Twitter, MasterCard and Visa upgrades also among notable calls
Check out today's top analyst calls from around Wall Street, compiled by The Fly.
LEADERSHIP BALANCED BY COMPETITION: Edward Jones analyst Jeff Windau initiated coverage of Tesla (TSLA) with a Hold rating. The analyst sees the company being the "market leader" in electric vehicles with future opportunities in software for autonomous driving, battery energy storage and car insurance, but sees this position being balanced by rising competition in EVs, its high capital needs and its "elevated valuation."
'POTENTIALLY CONSERVATIVE': Guggenheim analyst Steven Forbes upgraded Home Depot (HD) to Buy from Neutral with a $310 price target. The analyst cited the closing of the deal for HD Supply, the company's recent $3B debt offering and the "recent moderation" in valuation for the upgrade, telling investors that he thinks consensus expectations for 2021 now look to be "reasonable and potentially conservative" given the tailwind from the healthy backdrop for housing.
HEADWINDS SHOULD REVERSE IN 2021: MKM Partners analyst Rohit Kulkarni upgraded Twitter (TWTR) to Buy from Neutral with a price target of $60, up from $47. The analyst acknowledged that sentiment toward Twitter shares has been quite negative as the company's execution has been "somewhat spotty," but he believes headwinds should reverse during 2021. As 2021 progresses, Kulkarni thinks Twitter will have the greatest incremental benefit versus peers as brand advertisers accelerate ad spend and live events and product launches resume their normal cadence.
'HIGH-QUALITY' RECOVERY PLAYS: Jefferies analyst Trevor Williams upgraded MasterCard (MA) and Visa (VA) to Buy from Hold with price targets of $415 and $250, respectively. Both MasterCard and Visa lagged the S&P 500 over the last three, six, and twelve months, which was a "rare stretch of underperformance" for the pair that sets up the stocks well for 2021, Williams argued. With the rollout of the vaccine underway, he has increasing confidence in an eventual recovery in international travel and sees significant upside to consensus cross-border revenue estimates in fiscal year 2022 and 2023. The analyst called both stocks "high-quality recovery plays."
BUY GENERAL MOTORS: Nomura analyst Anindya Das upgraded General Motors (GM) to Buy from Neutral with a price target of $60, up from $27. The analyst increased longer term estimates to reflect GM's progress of automotive powertrain electrification in the U.S. and China. Although electrification is costly, GM's strategy to extensively restructure its North American operations, vertically integrate battery production, and set on a path to form an alliance with Honda to cut procurement and costs should help the company "absorb the hit" from electrification relatively better compared to its U.S. peers, Das told investors in a research note.
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