Check out today's top analyst calls from around Wall Street, compiled by The Fly.
WALMART SHARES OFFER 'PLACE TO HIDE': Oppenheimer analyst Rupesh Parikh upgraded Walmart (WMT) to Outperform from Perform with a $125 price target. With the shares down 11% since March 10, Walmart's valuation is "slightly more accommodative," Parikh told investors in a research note titled "A Place to Hide and Potentially Outperform." The analyst believes the company remains well positioned to meet its fiscal 2020 guidance and that the shares could benefit from money flows shorter-term as investors likely continue to seek safety in a more uncertain global economic backdrop.
Grocers have clearly benefited from consumer stock-up activities lately, which could sustain comp growth at Walmart and Sam's Club, Parikh contended. Further, he pointed out that Walmart shares have historically outperformed during U.S. recessions. In the food retailing/discounter space, Parikh ranks Costco (COST) and Dollar General (DG) as top picks followed by Walmart.
SQUARE PULLBACK PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY: Cowen analyst George Mihalos upgraded Square (SQ) to Outperform from Market Perform saying the pullback in the shares has created the most compelling entry point in the stock in almost three years. Despite the COVID-19 impact, the analyst believes its addressable market is increasing and its long-term revenue growth can exceed 20% while the company has ample levers to improve profitability. Mihalos lowered his price target to $70 from $82 on Square shares.
BUY JD.COM: Bernstein analyst David Dai upgraded JD.com (JD) to Outperform from Market Perform with a price target of $52, up from $41. The near-term COVID-19 impact has already peaked in China, and JD is a 100% China play, Dai told investors in a research note. The analyst raised JD's revenue growth to 18% this year and 20% next year. Since the company's restructuring a year ago, its efforts to enhance user experience are bearing fruit, Dai contended.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN, NORWEGIAN DOWNGRADED: BofA analyst Andrew Didora downgraded Royal Caribbean (RCL) to Underperform from Neutral with a $25 price target, and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) to Neutral from Buy with an $18 price target. The analyst cited the "clearly unprecedented" impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on travel in general and cruises in particular. He estimates negative 2020 EPS, EBITDA down over 50% this year, longer term demand impairment, and a long recovery period. He also believes risks are rising for Royal Caribbean's covenants and dividend.
AMAZON, FACEBOOK ADDED TO BIL: Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter added the shares of Amazon (AMZN) and Facebook (FB) to Wedbush Securities Investment Committee's Best Ideas List. The analyst believes Amazon can deliver substantial earnings over the long-term by growing spending more slowly than revenues. Amazon Web Services, Fulfillment by Amazon, and ads should drive steady margin growth, with Prime driving overall retail revenue growth, he continued. Pachter has an Outperform rating and a $2,325 price target Amazon's stock. Regarding Facebook, Pachter expects the company to continue its rapid growth overseas and to increase monetization of under-penetrated Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. Pachter has an Outperform rating and a $250 price target Facebook's shares.
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