Tapestry, American, Delta and United Airlines upgrades also among notable calls
Check out today's top analyst calls from around Wall Street, compiled by The Fly.
BUY AIRBNB AHEAD OF RESULTS: Loop Capital analyst Rob Sanderson upgraded Airbnb (ABNB) to Buy from Hold with a price target of $240, up from $150, ahead of its first earnings report as a public company this week. The analyst expects Airbnb to exceed expectations by a "significant margin" given the sequential improvement in bookings growth among other providers of alternative accommodations, and believes that this trend will continue into the first quarter. Sanderson added that Airbnb's unit volume has shown strong directional correlation with Uber (UBER) rideshare bookings over the 11-quarters of data on record, and while worldwide rides bookings improved further for Uber in the fourth quarter, consensus for Airbnb calls for a "material deceleration" for the quarter.
ENGAGEMENT, REVENUE GROWTH: Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak upgraded Snap (SNAP) to Overweight from Equal Weight with a price target of $80, up from $50. His new bottom-up U.S. model for core Snap, Discover, Spotlight and Maps leads Nowak to see continued engagement, revenue and EBITDA growth that is faster than expected. The analyst added that he expects more color on the company's monetization plans for all of these products to be shared at the company's first investor day coming up on February 23. His new $80 target only incorporates higher monetization from these products in the U.S, but his $105 bull case target also incorporates higher global monetization.
INVESTMENTS WORKING BETTER THAN APPRECIATED: Credit Suisse analyst Michael Binetti upgraded Tapestry (TPR) to Outperform from Neutral with a price target of $50, up from $39. The analyst's meetings with management last week increased his conviction that, in addition to a bullish handbags category outlook as lockdowns diminish, Tapestry's investments over the past year in future growth channels are working better than appreciated. The company is set up for earnings above current consensus fiscal 2022 and 2023 consensus estimates, Binetti told investors in a research note. Separately, he thinks the market" under-appreciates how powerful a more rational competitive backdrop can be for the high-margin handbags category."
COVID TRENDING IN RIGHT DIRECTION: Deutsche Bank analyst Michael Linenberg upgraded eight names in the airlines space saying the sector is "back on track." With Covid cases, hospitalizations, and vaccination rates "all trending in the right direction," a more positive sector stance is warranted, Linenberg told investors in a research note. The analyst is also encouraged by the industry's "nonstop pursuit of numerous initiatives" to mitigate the spread of COVID and increase the confidence of the flying public.
Airlines that failed to participate meaningfully in past recoveries were typically "broken" business models, had insufficient liquidity, and/or unable to service their financial obligations, Linenberg contended, adding that he believes none of the publicly-traded airlines in his coverage universe fall into those categories. As such, he upgraded to Buy from Hold shares of Alaska Air (ALK), American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Hawaiian Holdings (HA), United Airlines (UAL), JetBlue Airways (JBLU), Southwest Airlines (LUV), Spirit Airlines (SAVE) and SkyWest (SKYW).
'CEMENTED' SNEAKER POSITION: Evercore ISI analyst Omar Saad upgraded Foot Locker (FL) to Outperform from In Line with a price target of $75, up from $40, as he believes the company has been making the necessary "course corrections" and strategic investments, particularly on the digital front, to have "cemented its position in the sneaker ecosystem." He also thinks shareholders could be "pleasantly surprised" by the value of the company's 17% strategic stake in sneaker recommerce site GOAT, especially in light of the high valuation multiple assigned to Poshmark (POSH).
Williams Trading analyst Sam Poser also initiated coverage of Foot Locker with a Buy rating and $61 price target. His checks indicate that fashion athletic footwear is in short supply in the overall marketplace, but that product availability is "better than at most retailers" at Foot Locker.
The analyst also started coverage of:
Under Armour (UAA; UA) with a Hold rating and $20 price target as he believes it will take "at least 9 months" to be able to decipher if a true turnaround is underway;
Hibbett Sports (HIBB) with a Buy rating and $80 price target as he sees the company being well positioned amid strong trends in fashion athletic footwear;
Shoe Carnival (SCVL) with a Buy rating and $59 price target, saying the company took market share during the pandemic, while expanding margins.