Investing

Here are the biggest analyst calls of the day: Uber, Qualcomm,Visa, Estee Lauder & more

Key Points
  • Wedbush initiated Uber as outperform
  • D.A. Davidson initiated Uber as neutral
  • Deutsche Bank downgraded Hilton to hold from buy
  • Deutsche Bank upgraded Clorox to hold from sell
  • Goldman Sachs reinstated Visa as buy
  • Baird upgraded Zynga to outperform from neutral
  • Raymond James upgraded Qualcomm to strong buy from outperform
  • Bank of America upgraded Qualcomm to buy from neutral
  • Telsey Advisory Group raised its price target on Estee Lauder to $195 from $190
  • RBC downgraded Estee Lauder to sector perform from outperform
  • Loop Capital upgraded World Wrestling Entertainment to buy from hold
Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive officer of Uber Technologies.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Here are the biggest calls on Wall Street on Thursday:

Wedbush initiated Uber as 'outperform'

Wedbush is bullish on the company's ability to be an "unrivaled" ridesharing platform.

"We are initiating on UBER with an OUTPERFORM rating and $65 price target. The ridesharing industry has become one of the most transformational growth sectors of the global consumer market over the past five years with Uber establishing itself as the clear #1 player and in our opinion is paving a similar road to what Amazon did to transform retail/ecommerce and Facebook did for social media . The brand loyalty of Uber is hard to dispute as the company continues to attract drivers and consumers illustrating an impressive formula to go after a $5.7 trillion opportunity globally on transportation which swells to $7-$8 trillion when including third party food delivery and freight/logistics. A core tenet of our bull thesis on Uber is around the company's ability to morph its unrivaled ridesharing platform into a broader consumer engine with Uber Eats, Uber Freight, and autonomous initiatives "just scratching the surface" of the full monetization potential of this platform over the next decade."

D.A. Davidson initiated Uber as 'neutral'

D.A. Davidson initiated Uber saying that company "uncertain" profitability timeline among other things left them at neutral.

"We initiate coverage of UBER with a NEUTRAL rating and $53 price target. UBER is a leading online transportation network that's revolutionizing personal mobility, and is leveraging its platform to similarly disrupt the global food delivery and logistics/freight markets. UBER filed its S-1 on April 11th and is expected to IPO on Friday May 10th, with a pricing range of $44-$50. Our rating balances UBER's leading competitive position (which could result in better LT margins vs. peers) and the synergy potential across UBER's various businesses with the company's slowing revenue growth, uncertain profitability timeline, and deteriorating recent margin trends."

Deutsche Bank downgraded Hilton to 'hold' from 'buy'

Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock mainly on valuation.

"While our estimates, target multiples, and Price Target (to $95 from $87) are all high-er, we believe the ~30% YTD return (SPX +18%) leaves HLT fully valued at current levels. Accordingly, we believe downside risk, at current levels, should RevPAR con-tinue to stagnate or decelerate further, balances the upside benefit of a continued, and warranted, greater appreciation of the business model. Said differently, our decision to step aside from our Buy rating today has less to do with any Company specific headwinds, and more to do with our view of where we are in the lodging cycle, HLT's position within it, which gave us the confidence to continue recommending it to this stage, and current valuation."

Deutsche Bank upgraded Clorox to 'hold' from 'sell'

Deutsche Bank upgraded the company saying it sees many of its concerns "fairly" priced in.

"Although not entirely unexpected, CLX results were disappointing with the company missing consensus on top-line, EBIT, and EPS; and guiding down both FY19 sales and EBIT. With the stock underperforming the S&P 500 both on Wednesday and YTD, we see most of our concerns (around competition) now more fairly priced in. As such, we are raising our rating on CLX to Hold (from Sell) while maintaining our prior $139 target, which still reflects -6% downside to Wednesday's close (albeit only -3.5% downside inclusive of dividend yield)."

Goldman Sachs reinstated Visa as 'buy'

Goldman Sachs said it's excited about the company's upcoming earnings and product announcements.

"We remove the NR designation from Visa shares and reinstate our rating at Buy, with a 12-month price target of $188 (14% upside potential). We continue to see multiple opportunities for Visa to deliver upside to Street estimates (our FY20 EPS estimate is 3.5% above FactSet consensus), and we expect upcoming product announcements and earnings reports to serve as catalysts for the stock."

Baird upgraded Zynga to 'outperform' from 'neutral'

Baird upgraded the social game developer primarily on its better than expected earnings report.

"We are upgrading Zynga to Outperform from Neutral following better-than-expected Q1 results largely confirming a successful turnaround and M&A strategy, improving organic growth outlook, and less dependence on new game launches. Moreover, margin compression is not as significant as we feared after management original profit warning in February. Zynga's portfolio is showing resilience despite strong competition, with additional platform growth opportunities ahead from Internet platforms/messaging apps/5G upgrades/streaming."

Raymond James upgraded Qualcomm to 'strong buy' from 'outperform'

Raymond James said it has increased confidence that Qualcomm will see greater value ahead of 5G and after the Apple settlement.

"While we had already been positive on the stock ahead of the settlement due to what we believed was the company's intrinsic value, our upgrade reflects greater confidence that the mechanism is now in place to unlock that value, after the Apple settlement and ahead of the 5G cycle. Based on details from the release, we believe Apple's licensing payment amounts to $7.50/phone, precisely in line with our view following the settlement announcement - and we believe very close to what Apple had been paying (net of rebates) prior to the dispute. In the near-term, that's being offset by China market weakness (which QCOM believes may reflect a stall ahead of 5G phone availability), and higher expenses (which will improve as legal costs come down). Longer-term, our estimates assume $7.50 in earnings power once they begin to ship Apple chipsets, which can move to ~$8 after a Huawei settlement, presenting an attractive valuation even after the stock's recent move."

Bank of America upgraded Qualcomm to 'buy' from 'neutral'

Bank of America said it's bullish ahead of the upcoming 5G handset cycle.

"Qualcomm reported an in-line 2Q and weak guidance, which was centered on three weak drivers: first, revenue guidance is below the Street, despite the inclusion of Apple royalty revenues. Second, 3Q MSM shipments are also expected to be weak at 160mn vs. our 181mn on soft demand combined with Huawei gaining share. Third, opex is expected to grow 6-8% QoQ in 3Q vs our expectation for a 7% decline. The combination of these factors yields 3Q EPS guidance of $0.75 vs. our $1.00. We reduce our estimates accordingly, yet upgrade from a Neutral to a Buy as we believe 3Q marks a trough ahead of a 5G handset cycle which should catalyze growth in both QCT and QTL business segments. We raise our PO from $90 to $105, now based on 17x vs prior 14x pro forma EPS to account for our improved outlook."

Telsey Advisory Group raised its price target on Estee Lauder to $195 from $190

Telsey raised its price target after Estee Lauder's earnings report where it showed strength in China.

"EL continues to report impressive topline momentum, fueled by Asia/Pac where fears of a slowdown have not materialized. Ongoing efficiency efforts have leveraged expenses and led to significant EPS upside while allowing management to further invest in product innovation and digital advertising. The Americas remains a weaker spot, but EL has the ability to follow customers over time to their preferred shopping destinations in the online and specialty multi-channels. Given our confidence in the secular growth of the global beauty category and the expansion opportunity of the Chinese middle class, we maintain our Outperform rating. Given our increased estimates, we are raising our price target to $195 from $190 previously, which assumes a 19.6x EV/EBITDA multiple on our two-year forward EBITDA estimate of $3.699B, in-line with the recent average enterprise multiple."

RBC downgraded Estee Lauder to 'sector perform' from 'outperform'

RBC downgraded the stock mainly on valuation after a decade of recommending it.

"What a ride. After almost a decade of recommending the stock, we are downgrading EL shares to Sector Perform from Outperform. EL remains one of the best managed companies across our coverage, but we are struggling to take up our DCF-based price target (which assumes peak EBIT margins of 23% and a 7% revenue CAGR over the next 10 years) enough to justify an Outperform."

Loop Capital upgraded World Wrestling Entertainment to 'buy'  from 'hold'

Loop Capital said it's taking advantage of the recent pullback in the stock.

"WWE is uniquely positioned with live event programming, which has become the most valuable form of video content, in our view. The stock dropped 16% in the past week after 2Q guidance was below expectations and yesterday the Street learned that the 2Q guidance includes another highly profitable event in Saudi Arabia. Management is balancing short-term profits driven by the impressive increase in television rights with long-term growth by investing back in the franchise, particularly internationally. We believe the current softness in key metrics is temporary due to an unusual amount of talent injuries and the company should show doubledigit top-line growth and 30% compounded EPS growth. Despite lowering our 2019 and 2020 EPS estimates by roughly a dime, we are taking advantage of the recent pullback to raise our rating to Buy and our price target to $100 from $85."