Check out today's top analyst calls from around Wall Street, compiled by The Fly.
BANK OF AMERICA UPGRADED TO BUY AT UBS: UBS analyst Saul Martinez upgraded Bank of America (BAC) to Buy from Neutral while lowering his price target for the shares to $32 from $33. The current share price offers an attractive entry point for a "leading franchise with proven risk and expense discipline and above peer profitability," Martinez wrote in a research note. He believes that even with slowing revenue growth, Bank of America should continue improving efficiency metrics. Further, the company looks "comparatively well positioned to withstand a turn in credit," added the analyst. Citigroup (C) remains Martinez's top pick among money centers. Bank of America was also upgraded this morning to Buy from Hold at Edward Jones.
MICRON UPGRADED TO OUTPERFORM AT BERNSTEIN: Bernstein analyst Mark Newman upgraded Micron (MU) to Outperform from Market Perform, saying that although he still sees up to 20% potential further downside in the worst scenario, the risk/reward is now too attractive to ignore. The analyst also lowered his price target on the shares to $52 from $60. In late morning trading, share of Micron are higher by over 5.5% to $35.61.
ANALYSTS PESSIMISTIC ON ORACLE: Atlantic Equities analyst Dimitri Kallianiotis started Oracle (ORCL) with an Underweight rating and $45 price target as he believes that AI favors the dominant cloud providers in this "winner takes all" environment and thinks AI will reinforce the dominant position of the largest player in each market segment. This will exacerbate market share loss in applications at Oracle, driven by the decline in legacy on-premise solutions, Kallianiotis contended.
Barclays analyst Raimo Lenscho downgraded Oracle to Equal Weight from Overweight and lowered his price target for the shares to $55 from $60. The competitive situation in the company's core database market and cloud is "not getting easier," Lenscho wrote in a research note titled "The Long Wait Will Continue." And Oracle's answers in the form of autonomous database and next-generation infrastructure-as-a-service are still only in the early stages, added the analyst. He believes Oracle will not be able to grow faster than 2%-4% for the "foreseeable future." As such, Lenscho sees the stock being range-bound.
NIKE CUT TO NEUTRAL AT BAIRD: Baird analyst Jonathan Komp downgraded Nike (NKE) to Neutral from Outperform citing its relative valuation and concerns about its high P/E premium. Komp lowered his price target to $82 from $87 on Nike shares. He added that he sees Foot Locker (FL) as a more attractive way to keep exposure to Nike.
BOOKING, EXPEDIA CUT TO EQUAL WEIGHT AT MORGAN STANLEY: Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak downgraded Booking Holdings (BKNG) and Expedia (EXPE), both to Equal Weight from Overweight, as he sees the maturing online travel industry entering a period of slower room night growth and increased investment. Online hotel penetration is approaching 50% in the U.S. and Europe, noted Nowak, who contends this will drive online travel agencies to invest to drive more direct, repeat users and in new offerings. His FY19 and FY20 EBITDA estimates for Booking and Expedia are 2-5% below Street consensus and he sees revision risk, Nowak added. He lowered his price target on Booking shares to $2,050 from $2,100 and cut his target on Expedia to $125 from $150. Additionally, Jefferies analyst Brent Thill downgraded Booking to Hold from Buy and lowered his price target on the shares to $1,940 from $2,400, telling investors that he is turning “incrementally more cautious” on the travel space given the highly discretionary nature of travel spend and market expectations for a macro slowdown. In late morning trading, shares of Booking are down by 2.7%, while shares of Expedia are down 4.4%.
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