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Here are the biggest analyst calls of the day: Facebook, Dollar General, Chipotle & more

Michael Bloom
  • Needham downgrading Facebook to hold from buy
  • Bank of America lowering price target on Facebook to $187 from $205
  • Wells Fargo upgrading Johnson Controls to outperform from market perform
  • Wells Fargo downgrading Ingersoll-Rand to market perform from outperform
  • Barclays upgrading Dollar General to overweight from equal weight
  • PiperJaffray raising price target on Chipotle to $725 from $661
  • Goldman Sachs upgrading Okta to buy from neutral
  • Citi downgrading PVH to neutral from buy
  • Credit Suisse downgrading Quest Diagnostics to neutral from outperform


Here are the biggest calls on Wall Street on Monday:

Needham downgrading Facebook to 'hold' from 'buy'

"FB FB is within 2% of our price target and we are downgrading our rating to Hold (from Buy) as we worry about: a) the negative financial impact of FB's strategic pivot toward privacy and encrypted messages; b) growing risks of regulation; and c) horrific images uploaded to FB (like the recent New Zealand events) that are technologically difficult to block at the 100% level and which hurt FB's brand... Together, we believe these risks are causing a Negative Network Effect, as evidenced by senior management departures... Network Effects act as flywheel accelerator for both value creation and value destruction.... We make no changes to our estimates, which are below Wall Street consensus estimates..."

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Bank of America lowering price target on Facebook to $187 from $205

"While we continue to think estimates have been de-risked in 2019, the revenue impact of a more privacy centric platform could raise questions on three-year growth... Highest usage growth areas for FB were noted as private messaging, ephemeral stories, and small groups, which have lower current monetization and raises the revenue risk from a potential ongoing usage transition... While FB still has big opportunities to improve the monetization of stories and messaging, the question is if usage will deteriorate on core news feed... We are staying constructive as we think news feed usage has stabilized after a summer trough, but would turn more cautious if usage data deteriorates...We are maintaining our estimates and lowering our PO to $187 based on a lower multiple of 20x 2020e GAAP EPS plus $13/share in cash to reflect monetization uncertainty (prior 24x)...Based on a more limited upside view for FB (stock up 27% YTD vs S&P up 13%) ,we are shifting to Google as top near -term FANG idea given potential for a valuation sentiment uptick on assets including Waymo and Cloud (April conference)..."

Barclays upgrading Dollar General to 'overweight' from 'equal weight'

"DG DG is doing what all best-in-class retailers do – investing from a position of strength to widen its competitive edge, even if it means NT guidance disappoints. It is critical to invest when times are good to be better positioned should the tide turn. We've seen this time and time again from other best-in-class retailers – in our universe, we would include COST COST and WMT WMT ; in other sectors, HD HD , ORLY ORLY , and MCD MCD . Accordingly, while DG's investments led to disappointing FY19 guidance, DG should (and will) capitalize on the opportunity to widen its competitive moat as Fresh/Fast Track investments will lead to: 1) greater frequency of visits, 2) a more robust/efficient supply chain, 3) lower costs-to-serve, and 4) labor productivity gains. FY19 is an investment year – we acknowledge that – but DG is positioning itself to gain share LT..."

Wells Fargo upgrading Johnson Controls to 'outperform' from 'market perform'

"The gist of our thesis is the timing is now better for the story to play out – Expectations and sentiment are pretty low, even as fundamentals are picking up (backlog acceleration, peaking investment/cost headwinds, higher FCF yield etc.,)... Post the 06/19 Power sale close, JCI JCI should be a more focused pure play buildings automation company and much of the noise and distraction should be behind them.... In our view the embedded earning for F'19/F'20 is $2.45/$2.80 (incld. Power sale proceeds deployed), indicating a PE of ~17x/15x (not far from where it is trading now), on our street high $42 price target..."

Wells Fargo downgrading Ingersoll-Rand to 'market perform' from 'outperform'

"At $106 (as of 03/15 close), the stock appears to be priced for superb execution in F'19, in our view... Our bull bear scenario indicates risk reward is skewed to the downside... We acknowledge our downgrade is valuation driven... The mgmt has remarkably steered through price-cost headwinds in 2018 and that has set performance expectations higher..Key points..1) Expectations are at cycle high - 70% of the street has a buy on IR IR – highest since 2012.. Buyside sentiment is trending at the high end of historical range as well... 2) C-HVAC growth expectations are above trend... This is fine given institutional acceleration outlooks but not much head room left, in our view... Climate revenue growth for 2019 is 6% vs normalized 5% growth averaged between 2013-2017. 2018 growth was a record 9% and as such is a tough comp... 3) Any missteps likely costly for IR. Given high expectations, any shortfall in resi would be considered share loss to the re-emerging peer LII.... 4) Industrial order growth moderated in 2018 vs expectations for a pickup in momentum... The trend could continue near term. ..5) NTM FCF yield is slightly below last 5 yr trend (5.6% now vs 6.5% average the last few years. NTM FCF yield is also lower vs peers like JCI (6% IR vs 8% JCI)..."

PiperJaffray raising price target on Chipotle to $725 from $661

"Chipotle CMG remains our top recovery investment recommendation and we have a high degree of conviction that current strategic initiatives can continue to generate improving fundamentals... As the company progresses through its recovery process we believe the conversation (from a stock perspective) eventually shifts to one that focuses on identifying incremental strategies to maximize shareholder value... In that vein, we offer an initial examination of the potential behind transforming Chipotle's international store base (currently only ~14 company-owned units across the UK, France, and Germany) into a growing franchise business... Although hypothetical, such a future transformation could help to unlock incremental profitability (driving an estimated $2 to $5 in earnings power), drive upside to global growth, and potentially set up CMG shares for some measure of multiple expansion as the company becomes incrementally asset-light, over time... We reiterate our Overweight rating and are increasing our price target to $725 on CMG shares..."

Goldman Sachs upgrading Okta to 'buy' from 'neutral'

"Okta' OKTA s strong results since its April 2017 IPO continue to demonstrate the growing role that identity is playing in the wider enterprise IT ecosystem, given its crucial positioning at the intersection of heightened concerns around security, increasingly complex multi-cloud environments, and the digital revolution of businesses in every sector... As digital transformations continue to drive discussion at the C-level, we believe that identity will play an important role in establishing more robust internal processes around access and authentication across increasingly complex enterprise IT topologies, while serving as an important tool in driving more secure experiences for users outside the organization...
In our view, Okta remains the leader in Identity and Access Management within the enterprise, and continues to benefit from its role as an independent, third party management platform for identity and user authentication that works across cloud environments to provide a unified platform to manage access to applications, devices, and third-party application programming interfaces..."

Citi downgrading PVH to 'neutral' from 'buy'

"We are assuming coverage with a Neutral rating (vs previous rating of Buy) and a $120 TP (vs previous TP of $140). While the company has two brands with good global growth potential in Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, PVH PVH overall is still heavily dependent on the North America wholesale and outlet channels (we estimate these channels combined represent ~50% of sales)... Despite management typically beating guidance in the past, we are concerned that exposure to wholesale/outlet channels will weigh on sales and profits in the coming years, limiting upside..."

Credit Suisse downgrading Quest Diagnostics to 'neutral' from 'outperform'

"Despite multiple unexpected headwinds affecting DGX DGX 's 2018, including greater denials and higher-than-expected patient concessions, among other factors, we are optimistic that long-term growth drivers are intact, including greater in-network access, continuing innovation, consumer-centric initiatives, and capital deployment, where reimbursement pressures and recent payer contract shifts will likely spur industry consolidation... These drivers should support +3-5% top-line growth (+1-3% organic) and +4-6% earnings growth long term, dynamics that we view as adequately reflected in the consensus and our expectations, limiting more meaningful upside near term..."




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