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Oct. 31, 2019, 9:04 a.m. EDT

Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Apple, BP, Cree, Etsy, Facebook, KLA, Lyft, Southwest Air, Starbucks, Tesla, Yum! and More

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By 24/7 Wall St.

Stocks were taking a breather on profit-taking on Thursday after the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates the prior day. The S&P 500 hit all-time highs this week, and economic readings are still coming out rather mixed, while earnings have not been as cautious as the street had been prepared for. This is a time when investors need to be considering how they want their assets positioned for the rest of 2019 and into 2020.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. Our goal is to find new ideas for investors and traders alike. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional commentary has been added on most of the daily analyst reports, along with trading history. The consensus analyst price targets and other valuation metrics are from the Refinitiv (Thomson Reuters) sell-side research service.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other ratings changes seen for Halloween, October 31, 2019.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was last seen up 1.5% at $246.85 a share after earnings, just under a recent high of $249.75. Wedbush Securities reiterated it as Outperform and raised its target price to $300 from $265, noting strength in China and that guidance was better than expected for the holiday quarter. Wells Fargo maintained its Market Perform rating but raised its target to $245 from $215, while UBS reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $280 from $275. Morgan Stanley reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target to $296 from $289. D.A. Davidson reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $300 from $270, and Canaccord Genuity reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $275 from $260.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus. BP closed up 1.4% at $38.46 on Wednesday, and it was indicated down just five cents on Thursday, with a consensus target price of $49.39 and a 52-week trading range of $35.73 to $45.38.

Cree Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) was down 0.3% at $48.12 on Wednesday but was indicated down another 5.4% at $45.50 after earnings on Thursday. JPMorgan downgraded the shares to Underweight from Neutral and lowered the target price to $40 from $43.

Equinix Inc. (NASDAQ: EQIX) was reiterated as Outperform and its target price was raised to $620 from $545 (versus a $571.16 prior close) at Wells Fargo.

Etsy Inc. (NASDAQ: ETSY) was down 3% at $52.80 ahead of earnings and was indicated down 7.2% at $49.00 afterward. Wedbush maintained its Outperform rating with a $66 target price, noting that the quarter had a lot of noise and that the efforts to make changes are in their very earliest stages. Morgan Stanley reiterated its Equal Weight rating and lowered its target to $52 from $57. KeyBanc Capital Markets maintained its Overweight rating but lowered its target price to $78 from $90. Nomura/Instinet reiterated its Buy rating but lowered its target price from $70 to $61.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) was last seen trading up 4% at $195.88 after earnings beat expectations. Wedbush reiterated its Outperform rating and $250 target price, noting that the guidance for expenses looks to be less aggressive as a drag on earnings. UBS reiterated its Buy rating but trimmed its target price to $235 from $240. Morgan Stanley reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target to $250 from $235.

KLA Corp. (NASDAQ: KLAC) was reiterated as Buy and the price objective was raised to $190 from $180 (versus a $172.96 close) at Merrill Lynch. KeyBanc Capital markets reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target to $204 from $162, while UBS reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $192 from $165.

Lyft Inc. (NASDAQ: LYFT) traded up 1% to $44.11 ahead of earnings and was indicated up about 4% at $45.95 afterward, and its post-IPO range is $37.07 to $88.60, with a prior consensus target price of $69.83. UBS maintained it as Buy but reduced the target price to $78 from $85. Goldman Sachs upgraded Lyft to Buy from Neutral but also lowered its target price, to $58 from $71.

Molina Healthcare Inc. (NYSE: MOH) was maintained as Overweight but the target price was lowered to $158 from $172 (versus a $123.88 close) at Morgan Stanley.

New York Community Bancorp Inc. (NYSE: NYCB) closed down 13.5% at $11.84 after earnings on Wednesday, and shares were indicated down less than 0.5% on Thursday morning. RBC Capital Markets downgraded it to Sector Perform from Outperform with a $13 target price.

NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays, but the firm lowered its target by a dollar to $31. The stock closed up 1.5% at $27.51 ahead of the call and has a consensus target price of $30.71.

Royal Gold Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLD) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the target price was lowered to $122 from $127 at B. Riley. Shares closed down 5.6% at $114.10 ahead of the call, in a 52-week range of $70.16 to $138.78 and with a consensus target price of $122.62.

Ryder System Inc. (NYSE: R) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the target price was lowered to $51 from $65 (versus a $48.44 close, after a 7% drop) at Stifel.

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Bernstein. Southwest closed down 0.3% at $57.04 ahead of the call and was indicated down 1.3% at $56.29 before Thursday's open. The prior consensus target price was $60.28.

Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) was last seen trading up 2.3% at $86.13 after earnings. Wedbush reiterated its Neutral rating but raised its target to $87 from $86, saying that 2020 guidance looks reasonable and conservative. Merrill Lynch maintained its Buy rating but trimmed its price objective to $97 from $100.

Terex Corp. (NYSE: TEX) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the target price was slashed to $24 from $36. It previously closed at $28.87, with a consensus target price of $29.53, but its shares were indicated down over 13% at $25.00 and earnings and sales disappointed.

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) was maintained as Equal Weight but the target price was raised to $250 from $230 (versus a $315.01 close) at Morgan Stanley.

Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) closed down 5.8% at $103.34 the prior day after earnings, and UBS maintained its Buy rating but lowered its target price to $125 from $131. Morgan Stanley maintained its Equal Weight rating and trimmed its target price to $108 from $112. The stock previously had a $117.64 consensus target price, and its 52-week trading range is $85.81 to $119.72.

The analysts at Raymond James have five technology stocks selected as favorites, and all have big implied upside to the firm's posted price targets.

Also in a larger call, four banks are still deemed cheap, are underowned and have high expected upside.

Wednesday's top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Advanced Micro Devices, Apple, Biomarin, Corning, Electronic Arts, FireEye, Grubhub, Nordstrom, NXP Semiconductors, Shopify, Xerox 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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