Additionally, First Analysis downgraded multiple stocks in the cybersecurity sector
Check out today's top analyst calls from around Wall Street, compiled by The Fly.
ATLANTIC CUTS APPLE TO UNDERWEIGHT: Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell downgraded Apple (AAPL) to Underweight from Neutral with a price target of $275, up from $235, telling investors that the stock's 50% relative outperformance over the last 12 months has been driven "entirely" by multiple expansion. While this is not without precedent, as similar re-ratings occurred ahead of both the iPhone 6 and iPhone X cycles, Cordwell said that multiple expansion this time has been greater than at a similar point in prior cycles and he believes upside potential from the 5G cycle is "now more than fully priced in." Additionally, he thinks Services and Wearables are unlikely to be a source of material upside and he thinks iPhone 11 average selling price pressure could result in revenue disappointing, Cordwell tells investors.
JEFFERIES, DEUTSCHE BANK BOOST TESLA PRICE TARGET: Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois raised his price target for Tesla (TSLA) to $600 from $400 and kept a Buy rating on the shares. It would be wrong to exit Tesla on valuation, Houchois said. Tesla is the only car manufacturer engaged in a "positive-sum game" in electric vehicles amid rising market acceptance, and its auto business should turn profitable this year excluding tax credits, contended the analyst. Further, Houchois believes the company's "balance sheet de-risking makes old and new growth opportunities viable, from battery tech to stationary and autonomy." The analyst, who boosted his price target after incorporating the company's non-auto valuation drivers, also thinks consensus estimates for 2020 look "reasonable and conservative."
Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner raised his price target for Tesla to $455 from $290 while keeping a Hold rating on the shares. Tesla "truly seems to be currently firing on all cylinders," with the recent start of China production, a large step-up in regulatory credit revenue from January 2020 thanks to the deal with FCA, start of production of Model Y in the near-term and the building of a factory in Europe, Rosner said. The analyst raised his earnings trajectory for Tesla through 2025 as a result. However, with the stock hovering around all-time highs, Rosner worries investor sentiment has "gotten bullish too fast, ignoring some of the nearer-term execution risks." This is especially the case in China, where it is difficult to gauge in the near-term due to a recent slump in new energy vehicles sales, contended the analyst.
CREDIT SUISSE DOWNGRADES FREEPORT MCMORAN TO UNDERPERFORM: Credit Suisse analyst Curt Woodworth downgraded Freeport McMoRan (FCX) to Underperform from Neutral with a price target of $10, down from $11. The company "lacks valuation support" given mid-cycle EBITDA and the copper production reset "sharply lower" in 2023, Woodworth said. Unlike aluminum, copper has much less cost support in a downturn and faces "sharply higher" supply-side risks in 2021 through 2023, contended the analyst. He cited valuation and his copper surplus view for the downgrade of Freeport to Underperform.
WILLIAM BLAIR SAYS HOME DEPOT NOT USING TREX FOR LOW END DECKING: William Blair analyst Ryan Merkel said that Home Depot (HD), according to his contacts, has elected to stay with Fiberon's Veranda as its stocked low-end decking line. The analyst thinks the primary reason is Home Depot's caution around Trex Company (TREX) having enough immediate capacity to fill demand. For Trex shares, the news should not be a major surprise, Merkel noted. Trex is just now catching up on its backlog from 2019, and demand "remains robust" entering 2020, added the analyst. Further, he believes Basics at Home Depot was an "optionality and not the only source of upside versus Street estimates." And Merkel still believes Basics is an opportunity at Home Depot in the future. For Trex's 2020, the major investor focus is supply, not demand, said the analyst. He believes the company's ability to smoothly ramp production will dictate sales. Merkel still thinks Trex can generate 20% sales growth in 2020 and mid-teens growth in 2021. The analyst kept an Outperform rating on the shares.
FIRST ANALYSIS DOWNGRADES CYBER SECURITY STOCKS: First Analysis analyst Howard Smith downgraded Palo Alto Networks (PANW) to Outperform from Strong Buy with a price target of $290, CyberArk (CYBR) to Outperform from Strong Buy with a raised price target of $154 from $143, Splunk (SPLK) to Neutral from Outperform with an unchanged $157 price target, and Check Point (CHKP) to Neutral from Outperform with a price target of $119, down from $133, as part of his broader research note on the cyber security sector.
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