Check out today's top analyst calls from around Wall Street, compiled by The Fly.
BMO CUTS CHIPOTLE, BLOOMIN' BRANDS TO UNDERPERFORM: BMO Capital analyst Andrew Strelzik downgraded Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) to Underperform from Market Perform and lowered his price target for the shares to $620 from $675. African Swine Fever will likely create a "meaningful, multi-year upswing" in protein prices, and Chipotle is among the restaurants most at risk, Strelzik tells said. The company could begin to recognize stronger protein inflation as early as Q3 of this year, added the analyst. He believes margin pressure from African Swine Fever creates downside risk to earnings for Chipotle. Strelzik's 2020 earnings estimates for the company are nearly 10% below consensus. Strelzik also downgraded Bloomin' Brands (BLMN) to Underperform from Market Perform and lowered his price target for the shares to $18 from $23 based on a similar rationale.
QUALCOMM CUT ON FTC UNCERTAINTY: Mizuho analyst Vijay Rakesh downgraded Qualcomm (QCOM) to Neutral from Buy and lowered his price target for the shares to $65 from $90. The analyst moved to the sidelines given the "uncertainty" with Judge Koh's Federal Trade Commission ruling on Qualcomm. A potential change in the license model to royalty as a percentage of chip average selling prices at ~$50 versus "handset" average selling prices at ~$300 could be a "SIGNIFICANT" 50%-plus downside risk to the company's earnings, Rakesh said. As such, the analyst sees a "significant overhang" on Qualcomm shares following Koh's ruling. Qualcomm was also downgraded to Sell from Hold at Edward Jones.
JPMORGAN BOOSTS TARGET TO OVERWEIGHT: JPMorgan analyst Christopher Horvers upgraded Target (TGT) to Overweight from Neutral and raised his price target for the shares to $100 from $81. The analyst believes the shares are undervalued and he sees potential upside to consensus estimates. Target should get re-valued "towards the best-in-class, Amazon (AMZN) -safe bucket" of retail, given its strong comps, expanding operating income after three years of declines, and its high-single-digit earnings growth algorithm, Horvers told investors in a research note. The analyst believes Target shares in 2019 will experience move to Walmart's (WMT) shares in 2017.
CITI UPGRADES BOOKING, DOWNGRADES EXPEDIA: Citi analyst Mark May upgraded Booking Holdings (BKNG) to Buy from Neutral and raised his price target for the shares to $2,100 from $1,800. Booking's valuation, following the stock's underperformance this year, now better reflects the business slowdown it faces and is attractive on a cash flow basis, May said. Further, management's Q2 guidance suggests that sales trends may be stabilizing, added the analyst. In addition, he pointed out that Citi's proprietary data suggests that trends in the European and Latin America travel markets may be improving.
May also downgraded Expedia (EXPE) to Neutral from Buy and lowered his price target for the shares to $130 from $145. Vrbo's growth has "disappointed and slowed meaningfully," and this could weight on Expedia's overall growth, May said. Further, Booking is stepping up its investments in the U.S., which could weigh on both Expedia's core business and Vrbo growth, added May. He believes Booking shares are better positioned than Expedia for at least the remainder of 2019.
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