Wednesday Afternoon Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Applied Materials, Best Buy, Intuit, Medtronic, Toll Brothers and More

The markets were higher across the board near midday, after a strong two-day rally opened the trading week. Wall Street is waiting for commentary that will emerge from the Federal Reserve meeting in Jackson Hole this week. Many are expecting a rather tepid affair, with Fed Chair Powell delivering his remarks via teleconference.

In infrastructure news, the U.S. House of Representatives moved ahead on the $3.5 trillion budget resolution, the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and voting right legislation after initially facing some disagreement within Democrats. Speaker Pelosi said she’s committed to getting the bipartisan bill passed by Sept. 27, but strong pushback from moderate Democrats and Republicans is expected.

24/7 Wall St. is reviewing some big analyst calls seen on Wednesday. We have included the latest analyst call on each stock, as well as a recent trading history and the consensus targets among analysts. Our earlier look at analyst calls included Beyond Meat, Boston Beer, Campbell Soup, Nordstrom, Owens Corning and Victoria’s Secret.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT): Stifel maintained its Buy rating on the semiconductor capital equipment leader and has a $180 price target. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock has traded between $54.15 and $146, and it has a $160.81 consensus price target. Shares were trading at $133.81 midday Wednesday.

Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY): Goldman Sachs reiterated the firm’s Sell rating on the stock and $107 price target despite a strong second-quarter print. The popular electronics retailer’s shares have traded in a 52-week range of $95.93 to $128.57 and have a consensus price objective of $124.89. The stock was trading at $120.45 near the noon hour Wednesday.

CAE Inc. (NYSE: CAE): BofA Securities downgraded the stock to Underperform from Buy. Over the past 52 weeks, the shares have traded between $13.80 and $32.19, and they have a $19.03 consensus target price. Halfway through Wednesday, the stock was trading at $27.79.

H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB): Goldman Sachs reiterated its Sell rating on the tax preparation giant and has an $18 price target. Over the past year, the shares have traded between $13.51 and $26.23, and they have a $24.57 consensus price target. The stock was trading at $25.66 Wednesday.

Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ: INTU): Goldman Sachs raised the price target on the tech giant to $535 from $465 while keeping a Neutral rating. Stifel has a Buy rating and raised its price target to $625 from $490. The 52-week trading range is $295.237 to $582.59, and the consensus price target is set at $500.79. The stock was spotted Wednesday trading at $556.19.

Kite Realty Group Trust (NYSE: KRG): Raymond James raised the shares from Outperform to Strong Buy with a $25 price target. The stock has traded between $10 and $23.14 over the past year and has a $22.94 consensus price objective. The shares were up over 6% on Wednesday at $20.36.

Medtronic Inc. (NYSE: MDT): Stifel reiterated its Buy rating on the medical device leader and kept a $145 price target. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $98.94 to $135 and have a consensus target of $140.48. The stock was trading at $134.44 Wednesday,

Rani Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: RANI): BTIG started coverage with a Buy rating and a $24 price target. Canaccord Genuity initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $29 price target. As the company had a recent initial public offering, no consensus target was available. Since the IPO, the stock has traded between $9.24 and $29.40. The stock was trading midday at $17.99.

Tenable Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: TENB): FBN Securities started coverage with an Outperform rating and a $60 price target. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $33.25 to $58.43 and have a consensus price objective of $60.38. Shares were trading Wednesday at $43.49.

Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL): Goldman Sachs reiterated a Sell rating and a $55 price target on the luxury homebuilder, despite the company posting good results. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $39.81 to $68.88 and has a consensus price target of $70.45. The shares were trading at $63.35 late Wednesday morning.

Five safe dividend-paying stocks may not be immune to a correction, but chances are good they will hold up better than crowded technology or meme stocks. Even if a recovery in their share prices takes a while, the high dividends will make the wait tolerable.


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