Here are the biggest calls on Wall Street Thursday:
Cowen initiating Apple as 'outperform'
"We are initiating on AAPL with an Outperform rating and $220 price target. Does the iPhone Business Make AAPL a Trading Stock or Bond Coupon? We think it's a bit of both... Smartphones are a mature market and lack of revolutionary innovation and mispricing have led to well publicized iPhone challenges... With the iPhone installed base at 900M units and oldest devices approaching 5 years, we believe annual iPhone shipments are running near replacement demand (900M / 5yrs = 180M) - potentially a supportive LT annuity for device sales... We model iPhone units down 15% Y/Y in CY19 to 175M units, but a C1H19 run-rate of 75M units implies an improved C2H trajectory and therefore the stock could be a good buy from a short-term trading standpoint as well... Stock buybacks can help support the stock near term, in our view..."
Read more about this call here.
J.P. Morgan on Boeing
"It seems likely to us that Boeing will compensate operators for their grounded aircraft and this can take many forms, including both near-term cash and future purchase economics... As a floor, if 737 MAX rent is ~$300k per month and there are ~375 in service, the monthly impact would be ~$115 mn; however, airlines will likely seek compensation for the cost of alternative lift, other operating costs, and lost profits, so the final number could be a multiple of this amount.."
Mizuho initiating Microsoft as 'buy'
"We initiate on MSFT with a Buy rating and a $135 price target... We believe investor concerns about Azure deceleration are overblown and that Azure is becoming more powerful... We also believe MSFT has assembled an impressive collection of cloud assets that should continue to drive strong overall growth for a company its size... Our SoTP analysis, which incorporates our proprietary Azure DCF model, also implies healthy upside. MSFT is one of our top picks..."
Mizuho initiating Salesforce as 'buy'
"We initiate on CRM with a Buy rating and a $185 price target... We believe CRM is perfectly situated to help its vast customer base manage revenue and process optimization via digital transformation, with its best-in-class cloud platform... CRM presides over an incredibly powerful ecosystem of partners and customers, and our market share analysis indicates significant upside potential over the next 2-3 years. CRM is one of our top picks..."
Deutsche Bank upgrading General Mills to 'buy' from 'neutral'
"Although the stock has appreciated already ~20% YTD, pressure still exists in the company's snack bar and soup categories, and divestment dilution risk looms, the core U.S. base business at General Mills seems to have stabilized and the opportunity with Blue Buffalo remains underappreciated, supported by our proprietary dbDIG survey and revenue capture analysis... Driven by years of subpar growth and missed guidance expectations, we believe there's been some reluctance to buy General Mills' shares despite strengthening U.S. retail data trends and margin-accretive distribution and share gain potential with pet at Walmart... That being said, we believe upside exists, as a margin mix positive Blue combined with a more stabilized base business implies not only that the top line could accelerate and margin could expand in FY'20, but also that consensus could simply be too low... Coming out of our company HQ visit in October, we said that the stock would likely rebound nicely if management's expectations around price/mix, innovation-led distribution gains, and cost savings/synergy potential played out in the back-half of this fiscal year... We also said that we wanted to see sustainable gains in the base and learn more about the Walmart Blue launch before becoming incrementally bullish... Given we've watched base momentum stabilize and have better perspective on Blue Buffalo, we finally upgrade the shares to a Buy, driven by an overly discounted valuation vis-à-vis go-forward growth potential relative to peers... The current state and positioning of Mills doesn't have to be a reflection of the past, in our view, so nor should valuation..."
BTIG upgrading Snapchat to 'buy' from 'neutral'
"We are upgrading Snapchat to BUY from Neutral, with a $15 price target based on 25x 2022E adjusted EBITDA discounted back 2 years at 15%... Your initial reaction is likely why now and what changed, as virtually everything that could go wrong for Snapchat over the past couple years since going public has gone wrong... Snapchat was far too slow to realize the threat posed by Instagram (losing their dominance in friend story creation and their hold on "Influencers"), they moved far too slowly in addressing their Android problems, their senior executive suite was poor (and we are being kind), the SEC and DOJ opened investigations into IPO disclosures and, worse yet, Snapchat rushed out a major update rather than testing and learning, which confused and infuriated their most valuable asset, their users... While SNAP shares have bounced off a late 2018 low of sub $5, shares are currently 33% below their March 2017 IPO level of $17..."
Read more about this call here.
Needham raising price target on Roku to $85 from $65
"We raise our 12-month PT for Roku to $85 (from $65), and Roku remains our top pick for 2019 owing to: a) Roku is a platform company "arms dealer" that aggregates 5,000 third-party premium streaming video apps; b) At 27mm OTT users, every new streaming service (including DIS, T, and APPL) will sign contracts (including rev shares) that allow its new service to be viewed by Roku's users, we believe; c) TV advertisers must follow viewers to sell new products, and about 10MM Roku's users do not have linear TV, plus Roku's ad demos skew young (ie, valuable); d) the Roku Channel aggregates the best content on Roku's platform and gives Roku more control of ad units and 2x more economics (note: Roku owns no content); e) Rising barriers to entry as 50% of users now come from Roku TVs; f) international expansion; and g) Roku may be acquired..."