- Deutsche Bank upgraded Target to buy from hold
- Jefferies upgraded Anheuser-Busch InBev to hold from underperform
- Citi downgraded Prudential to buy from neutral
- Deutsche Bank downgraded Dollar Tree to hold from buy
- Jefferies initiated Alibaba as buy
- Morgan Stanley added Coca-Cola to the fresh money buy list
- Loop Capital raised its price target on Alphabet to $1,350 from $1,250
Here are the biggest calls on Wall Street on Monday:
Deutsche Bank said Target is on a profitable growth pace that can be sustained and that the stock is attractively valued.
"We recently resumed coverage of TGT and, in our view, this is a very different company than the one we covered years ago. Today, TGT is growing profitably with EBITDA dollars up MSD in 1Q, a pace we believe can be sustained through supply chain enhancements that lower per-unit fulfillment costs, market share gains in key cate-gories often with higher margin private brands, and strong returns on remodels and new small format stores."
"ABI is addressing head-on the two key areas of pushback to the equity story (a) topline growth (b) leverage. With synergies coming to an end, ABI has back-solved the way to accelerating topline through a portfolio play, helped by an improving macro and a more balanced approach to growth. We move to HOLD to reflect this change; however, we await further evidence in sustainability of this growth before taking a more positive stance."
Citi said the insurer will see earnings growth "muted" going forward.
"Our prior positive thesis on PRU assumed its high-quality business mix should translate into superior EPS growth / ROE performance. While we still feel this overall thesis could make sense over the long term, we argue this story likely won't be evident in PRU's near-term results (i.e., muted EPS growth over at least the next year or so). In other words, our thesis has been interrupted."
Deutsche Bank said the company's risk/reward profile is now balanced and noted renewed concerns about the impact of tariffs.
"We are moving to the sidelines, downgrading DLTR from Buy to Hold, as we now find risk/reward balanced, especially with renewed concerns around tariffs. On the one hand, we still view DLTR as a high quality retailer with a well regarded management team at the helm, as well as rock solid trends at the Dollar Tree segment (1Q marked the 7th consecutive quarter above a 2-year stack of 6%)."
Jefferies initiated coverage of the China retailer and said Alibaba will benefit in the short term from seasonal trends.
"Strong cash cow marketplace model with huge potential In FY20, we estimate Alibaba revenue to grow 35% YoY to RMB510bn, within which its core marketplace grows 26% YoY to RMB262bn (51% of total revenue). Backed by data insights and high return on investment marketing tools, we expect paid clicks growth to be driven by improving conversion rate supported by an increasing number of paying merchants."
Morgan Stanley said that stronger pricing power will help lead EPS growth even higher in 2020 for Coca-Cola.
"At KO, we see stronger pricing power, volume growth, and new products supporting an acceleration of EPS growth to high single digit levels in 2020 while improvements in working capital, tapering restructuring costs, and lower capex all increase FCF conversion. We think these drivers and a defensive underlying business can help deliver relative outperformance as market earnings fall."
Loop Capital raised its price target on Alphabet and said the company's reaccleration in websites revenue growth was "reassuring."
"Our new price objective of $1,350 (from $1,250 previous) applies the same methodology on higher EPS estimates. We think the reacceleration in Websites revenue growth is reassuring for investors, but that momentum in Google Cloud and the return of capital to investors may be even more important to the narrative and trading multiple."