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Oct. 8, 2019, 8:50 a.m. EDT

Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Apollo, BlackRock, Cloudflare, Green Plains, Microsoft, Oracle, Target, TJX and More

By 24/7 Wall St.

Stocks were indicated to open lower on Tuesday with more concerns over Brexit and concerns that trade talks with China will not yield very much. The bull market is well over 10 years old, and volatility has been elevated despite strong double-digit percentage gains in 2019. Now is a time that investors need to be considering what changes they should be making 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 others 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 Tuesday, October 8, 2019.

The Andersons Inc. (NASDAQ: ANDE) was started with an Equal Weight rating and assigned a $21 target price (versus a $20.56 prior close) at Stephens.

Apollo Global Management Inc. (NYSE: APO) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $52 target price (versus a $37.99 close) at BMO Capital Markets.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (NYSE: ADM) was started with an Overweight rating and assigned a $50 target price (versus a $39.78 close) at Stephens.

BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK) was started with a Market Perform rating at BMO Capital Markets. Morgan Stanley maintained its Overweight rating but lowered its target price to $547 from $553.

Carlyle Group L.P. (NASDAQ: CG) was started as Market Perform with a $23 target price at BMO Capital Markets. It closed up 0.5% at $24.94, and its consensus target price was $28.08.

Cloudflare Inc. (NYSE: NET) was started with a Neutral rating and assigned a $20 target price (versus a $17.04 close) at Goldman Sachs. Wells Fargo started it as Outperform with a $22.50 target price, and JMP Securities started it with a Market Outperform rating and a $22 target. Oppenheimer started it as Outperform with a $23 price target.

EnLink Midstream LLC (NYSE: ENLC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS, which lowered the price target to $7 from $10 (versus a $7.64 close).

Green Plains Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRE) was started with an Equal Weight rating and assigned a $12 target price (versus a $10.91 close) at Stephens.

Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that the stock has crushed its industry and the S&P 500 in 2019. Shares of Hasbro most recently closed at $117.66, with a consensus price target of $125.46.

Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. (NYSE: KL) was started as Neutral with a $47 target price (versus a $46.20 close) at Credit Suisse.

Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that the shares have tumbled in 2019 as the department store industry’s inability to inspire confidence is a huge problem. Kohl’s last closed at $48.36 a share, with a consensus price target of $55.88.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $160 target price at Jefferies, with the firm noting that its diversified business model can achieve double-digit revenue growth for multiple years ahead.

Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral and the target price was slashed to $16 from $54 at Goldman Sachs. Shares closed down 1.5% at $18.67 ahead of the call and were down more than 5.5% at $17.64 on Tuesday morning.

Nordic American Tankers Ltd. (NYSE: NAT) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $4 target price (versus a $3.08 close) at BTIG. Its shares were indicated up 4.5% at $3.22 on Tuesday, and its consensus target price was $4.56.

Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the price target was lowered to $60 from $66 at Jefferies. Oracle closed down 0.6% at $54.80 ahead of the call and was indicated down 1.35 at $54.10 after the call on Tuesday, and its prior consensus target price was $56.32.

Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) was reiterated as Outperform and its target price was raised to $120 from $117 (versus a $101.36 close) at Raymond James.

Puma Biotechnology Inc. (NASDAQ: PBYI) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral and the price target was slashed to $8.00 from $24.00 (versus a $10.07 close) at Goldman Sachs. Puma was indicated down 7.5% at $9.31 on Tuesday.

Satsuma Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: STSA) was started as Outperform with a $16 target price (versus a $10.70 close) at Credit Suisse. Satsuma closed down 4.9% ahead of the call, in a 52-week range of $10.31 to $19.90, and its market cap is only $170 million.

SpringWorks Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SWTX) was started as Outperform and assigned a $33 target price (versus $18.67 prior close) at Wedbush Securities. SpringWorks was also started with a Buy rating and $37 target at Goldman Sachs.

Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) was started with a Strong Buy rating and assigned a $130 target price (versus a $107.95 close) at Raymond James. Target previously had a $110.88 consensus target price, and its 52-week trading range is $60.15 to $110.94.

TJX Companies Inc. (NYSE: TJX) was reiterated as Buy with a $72 target price (versus a $55.73 close) at Argus. It has a 52-week range of $41.49 to $57.31 and a consensus target price of $59.95.

T. Rowe Price Group Inc. (NASDAQ: TROW) was started with a Market Perform rating and assigned a $101 target price (versus a $109.93 close) at BMO Capital Markets.

While water utilities have moved into big premium valuations, one water analyst sees even more upside. At least three of the water utilities were given long-term cases that the shares could more than double in the decade ahead.

We continue to look at the SunTrust top high-conviction stocks pick for the fourth quarter, and they have five top health care stocks that range from IT-related to a potential biotech superstar.

Monday's top analyst upgrades and downgrades included American Water Works, Apple, Arconic, AT&T, Carnival, RingCentral, SmileDirect, Uber Technologies and many more.

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.