This Week, From The Analyst Community

Stock analysts can provide valuable insight into the sentiment around a certain stock or sector and shed some light on what is possible or likely for a stock.  Stirring in the analyst community can sometimes be early signs of stock movement.  Which is why our team reviews dozens of analyst research reports each and every day with the goal of finding new investment ideas for our readers. 

Of the hundred of reports we reference weekly, some stand out among the others for various reasons.  Our team has sifted through this week’s reports and whittled it down to the most pertinent moves.   

Read on for the details on some of the most impactful actions taken by brokerage firms over the past week.  

Monday, January 31st

  • Beyond Meat (BYND) was double upgraded at Barclays from Underweight to Overweight along with a price target increase from $70 to $80.  Analyst Benjamin Theurer believes Beyond Meat has the potential to become a global leader in the alternative meat market and that while increasing competition is set to continue, there are “more positives than negatives.”  According to Thurer, the company’s growth prospects in the U.S. foodservice channel and international segments are not properly reflected in the current valuation following the recent sell-off. 
  • Credit Suisse analyst Dan Levy upgraded Tesla (TSLA) to Outperform from Neutral.  Following the recent sell-off, the analyst believes an attractive entry point has emerged.   He believes the stock will recover given the company’s’ “robust fundamentals.”  Further volume growth and sustained margin strength should drive upside to consensus estimates.  The company is a “one of one,” said the analyst, who is “hard pressed to find a stock that checks all the boxes as Tesla does.” Levy believes Tesla offers an attractive growth story, disruption and decarbonization.  

Tuesday, February 1st

  • UBS analyst Brian Reynolds downgraded Cheniere Energy Partners (CQP) to Neutral from Buy.  The analyst says that after a 21% rally over the past six weeks, the stock is now appropriately valued. 

Wednesday, February 2nd

  • Exxon Mobil (XOM) was upgraded to Buy from Hold with a $92 price target at Argus.  Analyst Bill Selesky cited the company’s fourth quarter earnings beat, saying that it stands to benefit from strong energy market fundamentals, as well as from its improving balance sheet, reduced capital spending and higher free cash flow.  
  • Northcoast analyst Jim Sanderson upgraded Papa John’s (PZZA) from Neutral to Buy with a $147 price target.  The analyst feels  that Papa John’s continues to exceed expectations, driving sales growth, which has continued through the current period.
  • JMP Securities analyst Andrew Boone reinstated coverage of Upwork (UPWK) and Fiverr (FVRR) with Outperform ratings and $150 and $55 price targets, respectively ahead of its fourth quarter earnings. The analyst recommends investors take advantage of the significant pullback in these two stocks.

Thursday, February 3rd

  • Needham analyst Vikram Bagri upgraded SolarEdge (SEDG) to Buy from Hold with a $347 price target. The analyst says that the company’s solid fundamental landscape, the likelihood of favorable resolution of regulatory uncertainties, and the recent share price decline create a compelling buying opportunity for SolarEdge shares.
  • Barclays analyst Adrienne Yih downgraded Gap (GPS) from Overweight to Equal Weight with a price target of $15, down from $27. The analyst’s promotional analysis suggests a “negative inflection” to year-over-year promos at Old Navy, Gap, and Athleta.  During January, Yih’s promotional checks showed Old Navy and Gap are running some of the “absolute deepest promotions amongst retailers for this time of year.”  Further, Gap has exposure to a sub $75,000 household income, a group that benefited materially from 2021 stimulus, the analyst tells investors in a research note.  She believes there could be margin and earnings risk to Gap’s holiday quarter and 2022 guidance.

Friday, February 4th

  • Citi analyst Wendy Nicholson upgraded Estee Lauder (EL) from Neutral to Buy with a price target of $374, up from $355.  EL has pulled back 20% on concerns about a slowdown in China and higher investment spending in the near-term, the analyst tells investors in a research note. While appreciating these worries, the analyst says Estee Lauder “remains one of the structurally fastest growing and strategically best-placed names” in the sector.

BofA analyst Brent Navon initiated coverage of BuzzFeed(BZFD) with a Neutral rating and $5 price target.  While the current valuation appears “undemanding,” he views BuzzFeed as a classic “show me” story.