Check out today's top analyst calls from around Wall Street, compiled by The Fly.
BUY APPLE: KeyBanc analyst Brandon Nispel initiated coverage of Apple (AAPL) with an Overweight rating and $191 price target. Apple's user base is growing across products and geographies and its user growth fuels growth in services, giving the company's ecosystem a competitive advantage, Nispel told investors in a research note. The analyst sees growth and margin upside, "strong" shareholder-friendly capital allocation, and potential for new products and services. These "create a strong investment profile," Nispel added.
UPGRADE AFTER SELLOFF FROM PEAK: HSBC analyst Nicolas Cote-Colisson upgraded Meta (MVRS) to Hold from Reduce with an unchanged price target of $300. The shares are under pressure after a "regulatory setback," despite upside risks on advertising and rising interest in metaverse, Cote-Colisson told investors in a research note. The analyst believes the Meta investment case "remains a fragile balance between risks of more regulation and new business opportunities" With the stock down 19% since the September 7 peak, Cote-Colisson upgraded the shares to Hold on valuation as he thinks the share price now better reflects Meta's risks.
ANALYSTS ROLL OUT COVERAGE: Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas initiated coverage of Rivian Automotive (RIVN) with an Overweight rating and $147 price target. Given Rivian's "compelling product," strong management, and access to capital underpinned by a strategic relationship with Amazon (AMZN), Jonas views the company as "the one" that can challenge Tesla (TSLA), he told investors. Jonas thinks the company's R1T/R1S is "the most capable/desirable product in the market" for about $80,000 and that the electric delivery van has the potential to dominate the fast growing final mile EV fleet "largely unaddressed by the EV market until now." He also calls the 100,000 figure for the company's order from Amazon "a stale number" and believes closer to 300,000 units from Rivian to Amazon is more likely through 2025 to 2026.
Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives also started coverage of Rivian Automotive with an Outperform rating and a price target of $130. The analyst noted that Rivian's debut vehicles, the R1T and R1S, are anticipated to launch in early 2022, competing with General Motors' (GM) all-new Hummer, Ford's (F) stalwart F-150, Tesla down the road, and on a path to disrupt the auto industry over the next decade. With over $10B in funding before going public and Amazon as a 20% owner, a vertically integrated process, 48,000 pre-orders for the R1 platform and a stable 100,000 unit delivery partnership with Amazon on the commercial front, Ives believes Rivian has the potential to become one of the leaders in the electric vehicle industry over the next decade. With the popularity and consumer demand for EVs on the trucking/SUV market, he thinks Rivian is in "the catbird's seat" to take considerable market share in this EV arms race under its "visionary" CEO and founder RJ Scaringe.
Additionally, Baird, Piper Sandler, RBC Capital, Mizuho, Bank of America, Wolfe Research, and Deutsche Bank initiated coverage of Rivian with Buy-equivalent ratings, and Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan started the name with Neutral-equivalent ratings.
BULLISH ON HOME DEPOT: Oppenheimer analyst Brian Nagel upgraded Home Depot (HD) to Outperform from Perform with a $470 price target. Risks of a "significant, transitional-type setback" for home improvement retail have diminished and underlying demand growth within the space is apt to persist, even as pandemic tailwinds abate, Nagel told investors in a research note. The analyst sees "continued solid, if not outsized, sales and profit expansion" at Home Depot and Lowe's (LOW) for the foreseeable future.
MOST DOWNSIDE RISK PRICED IN: Citi analyst Jason Bazinet upgraded Electronic Arts (EA) to Buy from Neutral with a price target of $150, down from $160. The stock has been under pressure since it reported results in early November, creating a favorable risk/reward, Bazinet told investors in a research note. The analyst's base case assumes Battlefield 2042 performs below Battlefield V and experiences "some incremental IDFA headwinds," but with Electronic Arts still able to achieve its fiscal 2022 outlook. His scenario analysis suggests most of the downside risk may be priced into the equity at current levels.