Brinker and Cheesecake Factor upgrades also among notable calls
Check out today's top analyst calls from around Wall Street, compiled by The Fly.
'TOUGHER STORY': Evercore ISI analyst Duane Pfennigwerth downgraded United Airlines (UAL) to In Line from Outperform with a price target of $55, down from $66. The analyst pointed out that United outlined a significant extension of its aircraft order book in late June and he believes the rate of planned investment makes it "a tougher story at this point in the cycle." Asking investors to wait for a full recovery in corporate and international without meaningful free cash flow or balance sheet improvement until 2025 is "asking for too much patience," Pfennigwerth contended.
MOVING TO THE SIDELINES: Bernstein analyst Peter Supino downgraded Charter Communications (CHTR) to Market Perform from Outperform with a $788 price target. In a low interest rate world, Charter's 5.2% 2021 levered free cash flow "yield seems reasonable," said the analyst, who continues to see a "capital appreciation opportunity in the stock." However, competition from T-Mobile (TMUS) in the value segment could cause negative revisions of Charter's 2022-2023 consensus internet net additions, Supino argued. And in the premium segment of the market, the analyst expects "pockets of elevated competition" from AT&T Fiber (T) to pressure Charter's average per user modestly and cap net add forecasts. As such, he views Charter's valuation as fair at current share levels.
ATTRACTIVE ENTRY POINT: Raymond James analyst Brian Vaccaro upgraded Brinker (EAT) to Outperform from Market Perform with a $75 price target. Vaccaro believes the stock's recent pullback creates an attractive entry point ahead of the company's fourth quarter earnings release and September analyst day. The analyst believes Chili's sales accelerated a bit through the period and continue to strongly outperform broader industry trends.
BUY CHEESECAKE: Raymond James analyst Brian Vaccaro upgraded Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) to Outperform from Market Perform with a $60 price target. Vaccaro believes the stock's recent pullback creates an attractive entry point ahead of the company's second quarter earnings release, and thinks sales further strengthened through June driven in part by its above-average exposure to California and Northeast markets that have seen strong improvement.
STRONGER RESERVE POSITION: Morgan Stanley analyst Michael Phillips upgraded Travelers (TRV) to Equal Weight from Underweight with an unchanged price target of $166. His prior rating was "highly predicated" on reserve weakness in general liability occurrence and commercial auto lines. However, his expectations have "largely played out," and he now sees a stronger reserve position in commercial auto with longer-lasting support from workers' compensation at Travelers.
Keywords: analyst, analyst calls, upgrades, downgrades, initiations, research, wall street