Calls Of Note: The Street's Research Moving Stocks This Wednesday
The following represents a hand-picked selection of notable research curated by an analyst known in some circles as "The Sith Overlord Of The Street."
Bank Of America: Downgrading Vishay To Underperform
Ruplu Bhattacharya of Bank of America downgraded shares of Vishay Intertechnology (NYSE: VSH) to Underperform from Buy with a price target slashed to $8.50 from a previous $14 following the company's weaker than expected second-quarter print.
Looking forward, Bhattacharya expressed concern that an Automotive (25 percent of revenue) slowdown, particularly in China, may affect the company's exports. At the same time, the Industrial end market (36 percent of revenue) is expected to be weak in Asia, as well as some sectors in the United States such as oil and gas.
Bank Of America: Martin Marietta's ‘Strong' Outlook In Focus
Timna Tanners of Bank of America maintained a Buy rating on shares of Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. (NYSE: MLM) with a price target raised to $184 from a previous $162 after the company reported a Q2 EPS miss in a "weather-stricken" quarter.
Tanners cited management's comments that attributed weather issues, which negatively impacted its gross profit by $40 million, but expects the recovery of lost shipments could last through 2016 amid strong demand. Moreover, the company remains confident in an economic recovery (even in energy-rich Texas), while prices rose across all products and regions.
JPMorgan: Downgrading HubSpot
Mark Murphy of JPMorgan downgraded shares of HubSpot Inc (NYSE: HUBS) to Neutral from Overweight with an unchanged $45 price target following the stock's 58 percent year-to-date gain.
Murphy noted that shares recently traded above his $45 price target and imply a 9.1x EV/CY16E revenue, which is a "fair" premium to the group average of 6.5x given the company's "superior growth trajectory."
Susquehanna: Upgrading Advanced Energy Industries
Mehdi Hosseini of Susquehanna Financial Group upgraded shares of Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: AEIS) with a price target boosted to $35 from a previous $22.
Hosseini noted an upgraded rating is justified due to:
- 1) continued execution in divesting the Solar Inverter business
- 2) diversifying into Industrial and scaling the Services business
- 3) increasing its total addressable market as 3D NAND capacity increases.
Oppenheimer: ‘We Love' Skyworks At $89
Rick Schafer of Oppenheimer commented that Skyworks Solutions Inc (NASDAQ: SWKS) (Outperform, $120 price target) "continues to enjoy" content gains with its top customer (Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)). The analyst estimated the company saw a 20 to 25 percent content increase in the iPhone 6 versus the iPhone 5, with a further 15 to 20 percent content jump in the upcoming iPhone refresh.
Schafer added that Skyworks remains "ideally positioned" to see future growth, and the recent pullback offers an opportunity for long-term investors.
Wunderlich: Upgrading Chuy's Holdings
Robert Derrington of Wunderlich upgraded shares of Chuy's Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: CHUY) to Buy from Hold with a price target raised to $34 from a previous $24 following the company's "strong" second-quarter print and boosted 2015 earnings per share guidance.
Derrington noted the company raised its 2015 earnings per share guidance to a range of $0.82 to $0.85 from a previous $0.76 to $0.79. The revised guidance reflects the company's strong second quarter and "further gains to come."
Citi: Street Estimates For Microsoft ‘Still Look Too High'
Walter Pritchard of Citigroup commented on Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT)'s (Sell, $38 price target) fourth-quarter expectations, noting that his estimates range 6 to 10 percent below the Street's expectations.
Pritchard questioned why the Street's estimates are based on an "incremental confidence" in Windows. At the same time, foreign exchange rates are expected to have a "dampening impact" on Commercial revenue. The analyst suggested that the market "currently prices in the most optimistic scenarios for Microsoft shares, something that we've seen consistently over the past year despite estimates being continually cut."
Citi: Upgrading Kellogg To Buy
David Driscoll of Citigroup upgraded shares of Kellogg Company (NYSE: K) to Buy from Neutral with a price target raised to $80 from a previous $66 given a "renewed confidence" in the company's ability to return to growth in 2016 and beyond.
According to Driscoll's calculations, Kellogg only needs to increase its 2016 earnings per share by 30 cents year-over-year to meet its high-single-digit, long-term earnings per share growth target. The company can boost its earnings per share next year through Project K savings ($0.20 EPS gain) combined with "solid" zero-based budgeting benefits (another $0.20 EPS gain).
Evercore: Upgrading Hilton, Marriott
Rich Hightower, Evercore ISI, upgraded shares of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (NYSE: HLT) to Buy from Hold with a price target raised to $31 from a previous $30. The analyst also upgraded shares of Marriott International Inc (NASDAQ: MAR) to Buy from Hold with a price target raised to $91 from a previous $85.
According to Hightower, a continuation of "solid" fundamentals, global unit growth and attractive valuations justify a Buy rating. In Hilton's case, the analyst noted balance sheet delivering, the initiation of a dividend and potential structural catalysts related to the timeshare and owned real estate segments.
Hightower continued that Marriott's operating strength and free cash flow potential remains and the stock is attractive given its "asset-light business model."
Deutsche Bank: Downgrading Hyatt
Carlo Santarelli of Deutsche Bank downgraded shares of Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) to Hold from Buy with a price target lowered to $62 from a previous $66 given a lack of meaningful positive catalysts.
According to Santarelli, Hyatt's risk-to-reward profile is no longer "overly favorable," and the name lacks catalysts that will allow the stock to outperform its peers given its chain scale, geographic exposures and relative fee and unit growth.
Evercore: Upgrading J C Penney
Finally, Matt McGinley of Evercore ISI upgraded shares of J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE: JCP) to Hold from Sell with no assigned price target, as the company continues to make progress in merchandising.
However, the analyst cautioned the company is "not out of the woods," as it faces continued challenges in recovering sales, margin, free cash flow and, most importantly, in terms of profit and competition. Nevertheless, the company is "putting up a good fight" and a Sell rating is no longer warranted.
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