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Investor Alert

Oct. 10, 2019, 8:45 a.m. EDT

Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: American Airlines, Apple, Bed Bath & Beyond, Box, Cisco, HP, Kroger, Netflix, PG&E, UnitedHealth and More

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By 24/7 Wall St.

Stocks were indicated to open lower on Thursday after reports that China-U.S. trade talks were not on as positive ground as had been reported a day earlier. Earnings season will kick off next week as well. The bull market is now well over 10 years old, and volatility has been elevated despite strong double-digit percentage gains in 2019. Now investors should be considering what changes they to make for their portfolios and assets heading into late 2019 and as 2020 approaches.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week to find new ideas for traders and long-term investors alike. Some of the daily analyst calls cover stocks to buy, while some calls cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

We have provided these calls in a quick-hit summary for easy reading, and additional comments and trading data have been added on some of the calls. The consensus analyst price targets and other valuation metrics are from the Refinitiv sell-side research service.

These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations for Thursday, October 10, 2019.

American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) was maintained as Underweight and the price target was cut to $24 from $25 (versus a $27.07 prior close) at Morgan Stanley. The shares previously closed up 3% at $27.02, and they were indicated down 1.3% at $26.70 on Wednesday. The 52-week range is $24.23 to $40.58, and the consensus target price is $36.88.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $260 price target at Longbow. Apple was up 1.1% at $227.03 on Wednesday, and it was up just 0.3% at $227.67 on Thursday. The 52-week range is $142.00 to $229.93, and the consensus target price is $228.49.

Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY) was indicated up 22% at $12.20 on Thursday after hiring Target's head of brands to lead the company's turnaround. Wedbush Securities reiterated its Outperform rating and $16 target price, noting that the CEO placement will improve its turnaround prospects.

Box Inc. (NYSE: BOX) was started as Hold with an $18 price target (versus a $16.63 close) at Berenberg.

Cabot Corp. (NYSE: CBT) was started with a Neutral rating and assigned a $45 price target (versus a $42.71 close) at UBS.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the target price was cut to $48 from $56 at Goldman Sachs. Cisco closed up almost 1% at $46.84 on Wednesday and was indicated down almost 1.9% at $45.96 on Thursday. The 52-week range is $40.25 to $58.26. The consensus target price is $55.58.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) was raised to Buy from Neutral at UBS, but the price target was lowered to $12 from $13 in the call. The shares closed up 0.5% at $8.55 on Wednesday and were indicated up 2.7% at $8.78 ahead of Thursday's opening bell.

HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral and the price target was slashed to $14 from $18 (versus a $16.40 close) at Goldman Sachs. HP was indicated down almost 3% at $15.93 on Thursday. The 52-week range is $16.28 to $25.72. The consensus target price is $19.52.

KB Home (NYSE: KBH) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that it’s another golden period for the homebuilders. Shares most recently closed at $33.96, with a consensus price target of $36.06.

24/7 Wall St. 10 Easy Steps to Boost Your Income and Cash in Retirement wallst_recirc_link_tracking_init( "5422393475d9f30365121b", "graphic" ); Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the price target was cut to $26 from $29 at Jefferies. Kroger closed at $24.53 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $20.70 to $31.98, and was down 1.5% at $24.15 on Thursday. The consensus target price is $27.14.

LogMeIn Inc. (NASDAQ: LOGM) was started with a Buy rating and a $91 price target (versus a $67.09 close) at Berenberg.

MFA Financial Inc. (NYSE: MFA) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned an $8.25 price target (versus a $7.45 close) at Wedbush.

NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ: NTAP) was downgraded to Sell from Buy and the price target was slashed to $45 from $61 (versus $51.37 prior close) at Goldman Sachs. Shares were indicated down 4.1% at $49.25 on Thursday.

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) was maintained as Buy but the target price was lowered to $360 from $420 at Goldman Sachs. Netflix closed down 1.2% at $267.53 on Wednesday and was indicated down 1% at $264.85 on Thursday. While analysts keep lowering their targets, the consensus target price was last seen at $373.63.

PG&E Corp. (NYSE: PCG) was maintained with an Equal Weight rating and the price target was lowered to $16 from $23 at Morgan Stanley. PG&E was up 0.7% at $10.98 on Wednesday but was indicated down 31% at $7.57 after a judge ruled that the Elliott plan with bondholders could be considered.

Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (NYSE: PXD) was raised to Buy with a $191 target price (versus a $126.51 close) at MKM Partners.

Pure Storage Inc. (NYSE: PSTG) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the target price was raised to $21 from $19 at Goldman Sachs. It closed up 3% at $16.36 on Wednesday and was indicated up 5.4% at $17.25 on Thursday.

Realty Income Corp. (NYSE: O) was started as Buy with a $99 price target (versus a $78.29 close) at Jefferies.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the target price was lowered to $235 from $300 at Jefferies. UnitedHealth closed up 0.9% at $222.08 on Wednesday and was indicated down 0.9% at $220.00 on Thursday.

Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that the E&Ps are hitting new lows and this may finally be the bottom. Shares last closed at $6.93, with a consensus price target of $17.68.

The airline stocks have underperformed this year, but hopes for a huge holiday selling and travel season combined with solid industry metrics have the Stifel analysts bullish on four top stocks.

Goldman Sachs still sees solid upside for the REITs and their strong dividends in 2020.

Wednesday's top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Caterpillar, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Constellation Brands, Domino's Pizza, Fannie Mae, FedEx, Harley-Davidson, IBM, Netflix, Peloton Interactive, Wingstop and many more.

This blog is reprinted by permission from 24/7 Wall St, © 2007 24/7 Wall St., LLC All rights reserved.

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