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MercadoLibre's Valuation Is Too Compelling To Pass Up, KeyBanc Says In Upgrade

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MercadoLibre's Valuation Is Too Compelling To Pass Up, KeyBanc Says In Upgrade
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The payments prospects for Latin American e-commerce marketplace Mercadolibre Inc (NASDAQ: MELI) prompted KeyBanc Capital Markets to upgrade the stock this week. 

The Analyst

Analyst Brad Erickson upgraded MercadoLibre from Sector Weight to Overweight and set a $350 price target.

The Thesis

The Latin American commerce and banking system is benefiting from technology after years of structural and regulatory impediments, Erickson said in an upgrade note issued after the analyst met with with several companies in Latin America's fintech, payments and e-commerce sectors. 

The analyst sees room for multiple players to operate with success, with the total addressable market likely larger than the widely accepted estimate of 10-15 million merchants in Brazil alone. 

MercadoLibre possesses a "unique go-to-market" with a highly established, two-sided marketplace platform that's widely known to a large number of Latin American consumers and merchants, Erickson said. 

Although KeyBanc projects currency headwinds deferring upside in the near term, MercadoLibre's focus on payments as well as Erickson's confidence in the company's logistics and positioning versus Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) make the stock a compelling proposition, he said. 

"We think we're on the doorstep of a meaningful narrative change, with investor focus shifting from marketplace growth and operational challenges to MELI's ability to capture and monetize the long tail of smaller merchants and consumers beginning to leverage electronic payments."

The Price Action

MercadoLibre shares were trading up 2.95 percent to $296.78 at the time of publication Tuesday.

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Latest Ratings for MELI

DateFirmActionFromTo
Nov 2018BTIG ResearchInitiates Coverage OnBuy
Nov 2018BarclaysMaintainsOverweightOverweight
Oct 2018Credit SuisseMaintainsOutperformOutperform

View More Analyst Ratings for MELI
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Brad Erickson e-commerce KeyBanc Capital MarketsAnalyst Color Fintech Upgrades Price Target Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga

 

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