Check out today's top analyst calls from around Wall Street, compiled by The Fly.
TESLA UPGRADED TO BUY AT CANACCORD: Canaccord upgraded Tesla (TSLA) to Buy from Hold with analyst Jed Dorsheimer stating that he thinks electric vehicle, or EV, penetration is underappreciated by Wall Street. He believes the last two quarters and recent guidance have removed significant concerns for both production capability and profitability of the Model 3. Also, his prior corporate governance concerns were allayed with the addition of Larry Ellison and Ms. Wilson-Thompson as independent directors, Dorsheimer told investors. Additionally, he sees Tesla as having "an almost insurmountable lead in autonomous driving," the analyst added. He raised his price target on Tesla shares to $450 from $330. In late morning trading, shares of Tesla were higher by over 3% to $315.09.
NVIDIA CUT TO MARKET PERFORM AT BERNSTEIN: Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon downgraded Nvidia (NVDA) to Market Perform from Outperform following the company's "somewhat chilly guidance cut," which appears much more fundamentally demand-driven, with the question of the "true" run-rate of the gaming business remaining up in the air for now. The analyst believes the shares are likely to remain hamstrung. Rasgon also lowered his price target on the shares to $175 from $250.
AVIS BUDGET DOUBLE UPGRADED AT GOLDMAN: Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino double upgraded Avis Budget (CAR) to Buy from Sell and raised his price target for the shares to $35 from $30. The analyst also maintained a Sell rating on Hertz (HTZ). Trading at 6.2 times estimated 2019 EBITDA versus a historical trough multiple of 5.9 times and long-term average 8.4 times, shares of Avis look attractive for mean reversion, Tamberrino said. The analyst believes most of the headwinds the industry is facing appear priced in at current share levels. Further, he views Avis as better positioned than Hertz and thinks it should be able to improve results through cost optimization strategies in 2019 and beyond. Shares of Avis Budget were higher by over 7% to $27.54 in late morning trading.
ANALYSTS DIVERGE ON EA AFTER BATTLE ROYALE SUCCESS: BofA Merrill Lynch analyst Justin Post upgraded Electronic Arts (EA) to Buy from Neutral with a $110 price target, citing the surprise start to Apex Legends' new Battle Royale. Post said the game is off to a fast start with 1M players in the first eight hours, and 10M players in the first three days. The analyst said positive user and press previews suggest the game has staying power.
Conversely, Buckingham analyst Matthew Harrigan downgraded Electronic Arts to Neutral from Buy, while also raising his price target to $103 from $90. The analyst cited the "early success" of the Apex Legends game driving a 16% increase in its stock price that is now 30% off its twelve-month lows. Harrigan warned, however, that because it is a free game, its monetization depends on players' purchasing of new cosmetic "skins," adding that unlike Fortnite, the first-person shooter view of Apex Legends lessens the appeal of these skins.
BED BATH & BEYOND CUT TO SELL AT LOOP: Loop Capital analyst Anthony Chukumba downgraded Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) to Sell from Hold and lowered his price target for the shares to $12 from $13. The recent rally in the shares is unwarranted, as management's "much better-than-expected" fiscal 2019 financial guidance is "unrealistic," Chukumba said. The analyst sees sales growth and profitability headwinds for Bed Bath & Beyond, and added that management has a "poor track record" of meeting consensus expectations. Further, shareholders are unlikely to be "bailed out" by a leveraged buyout or activist investment, contended Chukumba.
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