Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Accenture, Amex, Cognizant, FireEye, Mastercard, PayPal, Verizon, Visa and More

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Stocks tried to continue Monday’s gains on Tuesday, but the market failed to hold its rally with a big late-day sell-off. The major indices were set to open higher on Wednesday morning, and that was the case even before the fourth quarter’s final revision for gross domestic product growth was revised to 2.9% from 2.5%.

The bull market is now over nine years old, and while the trend of buying pullbacks has worked over and over, it seems that the sellers and volatility are more influential than they have been in years. Now investors have to decide how they want their assets positioned for the rest of 2018 and beyond.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week in an effort to find new ideas for investors and traders alike. Some of the daily analyst and research reports cover stocks to buy. Other reports cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional color and commentary has been added on most of the daily analyst reports. The consensus analyst price targets and other valuation metrics are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Wednesday, March 28, 2018.

Accenture PLC (NYSE: ACN) was started as Outperform and assigned a $180 price target (versus a $148.86 prior close) at Bernstein. Accenture has a 52-week trading range of $114.82 to $165.58 and a consensus price target of $167.35.

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ALNY) was started as In-Line at Evercore ISI. The stock closed down 5.3% at $131.18 on Tuesday, and it has a 52-week range of $46.90 to $153.99. The consensus price target is $157.88.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $111 price target at UBS in a larger mixed financial sector call. American Express has a 52-week range of $75.51 to $102.39 and a consensus price target of $107.96.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $41 price target (versus a $34.90 close) at HSBC. Shares closed up 0.6% on Tuesday despite a big market sell-off, and the dividend yield is closer to 5.5% now. AT&T has a 52-week range of $32.55 to $42.70 and a consensus price target of $40.71.

Bottomline Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: EPAY) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $46 price target (versus a $37.68 close) at Citigroup.

Cadence Bancorp. (NYSE: CADE) was started as Overweight and assigned a $32 price target (versus a $26.70 close) at Piper Jaffray.

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. (NASDAQ: CTSH) was started as Market Perform at Bernstein. It closed down 1.9% at $80.08 on Tuesday. The 52-week range is $57.50 to $85.10. The consensus price target is $89.62.

FireEye Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE) was reiterated as Overweight and the price target was raised to $21 from $19 at Morgan Stanley. FireEye closed down 4.16% at $16.59 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $11.82 to $18.84. The consensus analyst target is $17.96.

Flowers Foods Inc. (NYSE: FLO) was started as Overweight and assigned a $24 price target at KeyBanc.

I.D. Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: IDSY) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $10 price target (versus a $6.59 close) at Ladenburg Thalmann.

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