Here are Thursday's biggest analyst calls of the day: Starbucks, Caterpillar, Microsoft & more

Key Points
  • MKM initiated Starbucks as buy.
  • Cowen upgraded Philip Morris to outperform from market perform.
  • Evercore ISI raised its price target on Microsoft to $212 from $190.
  • Goldman Sachs upgraded Caterpillar to buy from neutral.
  • Raymond James upgraded Altice USA to strong buy from outperform.
Starbucks' president and CEO Kevin Johnson speaks during a press conference in Shanghai on August 2, 2018.
AFP | Getty Images

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Here are the biggest calls on Wall Street on Thursday:

MKM initiated Starbucks as 'buy'

MKM initiated the coffee company and said Starbucks has one of the "better" long-term opportunities across the restaurant industry.

"We believe the company possesses a unique long-term mix supporting the build-out of a dominant global business, strong in-store operations and ongoing investments in its supply chain and considerable digital infrastructure. The operational and strategic strengths are met with a strong cash flow generation and capital return story, which we believe creates one of the better global LT opportunities across the restaurant landscape. Investors' are afforded the opportunity to participate in a unit-growth story supported by an increasingly stable royalty revenue stream component, through its channel development segment and the company's consistent returning of billions of dollars to shareholders annually."

Cowen upgraded Philip Morris to 'outperform' from 'market perform'

Cowen said it sees an "attractive" risk/reward for the tobacco maker due to "accelerating" user growth among other things.

"We are upgrading PM to an Outperform rating. When we downgraded the stock in July 2018, our concerns centered on the uncertainty for iQos in Japan and Korea, although we remained optimistic about the longer-term prospects. As PM has generated accelerating user growth and better geographic diversity (as new markets are approaching inflection points), we see an attractive risk/reward for the stock."