Additionally, Qualcomm and HCA Healthcare were both upgraded to Buy equivalents
Check out today's top analyst calls from around Wall Street, compiled by The Fly.
LYFT INITIATED AROUND THE STREET: Lyft (LYFT) was initiated with an Outperform at JMP Securities, Raymond James, Cowen, and Credit Suisse, an Overweight at Piper Jaffray and JPMorgan, a Buy at UBS, Jefferies, Canaccord, and Stifel, and a Sector Weight at KeyBanc.
Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson initiated coverage of recent initial public offering Lyft with an Overweight rating and $78 price target. Lyft will be both a driver and beneficiary of the growth of ridesharing and autonomous technology over the next 10-plus years, Olson told investors in his research note. The analyst recommended investors with a "long-term view, and patience" own the stock. Olson expects "solid" near-term top line results from Lyft. The company has been gaining market share in recent quarters, "but the path to significantly positive net income will be a multi-year journey," he wrote.
UBS analyst Eric Sheridan started Lyft with a Buy rating and $82 price target. The analyst sees Lyft as as one of two players attempting to utilize the shared economy model as a means to disrupt the North American transportation market. The company has "all the positive facets of a multi-sided marketplace" as it capitalizes on scaling riders, scaling drivers, and autonomous driving, Sheridan told investors in a research note. He sees a market with a "long runway for secular growth."
KeyBanc analyst Andy Hargreaves started coverage of Lyft with a Sector Weight. While the analyst acknowledges that Lyft holds a "unique and valuable strategic position" in North American ride-sharing, he believes the large cost gap between owned cars and ride-sharing suggests that a significant portion of its profit potential will be unlocked only after the driver is removed, which likely remains several years away. In the meantime, Hargreaves expects steady deceleration in market growth and Lyft's pace of share gain, which seems likely to prevent revenue and adjusted EBITDA from meaningfully exceeding his expectations.
QUALCOMM BOOSTED TO OVERWEIGHT AT MORGAN STANLEY: Morgan Stanley analyst James Faucette upgraded Qualcomm (QCOM) to Overweight from Equal Weight, citing his view that the market has "not yet fully appreciated" the impact of the company's settlement with Apple (AAPL), which he thinks not only increases earnings substantially while also expanding the freedom with which Qualcomm can pursue new opportunities. Faucette thinks the settlement reinforces two key Qualcomm tenets -- the best modem performance matters and that the best intellectual property has value. While he takes a more conservative view than most on the pace of 5G ramp, Faucette said he views Qualcomm as "the key enabler" of 5G technology. He raised his price target on Qualcomm shares to $95 from $55.
HCA RAISED TO OUTPERFORM AT RAYMOND JAMES: Raymond James analyst John Ransom upgraded HCA Healthcare (HCA) to Outperform from Market Perform, stating that "the recent selloff in all things healthcare" sparked by "Medicare for All" worries has driven the stock down 12%, even though he sees "less than a 1% chance" of such legislation passing. HCA's business continues to skew towards higher value assets and a better mix of revenue trends from non-hospital sources should yield a higher long-term multiple, contended Ransom, who set a $135 price target on HCA shares.
HORMEL CUT TO SELL EQUIVALENT AT GOLDMAN, JPMORGAN: Hormel Foods (HRL) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs and to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.
Goldman Sachs analyst Adam Samuelson downgraded Hormel Foods =to Sell from Neutral and cut his price target for the shares to $35 from $37. With his estimates now below consensus and "limited" earnings growth forecasted through fiscal 2020, the analyst sees risk to Hormel's "premium" valuation. The breadth and depth of African swine fever's impact across the Chinese pork industry, and as a result the global protein industry, will be significant in the near-to-medium-term, Samuelson said.
JPMorgan analyst Thomas Palmer downgraded Hormel Foods to Underweight from Neutral and lowered his price target for the shares to $36 from $40. Rising pork costs and worsening Jennie-O ground turkey brand distribution points could weigh on Hormel's earnings, Palmer believes. Hormel is heavily reliant upon pork as an input for its products, and the company will likely be able to fully offset these cost increases through pricing, Palmer said. African swine fever in China could result in an extended period of elevated pork pricing in the U.S., he contended.
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