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Wall Street Analysts' Latest Upgrades and Downgrades Fuel Market Moves


Benjamin Hughes

March 4, 2024 - 13:22 pm


Wall Street Analysts Adjust Ratings for Diverse Set of Companies

The ever-changing landscape of Wall Street sees analysts reviewing and adjusting their positions on several key players across various sectors. As the financial forecasts and market strategies realign, companies have been subject to upgrades, downgrades, and reiterated positions by major financial institutions.

Notable Upgrades and Positive Outlooks

Morgan Stanley Optimistic About Disney and Kyverna Therapeutics

Morgan Stanley has reiterated its confident stance on The Walt Disney Company (DIS), marking the stock as overweight and increasing the price target from $110 to $135 per share. Analysts predict a lucrative future for Disney, with an emphasis on the profitable trajectory of its streaming services and anticipated growth in park revenues by the end of the 2024 fiscal year. This highlights the bullish perspective that sees Disney’s main revenue-generating sectors reaching a turning point.

Adding to its string of positive assessments, Morgan Stanley has begun its coverage of Kyverna Therapeutics, a therapeutic platform company, with an overweight rating. Citing the firm's promising early data in cell therapy for autoimmune diseases, analysts believe Kyverna is in prime position within an emerging and competitive market space.

Coffee Chains, Pharmaceuticals, and Tech Companies Receive Upgrade Nods

Piper Sandler has shifted its view on Dutch Brothers, upgrading the stock from neutral to overweight after interpreting positive dynamics from their latest results in the fourth quarter. The coffee chain stands in a favorable light amidst the competitive beverage industry landscape.

In the biopharmaceutical arena, Guggenheim now classifies GSK (formerly GlaxoSmithKline) as a buy, upgraded from a neutral position. This shift trails the company's significant revenue announcements and strengthened confidence in the profitability margins, which analysts believe could lead to considerable stock performance if the Zantac overhang is resolved.

Meanwhile, tech firms like Squarespace and Super Micro Computer have received a boost from Baird and Goldman Sachs, respectively. Baird upgraded Squarespace to outperform, highlighting its high revenue growth and executed expansion - factors that investors may have overlooked. Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on Super Micro Computer with a neutral rating but recognized the company as an "AI winner," although it noted that current valuations seem full.

Banking Giants Assert Support for Alphabet, Eli Lilly, and Nvidia

Alphabet stands firm with an overweight rating by JPMorgan, despite facing obstacles such as investor frustration and operating cost concerns. Similarly, UBS retains confidence in Eli Lilly, uplifting its price target to $910 due to expected market advancements in next-generation GLP-1 treatments, which could redefine the typical standard of care. As for Nvidia, UBS maintains its buy rating, signifying strong market demand for the company’s latest products.

Real Estate, Entertainment, and Transportation Sectors See Upward Movement

Appraisal of the real estate sector brought upgrades with Wells Fargo rating UDR, an apartment REIT, as overweight, based on its conservative guidance and valuation. Additionally, Morgan Stanley continues to find America Health REIT's stock uniquely robust, propelled by solid earnings growth and favorable market trends.

In the realm of leisure and entertainment, the forecast for Starbucks is promising, with Wells Fargo calling the company a top pick due to an array of factors influencing shareholder sentiment. On the transportation front, UBS's elevated view of Norfolk Southern to buy anticipates a margin improvement in the company's merchandise network.

Analysts Foresee Growth Opportunities in Various Subsectors

RBC Capital Markets upgrades for Lyft and DoorDash signified a notable shift, moving both from sector perform to outperform. This assessment rests on the individual undervaluation of the stocks, coupled with the potential for a synergistic loyalty partnership between them in the future.

Furthermore, Evercore ISI initiated coverage of Toast, a restaurant technology company, with an eager outperform rating and a $32 price target, indicating a bullish stance based on the firm’s prospects.

Mixed Signals: Downgrades and the Concern for Valuations

Citi's Caution Over Ferrari and Snowflake

A differing perspective manifests as Citi downgrades Ferrari, pivoting towards sell from neutral, mainly due to concerns surrounding the company's valuation. Despite acknowledging the high quality and long-term growth prospects, the valuation at present appears too stretched.

On the tech front, Citi has also addressed the cloud-based platform, Snowflake, by lowering its price target following unexpected revelations regarding revenue forecasts and changes in company leadership. Despite the decrease in target price to $240, Citi sustains its buy rating, suggesting lingering confidence in Snowflake's long-term capacity.

Apparel and Food Processing Under Scrutiny

The fashion industry sees Barclays reposition their stance on G-III Apparel, downgrading it to underweight from equal weight. The reasoning is rooted in a confluence of negative factors, such as lost revenue from retail closures and diminishing interest in the brand’s own labels.

In contrast, there's a more optimistic view of the food processing company, BRF. Barclays has adjusted its rating from equal weight to overweight, based on its projected trajectory of improving consumer environment and profitable management strategies.

Sector-Wide Reassessments Indicate Elevated Interest in Packaging and Payments

The recent ag and materials conference seems to have significantly influenced Bank of America's stance on packaging companies such as Ball Corp, International Paper, and Packaging Corp of America. Upgrading these stocks from neutral to buy, Bank of America points to fundamental improvements and the potential for consensus rating shifts as influential factors.

Meanwhile, the payments sector garners attention with Baird upgrading Fleetcor Technologies to overweight from neutral. The fresh outlook stems from an expected uptick in investor sentiment, along with the potential for trending improvements in earnings.

Continual Emphasis on Growth Trajectories Raises Investor Anticipation

Amid varied market movements, analysts reiterate their buy ratings for companies experiencing consistent growth. Rosenblatt has raised its price target for Broadcom, an industry leader in semiconductor solutions, to $1,500, appreciating its positive trend supported by the AI boom and a potential industry recovery.

In media, Argus has shifted its perspective on The New York Times, upgrading the company to buy due to its increasing revenue and earnings, driven by its licensing, expanding subscriber base, and higher pricing strategies.


Recent analyst ratings displayed the diverse nature of Wall Street's outlook on companies spanning across sectors from technology and entertainment to transportation and real estate. Morgan Stanley's bullish view on entertainment giant Disney, marked by an overweight reiteration, points to high expectations for the company’s future performance, especially in its streaming and parks businesses (source).

Additionally, the strategic upgrades given to Dutch Brothers by Piper Sandler, Kyverna Therapeutics by Morgan Stanley, and ratings adjustments in favor of GSK by Guggenheim reflect a growing confidence in these companies' market positioning and future revenue streams (source, source, and source).

While upgrades were abundant, the landscape was not without its cautionary downgrades. Citi, for instance, signals a restraint approach with its downgrade of luxury car manufacturer Ferrari and the reduction in price target for the data warehousing company Snowflake (source).

These contradictions in the market not only reflect the complex interplay of company performances, investor expectations, and broader economic considerations but also serve as a guide for investors navigating through the dynamic terrain of the stock market.

Providing insights into the workings of these nuanced financial perspectives, these ratings signal the ongoing agility of market analysts as they calibrate their expectations against real-world occurrences and forecasted trends.

In today’s fast-paced financial environment, the varied stances of analysts, ranging from steadfast support to cautious downgrades, exemplify the multifaceted nature of market analysis and the relentless effort to stay ahead in the game of investments.