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.  Stirrings 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 hundreds 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, May 16th

  • JPMorgan analyst Alex Yao double-upgraded Alibaba (BABA) to Overweight from Underweight with a price target of $130, up from $75. The “significant uncertainties” facing the China internet sector are beginning to abate on the back of recent regulatory announcements, Chang told investors in a research note. The analyst also double-upgraded Pinduoduo (PDD), Tencent (TCEHY) and NetEase (NTES) to Overweight from Underweight, and upgraded (JD), Baidu (BIDU) Bilibili (BILI) to Neutral from Underweight.

Tuesday, May 17th

  • Piper Sandler analyst Harsh Kumar upgraded AMD (AMD) to Overweight from Neutral with a price target of $140, up from $98. The analyst is using the recent share weakness “to get constructive on the name again,” saying his downgrade thesis of a slowing PC market and the lack of near-term accretion from Xilinx “doesn’t appear to be playing out as expected.”
  • Tudor Pickering analyst Matt Portillo upgraded Tesla (TSLA) to Hold from Sell. With the stock down 31% this year, Portillo sees better-than-expected automotive gross margins and what he expects to be upside to the consensus 2022 earnings view as reasons to be in a “neutral” position on the stock at current levels, he said.
  • Benchmark analyst Christopher Kuhn initiated coverage of J.B. Hunt (JBHT) with a Buy rating and $215 price target. He thinks intermodal volume growth will turn positive in 2022 as rail congestion eases and believes intermodal pricing should stay strong for the first half of the year, said Kuhn.

Wednesday, May 18th

  • Roth Capital analyst Richard Baldry upgraded Salesforce (CRM) to Buy from Neutral with a $242 price target. Given a near 50% selloff versus their 52-week highs, Baldry believes Salesforce’s resulting 5.6-times run-rate revenue multiple now adequately factors in its less savory operational tendencies.
  • Jefferies analyst David Katz upgraded Penn National (PENN) to Buy from Hold with a $49 price target, as he argues that the recent weakness has reduced the shares to a level that “comfortably reflects” the stable cash generation of the land-based casino business while assigning “de minimis value” for the company’s digital prospects.
  • Roth Capital analyst Richard Baldry upgraded Five9 (FIVN) to Buy from Neutral with a $129 price target after resuming coverage of the name. The analyst believes Five9 remains one of the premier publicly-traded software-as-a-service players.
  • Truist analyst Scot Ciccarelli downgraded Target (TGT) to Hold from Buy with a $261 price target after its first quarter earnings miss. While he’s against downgrading a stock when it is under significant pressure, it is doubtful that Target will get much support in the coming quarters after the results and lowered 2022 outlook.
  • Wells Fargo analyst Michael Turrin initiated coverage of ServiceNow (NOW) with an Overweight rating and $600 price target. Benefiting from a number of secular trends that are transforming businesses globally – the rise of automation, cloud infrastructure, edge computing, application modernization, remote work, among others – he finds ServiceNow’s “platform of platforms” sits at a critical point in the digital transformation lifecycle, positioned to capitalize on the increasing need for modernization initiatives globally.

Thursday, May 19th

  • Morgan Stanley analyst Kimberly Greenberger downgraded Under Armour (UAA; UA) to Equal Weight from Overweight with a price target of $11, down from $14. The departure of Under Armour’s CEO lowers confidence in the company’s turnaround, Greenberger told investors in a research note.
  • Citi analyst Christian Wetherbee downgraded Norfolk Southern (NSC), Union Pacific (UNP) and CSX (CSX) to Neutral from Buy with price targets of $260, $235 and $35, respectively. The analyst sees near-term risk in a decelerating freight and economic environment and notes that rail valuations have actually improved relative to the market while earnings growth expectations are at their highest.

Friday, May 20th

  • BofA analyst Jason Haas upgraded Ollie’s Bargain Outlet (OLLI) to Buy from Underperform with a price target of $75, up from $30. The analyst cites industry research suggesting that the sourcing environment has “meaningfully improved” over the past several months as retailers over-order due to supply chain delays and given the sharp decline in consumer spending on durable goods.

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