A booth of Micron Technology at an industrial fair in Frankfurt, Germany.
Kai Pfaffenbach | Reuters
Here are the biggest calls on Wall Street on Wednesday:
Longbow upgraded Micron to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’
Longbow said it sees improving fundamentals in the memory and flash storage chip market.
“Our checks highlight upside in shipments and improving DRAM and NAND pricing fundamentals associated with upside at select hyperscales and risk of tightening supply. As a result, upstream inventory drawdown is occurring faster than previously forecast, which should drive a bottoming in DRAM fundamentals by year-end to pair with an in-process recovery in NAND fundamentals.”
Raymond James upgraded Callaway Golf to ‘outperform’ from ‘market perform’
Raymond James said among other things that it thinks concerns about Callaway’s recent purchase of outdoor wear and equipment brand Jack Wolfskin are “priced in.”
“Our more constructive view of the shares is based on our belief that the stock: 1) is not fully reflecting the company’s 14% stake in TopGolf which it appears to be increasingly open to monetizing; and 2) is being overly penalized for the recent acquisition of Jack Wolfskin, which is obscuring the health of the balance of its portfolio.”
Oppenheimer downgraded Costco to ‘perform’ from ‘outperform’
Oppenheimer said it sees less upside for the shares given its premium valuation, but remains upbeat on the company’s long term prospects.
“As we look forward, we now see less upside for shares driven by the now even more premium valuation, potentially aggressive Street forecasts, and difficult compares especially in Q2. We continue to remain quite upbeat on COST’s longer-term prospects and view the company as best positioned in the entire consumer staples/food retailing universe. From here, we are closely watching for any potential pullbacks, which happen from time to time. Although we now see less upside, we still see prospects for a $10–15 special dividend.”
Read more about this call here.
Evercore ISI initiated Cisco as ‘outperform’
Evercore ISI said in its initiation note that it thinks the multinational technology company has a “unique” portfolio of assets.
“Cisco is well-positioned as an end-to-end solutions provider across the enterprise networking product spectrum; CSCO’s unique portfolio of assets allows the company to address emerging growth adjacencies (security, services, cloud-based solutions) while maintaining market leading positions in several core networking product categories (~$60B+ Enterprise TAM).”
Raymond James downgraded Dave and Buster’s to ‘market perform’ from ‘outperform’
Raymond James downgraded the operator of entertainment-oriented restaurants after its earnings report where it lowered full-year guidance, citing a “competitive environment”.
“We are downgrading shares of PLAY to Market Perform from Outperform as a recent further deterioration in comps offsets the stock’s low valuation and potential activists, in our view (recall Hill Path now owns just under 5.0% + new shareholders HG Vora 5.5%, Blue Harbour 1.8%). Amusement comps (high margin) have turned incrementally negative on difficult VR/Halo comparisons while recent F&B value initiatives have failed to gain traction.”
Credit Suisse upgraded Alcoa to ‘outperform’ from ‘neutral’
Credit Suisse upgraded the aluminum producer and said it thinks alumina prices are on a path to recovery.
“We expect alumina prices to recover on significant capacity cuts in China, an end to inventory destocking, and the Alpart shutdown. Smelter profit margins have improved significantly with LME prices remaining firm despite global macro headwinds and sharp declines in key raw material inputs. Alcoa appears significantly undervalued on most metrics. Potential monetization of non-core assets we believe will yield positive valuation uplift.”
Citi added United Rentals to the ‘focus list’
Citi said the equipment rental company has “meaningfully” improved its balance sheet.
“We think URI still offers compelling risk/reward based on our $160 price target. High Vol Discount —The premium of low-vol names is at a multi-decade high and may prove unsustainable, with URI screening well on this front. As an example, URI now sits -30% off of its 52 week high while its closest public comp Ashtead is -8% off from its 52 week high.”
Bank of America downgraded ADP to ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’
Bank of America said positive fundamentals are now largely priced in for the business outsourcing solutions provider.
“ADP has outperformed the S&P500 by 35% over the past 18 months, fueled largely by strong execution against margin expansion targets which has resulted in a higher implied bar for performance going forward. However, we now see the positive fundamental aspects of the story largely priced in, and following margin outperformance in F19, we don’t expect as much expansion in F20 or F21.”