was started as Buy at HC Wainwright, and it was given a $380 price target (versus a $314.94 close). Biogen has a consensus target price of about $390 and its 52-week trading range is $290.85 to $480.18.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) created an even more complicated structure, at least until the details are finalized. Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating and $750 price target. Stifel Nicolaus raised its rating to Buy from Hold with an $850 price target. Mizuho raised Google to Outperform from Neutral with a $715 price target. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated its Buy rating with a $720 price target.

PDC Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: PDCE) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price objective was raised to $75 from $66 (versus a $52.17 close) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The firm sees it as well positioned versus peers, with production growth estimates that could prove conservative and with a better balance sheet even under a $40 oil and $3 gas scenario.

Rackspace Hosting Inc. (NYSE: RAX) was downgraded to Underperform at CLSA, but it was raised to Strong Buy from Outperform with a $48 price target (versus a $31.73 close) at Raymond James.

XL Group PLC (NYSE: XL) was raised to the prized Conviction Buy List from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. Shares closed at $39.33. The consensus price target is $42.33 and the 52-week range is $30.83 to $39.56.

ALSO READ: 6 Analyst Stock Picks Called to Rise 50% to 100%

Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades this Tuesday were as follows:


Baxalta Inc. (NYSE: BXLT) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight with a $38 price target (versus a $39.79 close) at Barclays.

Cara Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CARA) was reiterated as Buy with a fair value estimate of $30.00 (versus a $21.39 close) at Janney Capital Markets. The firm sees continued catalysts through year-end.

Invesco Mortgage Capital Inc. (NYSE: IVR) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a price objective of $14 (versus a $13.83 close) at Merrill Lynch.

Kennametal Inc. (NYSE: KMT) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral with a $27 price objective (versus a $32.22 close) at Merrill Lynch.

MetLife Inc. (NYSE: MET) was reiterated as Buy with a $62 price target at Argus. The firm sees great valuation and a strong capital position mixed with growth opportunity.

NIC Inc. (NASDAQ: EGOV) was downgraded to In-Line from Outperform with a $20 price target (versus a $20.19 close) at Imperial Capital.

Ooma Inc. (NYSE: OOMA) saw its quiet period end and the stock closed up 2% at $10.81 on Monday. It was started as Outperform with a target price of $21 at Credit Suisse. Wunderlich Securities started Ooma as Buy with a $17 target. JMP Securities started it as Market Outperform with a $16 target, William Blair started it as Outperform, and it was started as Buy at Merrill Lynch.

ALSO READ: What Warren Buffett Really Bought With More IBM Shares

Orbital ATK Inc. (NYSE: OA) was raised to Buy from Hold and was given a price target of $95.00 (versus a $78.87 close) at Argus.

Quotient Ltd. (NASDAQ: QTNT) was started as Buy with a $30 price target (versus a $16.31 close) at Jefferies.

Stonegate Mortgage Corp. (NYSE: SGM) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $7.50 price target (versus a $7.38 close) at Merrill Lynch.

Solar3D Inc. (NASDAQ: SLTD) was started as Outperform with a $5.00 price target (versus a $3.47 close) at Cowen.

Valspar Corp. (NYSE: VAL) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight with an $88 price target (versus an $83.36 close) at JPMorgan.

Vermillion Inc. (NASDAQ: VRML) was started as Buy with a $4.00 price target, implying more than a double from the $1.89 close, at Canaccord Genuity. This is a small cap stock with a 52-week range of $1.20 to $2.59.

Wendy’s Co. (NYSE: WEN) was raised to Neutral from Underperform with a $10 price target at Credit Suisse, with the upgrade being on valuation.

World Acceptance Corp. (NASDAQ: WRLD) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Janney Capital Markets on the heels of it receiving a Notice and Opportunity to Respond and Advise (NORA) letter from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding a potential lawsuit or legal action.

In case you missed out on Monday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades, they included Citizens Financial, EOG Resources, Intuit, Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Marathon Oil, Transocean and over a dozen more.

By Jon C. Ogg


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