Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AK Steel, Amgen, Booking, Chubb, Chipotle, Expedia, Gilead, Goodyear, Philip Morris, Target, Zscaler and More

Market trading boards are seen at the Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney, Friday, February 9, 2018. ( AAP Image/Ben Rushton) NO ARCHIVING

Stocks were indicated to open lower by about 1%, with the excuse being the same concerns about a trade war with China. Many investors have to be considering if “sell in May and go away” is more prudent in 2019 than in prior years, particularly as the indexes are still quite close to all-time highs. Investors also should be considering how they want their portfolios positioned for the rest of 2019.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week in an effort to find new trading and investing ideas for our readers. Some of these daily analyst reports cover stocks to buy, but other reports cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional commentary and trading data have been added on some of the daily analyst reports. The consensus analyst price targets and other valuation metrics are from the Refinitiv (Thomson Reuters) sell-side research service.

These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Thursday, May 23, 2019.

AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse, after falling 3.5% to $2.22 on Wednesday. Its consensus target price was $2.77, and the 52-week trading range is $2.05 to $5.40.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup but the price target was lowered to $205 from $210 at Citigroup.

Atlassian Corp. PLC (NASDAQ: TEAM) was raised to Equal Weight from Underweight and the target price was raised to $145 from $99 at Morgan Stanley.

Appian Corp. (NASDAQ: APPN) was raised to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley, and the firm raised its target price to $36 from $30.

Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the target price was raised to $2,100 from $1,800 at Citigroup.

Carbon Black Inc. (NASDAQ: CBLK) was started with a Market Perform rating at Cowen.

Chubb Ltd. (NYSE: CB) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the target price was raised to $154 from $146 at UBS.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital Markets. The firm noted that the potential impact of African swine fever on Chipotle’s operations is not being fully reflected in the outlook and valuation.

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSE: CTB) was started with an Overweight rating and assigned a $36 price target (versus a $28.63 prior close, after a 1% drop) at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Expedia Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup, and the price target was lowered to $130 from $145.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSE: GT) was started with a Sector Weight rating at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Philip Morris International Inc. (NYSE: PM) was raised to Equal Weight from Underweight and the target price was raised to $82 from $67 (versus an $85.49 close) at Barclays.

Qualys Inc. (NASDAQ: QLYS) was started as Outperform and the target price was set at $100 at Cowen.

Rapid7 Inc. (NASDAQ: RPD) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $63 target price (versus a $52.51 close) at Cowen.

Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) saw its shares surge by about 7.8% to $77.56 on Wednesday after earnings. Target was raised to Overweight from Neutral and the target price was raised to $100 from $81 at JPMorgan.

Zscaler Ins. (NASDAQ: ZS) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned an $85 price target at Cowen.

Wedbush Securities has started several biotechs with Outperform ratings:

  • Acer Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ACER) with a $48 price target (versus a $19.71 close). The firm noted that Acer awaits the completion of the FDA’s review for its first product Edsivo (celiprolol) and it was impressed by the speed the company moved from founding to a near-commercial stage entity.
  • Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALXN) with a $173 price target (versus a $128.80 close), noting that it sees growth with Ultomiris as the pipeline complements its efforts.
  • Dova Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: DOVA) was assigned a $19 price target (versus a $10.42 close), noting that it has a pipeline in a product addressing thrombocytopenia.
  • Sage Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SAGE) with a $207 price target (versus a $171.03 close), noting that its shares are trading at an attractive valuation and that its late-stage pipeline offers both optionality and scarcity value in mood disorders and major depressive disorder.

Wednesday’s top analyst calls included Activision Blizzard, Diamond Offshore Drilling, FLIR Systems, Home Depot, Kohl’s, Nucor, Redfin, Tesla, Vishay Intertechnology and more.

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