Check out today's top analyst calls from around Wall Street, compiled by The Fly.
UNDER ARMOUR UPGRADED TO BUY AT GOLDMAN: Goldman Sachs analyst Alexandra Walvis upgraded Under Armour (UA, UAA) to Buy and raised her price target for the shares to $28 from $24. The analyst also added the shares to her firm's Americas Conviction List. Under Armour's gross margins have inflected positively and are set to "expand materially" as the company executes quality of sale initiatives while also benefiting from mix shifts towards international markets and direct-to-consumer, Walvis told investors in a research note. She's encouraged by the company's recent progress on cost and inventory management and views the stock's current valuation as attractive. Walvis sees 37% upside in Under Armour shares.
GAP CUT TO SELL AT GOLDMAN: Goldman Sachs analyst Alexandra Walvis downgraded Gap (GPS) to Sell from Neutral and lowered her price target for the shares to $23 from $27. Fundamentals for Gap's specialty brands have been weak for some time and a more aggressive portfolio rationalization at the Gap brand "will prove to be insufficient to reinvigorate the business," Walvis told investors in a research note. The analyst also believes a "tougher than anticipated" holiday season can lead to disappointing results for Gap's value-based portfolio, outlet and Old Navy. Deteriorating brand momentum and elevated promotionality compound continued mall-based retailing pressures, said Walvis. She sees 12% downside in Gap shares versus 17% average upside for her Apparel & Accessories coverage. Shares of Gap are down 3% to $25.23 in late morning trading.
NIKE UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM AT COWEN: Cowen analyst John Kernan upgraded Nike (NKE) to Outperform from Market Perform. The analyst said he views Nike's gross margin improvement and speed initiatives as key catalysts to near-term and multi-year upside to margins. He also believes its margin enhancing opportunities should enable the company to offset cost pressures. Kernan raised his price target to $90 from $80 on Nike shares.
CRISPR CUT TO SELL AT CITI: Citi analyst Yigal Nochomovitz downgraded Crispr Therapeutics (CRSP) to Sell from Neutral and cut his price target for the shares to $21 from $28. Crispr's near-term valuation driver and lead program in related blood disorders "substantially lags" more advanced competitors, Nochomovitz told investors in a research note. The analyst believes the company's CTX-001 is "at best equivalent" to more advanced competitors and "could have some important liabilities." Shares of Crispr are down 12% to $32.67 in late morning trading.
ALTRIA CUT TO UNDERWEIGHT AT MORGAN STANLEY: Morgan Stanley analyst Pamela Kaufman downgraded Altria Group (MO) to Underweight from Equal Weight after reducing her forecasts to low-single-digit EPS growth starting in 2019 based on her expectation for accelerated cigarette industry volume declines. She cited shifting demographic trends, category disruption and "harsh FDA regulatory objectives" for her volume decline forecast. However, Kaufman also believes the recent de-rating of Philip Morris (PM) shares is unwarranted, as she contended that global cigarette fundamentals are solid and the company is not subject to many of the risks impacting U.S. tobacco. She cut her price target on Altria shares to $45 from $54 and kept an Overweight rating on Philip Morris with an $80 price target.
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