Check out today's top analyst calls from around Wall Street, compiled by The Fly.
RBC STARTS APPLE WITH AN OUTPERFORM: RBC Capital analyst Robert Muller initiated coverage of Apple (AAPL) with an Outperform rating and $295 price target. The company's iPhone base business continues to generate significant cash flow while 5G should accelerate its growth, Muller told investors in a research note. He believes Apple's valuation provides a "call option on future innovation" and notes that the company continues to return "market-leading" amounts of cash to investors.
J.M. SMUCKER CUT TO UNDERPERFORM AT CREDIT SUISSE: Credit Suisse analyst Robert Moskow downgraded J.M. Smucker (SJM) to Underperform from Neutral with a price target of $95, down from $100. With consensus already below management's FY20 guidance of $8.35-$8.55, Moskow told investors in a research note that it is fair to say that J.M. Smucker is already an out-of-favor stock, but believes that consensus and the market underestimate the extent to which earnings will need to be revised lower as structural challenges continue to mount.
UBS INITIATES TAKE-TWO WITH A BUY: UBS analyst Eric Sheridan initiated coverage of Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO) with a Buy rating and $140 price target. The company's management team has a proven track record of launching engaging content, positive capital allocation and success in identifying key industry trends, Sheridan told investors in a research note. The analyst believes Take-Two's portfolio of titles will allow it to take advantage of "multiple key secular tailwinds" for interactive entertainment in the coming years.
JPMORGAN CUTS MOSAIC TO UNDERWEIGHT: JPMorgan analyst Jeffrey Zekauskas downgraded Mosaic (MOS) to Underweight from Neutral with a price target of $18, down from $20. The analyst said his 2020 EBITDA forecast for Mosaic of $1.56B is about 15% lower than the Street consensus as he assumes lower potash and phosphate returns for Mosaic. He believes the domestic phosphate market did decline in 2019, which has led to low prices in the U.S. because of weak supply/demand balances.
BOFA BOOSTS FREEPORT MCMORAN, CUTS ALCOA: BofA/Merrill analyst Timna Tanners upgraded Freeport McMoRan (FCX) to Buy from Neutral with a $14 price target. The analyst is looking past the company's "transition year" and expects its Grasberg asset to make a full contribution for copper and gold production. While copper prices have lagged, Tanners noted that there is support from labor disruptions in Peru and Chile, with added downside protection coming from the still relatively strong CTFC short position.
Conversely, Tanners downgraded Alcoa (AA) to Underperform from Neutral with a $21 price target. The analyst cited limited catalysts and a cautious aluminum view, adding that while the stock price has risen about 16% since reporting Q3, aluminum price was up only about 6% in that time frame. Tanners added that investors may be "overly enthusiastic" regarding the cost savings implied in the company's review.
CITI SAYS SELL ALBEMARLE: Citi analyst P.J. Juvekar downgraded Albemarle (ALB) to Sell from Neutral with a price target of $58, down from $62. The analyst sees elevated inventory in lithium with ~30 kt of surplus carbonate inventory in China. Further, destocking could take another six months or more given "weak" China new electric vehicle sales on the June subsidy cut and the possibility of another subsidy cut in 2020, Juvekar told investors in a research note. He believes Albemarle "is feeling contract price pressure" after his lithium industry contacts "show no improvement in sight."
Note that Albemarle was also downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital on November 12, and downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan on November 8.
Keywords: analyst, analyst calls, upgrades, downgrades, initiations, research, wall street