The Club's 10 things to watch Friday, March 17
1. First Republic (FRC) still very much a bull vs. bear debate after 11 banks pledge to provide the troubled regional bank with $30 billion in uninsured deposits with an initial term of 120 days. JPMorgan keeps FRC as a top pick but lowers price target to $62 per share from $150. Wedbush and Atlantic Equities both downgrade their ratings to neutral. Wedbush's PT moves to $5. No price target at Atlantic Equities. The Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq opened lower on persistent bank concerns.
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2. FedEx (FDX) soars more than 11% early Friday after delivering a big adjusted earnings-per-share (EPS) beat of $3.41 versus $2.71 expected. Revenue was a touch light but the company's cost-cutting programs are working.
3. Even after a big run, Morgan Stanley thinks it is not too late to get long Club holding Nvidia (NVDA). Analysts upgrade the chipmaker to overweight from equal weight (buy from hold). Price target to $304 per share from $255. Morgan Stanley believes generative AI is "too much of a megatrend" to be distracted by short-term concerns in gaming and data center.
4. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), also a Club holding, gets a price-target boost to $120 per share from $100 at TD Cowen, which also keeps overweight (buy) rating. Essentially says don't sleep on the semiconductor's AI strategy.
5. Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) upgraded to overweight from equal weight (buy from hold) at Wells Fargo, which also increases price target to $20 per share from $13. While there are concerns about the firm's balance sheet, analysts think WBD can still de-lever to 3x net debt to EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) by 2025 in their downside case scenario.
6. Bowlero's (BOWL) price target gets raised to $20 per share from $18 at JPMorgan, which says bowling can be a trade-down activity in an uncertain economy.
7. Nucor (NUE) price target raised to $156 per share from $140 by research analysts at Credit Suisse, who maintain outperform (buy) rating. The steel maker, however, did provide preliminary Q1 earnings guidance Thursday that was slightly below consensus.
8. Barclays adjusts price targets on a bunch of energy stocks: Berkshire Hathaway-fave Occidental (OXY) up to $78 per share from $70; Club holdings Coterra Energy (CTRA) up to $30 from $26 but Devon Energy (DVN) down to $67 from $82.
9. KeyBanc analysts recently vacationed at Disneyland and Disney California and noted the parks remain "incredibly busy" with no slowdown from recent price increases and poor weather. Disney (DIS) is a Club holding.
10. Club holding Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google raises pricing on YouTube TV to $73 per month from $65.
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