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Here are the biggest analyst calls of the day: Morgan Stanley, J.M. Smucker, Snap, Yelp & more

Michael Bloom
  • Citi downgraded Morgan Stanley to neutral from buy
  • BMO initiated Yelp as outperform
  • Guggenheim downgraded Walgreens Boots Alliance to neutral from buy
  • Goldman Sachs upgraded Pepsi to neutral from sell
  • Morgan Stanley upgraded J.M. Smucker to equal weight from underweight
  • Wedbush downgraded Snap to neutral from outperform
  • Deutsche Bank downgraded J.B Hunt to sell from buy


Here are the biggest calls on Wall Street on Thursday:

Citi downgraded Morgan Stanley to 'neutral' from 'buy'

Citi downgraded the stock on valuation.

"MS MS is now up ~22% year-to-date, outperforming the BKX by ~500 bps. After a 2.6% increase on earnings today, the stock is now in line with our $48 target price. Though we believe MS has very high quality franchises and has the potential to continue to gain market share, we'd rather be on the sidelines in the near-term. We're downgrading the stock to Neutral as a result and maintain our $48 target."

Read more about this call here .

BMO initiated Yelp as 'outperform'

BMO said the pull-back in shares is an "attractive entry point."

"We are initiating coverage of Yelp YELP at Outperform with a $45 target price. We believe the degree of investor skepticism around changes to Yelp's advertising business and the recent pull-back in shares provides an attractive entry point. While we don't expect Yelp to achieve its 2023 financial targets, we are above consensus and see revenue growth accelerating throughout 2019 and into 2020, supporting multiple expansion. We also believe risk-reward skews positive at current levels; our upside scenario sees a 69% return versus a loss of 30% in our downside scenario."

Guggenheim downgraded Walgreens Boots Alliance to 'neutral' from 'buy'

Guggenheim said it is concerned about the company's "long-term competitive position."

"Bottom Line: WBA WBA fully appreciates that the competitive landscape is rapidly evolving, and standing still is not an option. Over the past couple of years, the company has been very active on the corporate development front, acquiring businesses and entering into strategic JVs in attempt to expand its current offering to help pave the way for future organic growth. This comes at a time when the traditional drug store model in the US (and abroad) continue to face structural pressure. The net of it all is that investors we've spoken to are concerned about WBA's long-term competitive position and are not willing to give the company much credit for financially engineered growth. On the positive side, the company has an aggressive management team and a big flexible balance sheet, but with no obvious strategic fixes in plain sight, investors are left wondering what is the panacea to bolster the company's structural issues and competitive position. We are incrementally more opportunistic on the shares following the significant sell-off post F2Q results. With a roughly 10% FCF yield, 3.2% dividend, and very low expectations, we view the near-term downside risk as limited."

Goldman Sachs upgraded Pepsi to 'neutral' from 'sell'

Goldman Sachs upgraded Pepsi PEP after the company reported strong earnings and the bank's analysts found increased confidence in management.

"We upgrade shares of PEP to Neutral from Sell and raise our 12-month price target to $132 (from $111) post a strong 1Q19 where we saw organic revenue growth accelerate to 5%+ and gross margins came in better than expected. Separately, we also hosted a group visit to PEP's headquarters and met with CEO Ramon Laguarta and CFO Hugh Johnston and walked away with increased confidence that PEP's snack momentum is likely to continue and see ample cushion to 2019 EPS guidance."

Morgan Stanley upgraded J.M. Smucker to 'equal weight' from 'underweight'

Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock saying that J.M. Smucker SJM 's reinvestment strategy is working.

"We are more constructive on SJM SJM 's FY2020 outlook given improving momentum in coffee and pet, which represent 65% sales/80% EBIT. SJM's measured channels sales growth is accelerating (+2.4% in L12W vs. 1.3% L52W) due to its sharpened innovation strategy (Folgers 1850, Power Ups, pet treats), improving roast & ground ("R&G") share trends, strong momentum in single-serve coffee, solid growth within dog/cat food, and higher pricing in pet. These trends are partly offset by elevated competition in peanut butter (~12% of sales), which we expect to weigh on FY2020 results. In addition, SJM's commitment to increase marketing spend to over 7% of sales (vs. 5-6% historically) should support improved topline performance. We expect SJM to return to positive organic growth in FY20 after posting flat to declining growth over the prior three years and are raising our organic sales growth outlook for FY2020 by 50 bps from 0.6% to 1.1%. After several years of below expectation results, we believe SJM's reinvestment strategy will drive improved topline momentum and delivery on the FY2020 outlook. We upgrade SJM from UW to EW and raise our PT from $104 to $117."

Wedbush downgraded Snap to 'neutral' from 'outperform'

Wedbush downgraded Snap SNAP on valuation.

"Notwithstanding fierce competition for user mindshare and advertiser dollars and a history of being hugely unprofitable, progress towards profitability, stabilizing user growth and improved execution led us to upgrade shares of SNAP SNAP in September. However, the company's current share price leaves little room for upside, and we are downgrading our rating to NEUTRAL from OUTPERFORM."

Read more about this call here .

Deutsche Bank downgraded J.B Hunt to 'sell' from 'buy'

Deutsche Bank said it sees a "trajectory" of returns that is negative for the freight shipper.

"We are downgrading JBHT JBHT shares to Sell (from Buy) and lowering our price target to $83 (from $125). While we have respect for the results JBHT's mgmt. team has achieved over the years, it's clear from our work that the trajectory of returns is negative; and will be increasingly so as U.S. import volumes shift east, Intermodal length of haul shrinks (i.e. the "middle mile") and JBHT's highest return business increasingly competes with trucking."




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