Check out today's top analyst calls from around Wall Street, compiled by The Fly.
CITI CUTS MORGAN STANLEY TO NEUTRAL: Citi analyst Keith Horowitz downgraded Morgan Stanley (MS) to Neutral from Buy with an unchanged price target of $48. Morgan reported "strong" Q1 results but the shares are fairly valued, Horowitz told investors in a research note. The analyst pointed out the stock has outperformed peers by rallying 22% year-to-date. Though Morgan Stanley has "very high quality" franchises and the potential to continue to gain market share, "we'd rather be on the sidelines in the near-term," said Horowitz.
WEDBUSH CUTS SNAP TO NEUTRAL ON VALUATION: Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter downgraded Snap (SNAP) to Neutral from Outperform, citing valuation, ahead of the company's Q1 report on April 23. Pachter expects Snap to report Q1 results modestly above guidance and consensus and foresees Q2 guidance roughly in-line with consensus, but he believes the stock's current price leaves little room for upside. He maintained a $12.25 price target on Snap shares.
NOMURA, UBS DIVERGE ON ECOLAB: Nomura Instinet analyst Dan Dolev upgraded Ecolab (ECL) to Buy from Neutral and raised his price target for the shares to $210 from $170. With the problematic energy business soon to be spun-off, Ecolab's "recession resistant qualities should stand out, warranting a significant premium to peers," Dolev told investors in a research note. Following "years of lackluster organic growth," the analyst now expects improved organic revenue growth, better pricing power, a more attractive geographic mix, and enhanced efficiency metrics.
Conversely, UBS analyst John Roberts downgraded Ecolab to Neutral from Buy while raising his price target for the shares to $186 from $180. The analyst cited valuation for the downgrade.
BOFA CUTS CF INDUSTRIES TO UNDERPERFORM: BofA/Merrill analyst Steve Byrne downgraded CF Industries (CF) to Underperform from Buy and lowered his price target on the shares to $38 from $50. The analyst said he has spoken with ten key channel contacts in the Cornbelt and several commented that never in their 30-plus year careers have they seen fertilizer applications this far behind, mainly due to the weather. Additionally, Byrne noted that the European Commission's recently announced anti-dumping duties on UAN imports from the U.S., Russia, and Trinidad and Tobago could meaningfully cause shipments to reroute from Europe. CF is the largest U.S. exporter of UAN into Europe, which could shift to more U.S. domestic sales, he added.
RBC UPGRADES VENATOR TO OUTPERFORM: RBC Capital analyst Arun Viswanathan upgraded Venator Materials (VNTR) to Outperform from Sector Perform and raised his price target to $9 from $7. The analyst believes that the titanium dioxide "cycle is turning", with destocking activity nearing completion amid improving global demand and pricing. Viswanathan maintains his FY19 and FY20 EPS estimates, but lifts his target multiple to 6.5-times from 5.5-times earnings to reflect the sentiment, even though he cautions investors about Venator Materials being a "high risk/high reward stock."
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