Here are the biggest calls on Wall Street on Wednesday: Wedbush initiates coverage of SoFi as outperform Wedbush said SoFi is well positioned to be a disruptive leader. "The company is a one-stop shop for financial services and this is a significant competitive advantage over neobank competitors who tend to focus on niche offerings rather than the full financial picture." UBS reiterates Apple as buy UBS kept its buy rating on the tech giant ahead of earnings later this month. The firm said it sees Mac and iPhone upside. "We expect Mac revenue to increase ~6% YoY to $9.2B against a tough +21% comp last year. We believe Apple' s refreshed portfolio along with persistent hybrid work/school dynamics drove share gains in Q4." RBC Capital Markets upgrades Exxon Mobil to sector perform from underperform RBC said in its upgrade of the stock that it sees several overall tailwinds for the sector. "We've been cautious on the XOM investment case through the pandemic, with concerns primarily driven by the company's position in the investment cycle relative to peers. In line with our constructive view on the sector, we upgrade to Sector Perform, as we believe the overall tailwinds for the sector are likely to outweigh company specific factors in 2022." Bank of America upgrades Kroger to neutral from underperform Bank of America said the supermarket chain is well positioned for 2022. "While we continue to see challenges for KR in 2022 (both sales/traffic & margins), we believe KR's scale & strong digital/omni-channel capabilities position it more favorably vs. smaller Food Retail peers in 2022 & beyond, & which supports valuation." Bank of America names Target as a top pick Bank of America named Target a top pick for 2022 and said it should be a beneficiary of high food inflation. "After 2 years of elevated Food at Home consumption, we see a shifting environment for Food Retailers in 2022 given: 1) high food inflation (costs & retail); 2) gov't stimulus roll-offs; 3) changing grocery shopping patterns; & 4) cont'd labor, freight & sourcing cost pressures. We see the 2H21 trends favoring Buy-rated TGT , WMT, & COST continuing, & we maintain our cautious view on lower-income & /or small format food/consumables retailers." Cowen reiterates Netflix as outperform Cowen kept its outperform rating on the stock heading into earnings on Thursday. The firm said it sees "elevated pricing power." "We expect paid net adds of 8.5MM, in line with guide, amid a 4Q-weighted content slate. Our US survey suggests NFLX leads living room TV, esp among younger viewers, who stated NFLX is the service they watch 'most often;' Tiktok is gaining Mobile viewing share." Atlantic Equities upgrades Electronic Arts to overweight from neutral Atlantic Equities upgraded the video game maker. The firm said shares are attractive as a standalone company after Microsoft announced it would buy Activision Blizzard . "The deal could nevertheless become a catalyst for further sector M & A, and, with its valuable sports content portfolio, we are upgrading Electronic Arts to Overweight. EA also trades at the low end of its historical valuation range so looks attractive even on a standalone basis." Bank of America reiterates PayPal as buy Bank of America kept its buy rating on shares of PayPal and calls it a "battleground stock." "We remain bullish on PYPL's Super App strategy and competitive positioning, though the 5-year guidance presented at the Feb. '21 Analyst Day is now more of a 'show me' part of the story following last quarter's guidedown." Citi reiterates Coinbase as buy Citi lowered its price target on Coinbase to $300 per share from $400. Still, the firm said crypto trading activity remains solid despite the correction. "As we noted in our launch report, our estimates and target price are likely to shift considerably corresponding with crypto market volatility." Piper Sandler reiterates Tesla as overweight Piper kept its overweight rating on the automaker ahead of earnings next week. The firm said it sees the company exceeding profitability expectations. "We are boosting our estimates to reflect better-than-expected Q4 deliveries, as well as a higher estimate for deliveries in 2022. We're also nudging our 2022 margin expectations higher, because with strong volume and a rising contribution from software, we suspect Tesla will continue exceeding profitability expectations." Read more about this call here. KeyBanc initiates coverage of Juniper and VMware as overweight KeyBanc said in its initiation of Juniper and VMware that it's bullish on the opportunity for cloud infrastructure. "We are starting coverage of 11 names associated with the Cloud Infrastructure space, which broadly defined contains four subsectors we classify as Data Management (PSTG, CVLT), Networking (JNPR, CSCO, ANET), Software-Defined Infrastructure (FFIV, VMW, NTNX), and Edge (AKAM, FSLY, NET)." Bank of America reiterates Alphabet as buy Bank of America kept its buy rating on Alphabet and said it sees "healthy" search revenue growth in 2022. "We expect deceleration in 2022 vs 41% estimated search growth in 2021, but we think Google is still early in its application of AI/ML technology across the ad stack and new AI/ML based initiatives, such as Performance Max, can continue to drive healthy search revenue growth. Loop initiates coverage of Grab as buy Loop said the Singapore-based tech company is a "category leader." "We are initiating coverage with a Buy rating and $8 price target. Grab is a leading 'SuperApp' in Southeast Asia, with category leadership in ride-hailing, deliveries and mobile payments across the region." UBS upgrades Las Vegas Sands to buy from neutral UBS said the casino stock has "mass appeal." "We believe the new gaming law significantly lowers risk for LVS : Six concessions are preserved, and the 10-year term would make it less attractive for any new entrants to invest in building a new resort. The phasing out of satellite casinos will also reduce competition - we estimate that satellite casinos make up between 15-20% of total tables in Macau." Read more about this call here. Goldman Sachs downgrades Cisco to neutral from buy Goldman downgraded the stock on valuation and said it sees slowing spending in IT. "Backlog is at a record high; but we believe order growth is more important for the stock. Cisco commented in November that their backlog level at the end ofFQ1'22 was at an all-time high." Read more about this call here. Janney Montgomery Scott upgrades Signature Bank to buy from neutral Janney upgraded the stock after its earnings report on Tuesday and said it sees balance sheet growth. "We upgrade SBNY to Buy from Neutral following solid 4Q21 results and the public offering announcement. We contend positive implications of asset sensitivity in a rising interest rate environment and expected continued elevated balance sheet growth in 2022 should spur meaningful positive operating leverage and profitability improvement." Goldman Sachs adds Bath & Body Works to the conviction buy list Goldman added the stock to its conviction buy list and said it sees upside potential. "We are adding Bath & Body Works (BBWI) to the Americas Conviction List after recent stock underperformance, as we believe there is upside potential to current consensus estimates given the expected rollout of the company's loyalty program to the entire chain in mid-2022." KeyBanc downgrades Lennar, KB Home, and Toll Brothers to underweight from sector weight and D.R. Horton to sector weight from overweight KeyBanc said in its downgrade of Lennar, KB Home , Toll Brothers and D.R. Horton due to a "tightening cycle." "We think builders' operational success cannot offset cyclical tailwinds ebbing (low supply, low rates) in time." Read more about this call here. Morgan Stanley reiterates Microsoft as overweight Morgan Stanley reiterated its overweight rating on the tech giant ahead of earnings next week. The firm said it sees "durable margins." "While M & A news may garner near-term attention, another solid print highlighting the breadth of its strong secular positioning, durable margins, high teens total return profile and reasonable multiple likely reminds investors why MSFT is the asset to own in unsettled markets." Stephens downgrades Utz to equal weight from overweight Stephens said in its downgrade of the snacks company that it sees margin pressure. "Entering 4Q21 UTZ appears set up to deliver lower than consensus EBITDA numbers as margins pressures continue to linger."
Dan Schulman, CEO, Paypal
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Here are the biggest calls on Wall Street on Wednesday: