What has Wall Street been buzzing about this week? Here are the top 5 Buy calls and the top 5 Sell calls made by Wall Street's best analysts during the week of August 28-September 1.
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Top 5 Buy Calls:
1. Nvidia upgraded to Buy from Accumulate at Phillip Securities
Phillip Securities upgraded Nvidia (NVDA) to Buy from Accumulate with a $645 price target, up from $440. Data center growth drove the strong revenue beat in Q2 and even stronger Q3 guidance, the firm tells investors in a research note. Phillip Securities says a "market monopoly" is driving "blowout results" for Nvidia.
2. Shopify upgraded to Buy at Canaccord after meetings with CFO
Canaccord upgraded Shopify (SHOP) to Buy from Hold with a price target of $70, up from $60, following investor meetings with Shopify's CFO Jeff Hoffmeister and Head of IR Carrie Gillard. The firm came away from its meetings feeling like the setup for Shopify from here is "pretty good," and despite what it feels like is a premium, "though arguably warranted valuation," its "instinct is that SHOP should be a BUY, not a Hold." E-commerce is a secular growth space and Shopify has become "the de facto standard for SMB and increasingly mid-market/low-enterprise merchants," says the firm, adding that "this should be a good market for many years to come." Canaccord believes POS and B2B will become more material drivers of gross merchandise value in the years ahead.
3. Oracle upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
UBS upgraded Oracle (ORCL) to Buy from Neutral with a price target of $140, up from $120, as it is increasingly confident that Oracle "has carved out an under-appreciated edge" in terms of its GPU capacity as well as its cloud architecture, enough to attract new customers and drive cloud usage. Even with the stock already up 42% year-to-date, GPU supply constraints could be enough to drive outsized performance in Oracle shares, the firm tells investors in a research note. UBS says its independent checks corroborated the notion that Oracle is benefiting from outsized allocations of Nvidia GPUs relative to its size.
4. Palo Alto initiated with Buy at WestPark Capital
WestPark Capital initiated coverage of Palo Alto Networks (PANW) with a Buy rating and $340 price target. The firm believes Palo Alto is "leaving competitors far behind" and that the company's growing scale will provide additional competitive benefits versus smaller point solutions. Palo Alto should deliver long-term "consistent growth," WestPark Capital tells investors in a research note.
5. Arista Networks upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citi
Citi upgraded Arista Networks (ANET) to Buy from Neutral with a price target of $220, up from $177. The firm expects 400G cloud spend to recover into next year as hyperscaler spending on traditional data center infrastructure rebounds and a top customer's capex recovers. While "round one" went to InfiniBand, Arista and networking peers expect ethernet to gain share in 2024 and 2025 as artificial intellitence clusters grow and are more broadly implemented across existing networks, Citi tells investors in a research note. The firm increased 2024 and 2025 earnings estimates to reflect modestly stronger mid-teens sales growth and margin expansion for Arista Networks. It expects the November investor day to be a a positive catalyst for the stock.
Top 5 Sell Calls:
1. Texas Instruments downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
Bernstein downgraded Texas Instruments (TXN) to Underperform from Market Perform with an unchanged price target of $145. The firm says Street models do not appear to contemplate the consequences of Texas Instruments' capex and inventory plans. Gross margin expectations appear "far too high," Bernstein tells investors in a research note. The firm believes the company's gross margins are headed toward the 60% level "in short order," which is well below current expectations. As such, the stock, which is "already expensive, is even more expensive than it looks," contends Bernstein.
2. Palantir downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley downgraded Palantir Technologies (PLTR) to Underweight from Equal Weight with a price target of $9, up from $8. The firm says near-term optimism in the company's artificial intelligence product cycle and the stock's valuation premium create an unfavorable risk/reward in the shares. Visibility on Palantir's Artificial Intelligence Platform monetization still remains low, the government segment appears unlikely to provide an offset and estimates already imply a second half of 2023 growth reacceleration, Morgan Stanley tells investors in a research note.
3. Barclays downgrades Rockwell Automation to Underweight, lowers target to $287
Barclays downgraded Rockwell Automation (ROK) to Underweight from Equal Weight with a price target of $287, down from $300. The company has attractive end market exposures and an un-levered balance sheet, but the stock's valuation is "quite rich" after rallying 20% year-to-date, Barclays tells investors in a research note. The firm thinks Rockwell may have difficulty meeting high expectations amid a rebalance lower of factory automation orders and sales over the near-term.
4. Celanese downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at Piper Sandler
Piper Sandler downgraded Celanese (CE) to Underweight from Neutral with a price target of $112, down from $120. The firm believes many of the actions the company is undertaking to raise cash "will prove detrimental to future growth and earnings." In addition, Celanese has a "significant number of obstacles to overcome" in the markets it participates in "simply to get back to a situation where revenue and earnings can grow again," Piper tells investors in a research note. The firm sees the situation in Europe created by an overflow of Chinese product as particularly challenging and says it may take another 12 months or more to reverse.
5. C.H. Robinson downgraded to Negative at Susquehanna on brokers' difficult path
Susquehanna downgraded C.H. Robinson (CHRW) to Negative from Neutral with a price target of $77, down from $88. Truck brokers "face a difficult cyclical path into 2024," says the firm, which adds that it sees the truckload brokerage model as "the most challenged in transports." Susquehanna is cutting its second half and 2024 brokerage forecasts, with "the most severe downside" seen for contractually levered C.H. Robinson and RXO (RXO), the firm tells investors.