The dog days of August have hit the stock market and volume will soon come to a virtual standstill. With a very productive year for the markets almost two-thirds in the record books, we wanted to see what some of the top firms on Wall Street were thinking as summer starts to wind down. The tech analysts at Deutsche Bank not only had some strong opinions on their top stocks to buy, they were pretty firm on the stocks that viewed as top stocks to sell.
Apple Inc. (AAPL) continues to dominate the tablet market, and the Deutsche Bank team thinks that is unlikely to change any time soon. Carl Icahn came out this week on Twitter and announced he had established a large position in the stock and had spoken with CEO Tim Cook. With the iPhone 6 expected to be announced on September 10, and the stock still way down from its halcyon $700 level, investors may want to look at this tech leader again. The Deutsche Bank price target for the stock is at $480 and may soon be lifted. The Thomson/First Call estimate is placed at $522.50. Investors are paid a 2.7% dividend.
CDW Corp. (CDW) was a recent IPO as it returned to the public markets after six years after a $7.3 billion leveraged buyout. With very strong free cash flow and more than $10 billion in revenue last year, the company looks in good shape going forward. The Deutsche Bank price target for the stock is $26, and the consensus target is $26 as well.
EMC Corp. (EMC) is the perfect two-for-one for investors. With its majority stake in cloud software company VMware Inc. (VMW) and its leading position in large-scale storage, the company covers a lot of territory. In order to further capitalize on market synergies, EMC has acquired 17 companies and increased its presence in emerging markets. Such acquisitions have increased potential profits by vertically and horizontally integrating the company, promoting efficiency and lowering its bottom line. The company also started several partnerships. The Deutsche Bank price objective for this market leader is $32, and the consensus target stands at $31. Investors receive a 1.5% dividend.
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) is a tried and true blue chip mega cap tech stock that continues to improve and grow its service-focused businesses. The company departed the slowing personal computer business years ago and has grown every year since, with lower cost, higher margin information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. The Deutsche Bank target for the stock is $225, and the consensus target is $217.50. Investors are paid a solid 3.8% dividend.
NetApp Inc. (NTAP) is a top stock to buy at Deutsche Bank now. Its work indicates that storage demand is improving generally and is quite strong for the company specifically. The majority of comments from executives characterized the quarter as “strong,” “solid uptick” and demand has “improved.” In addition, it appears that NetApp is benefiting from having a "fresher" product in the channel, and many contacts pointed to good momentum behind both new product platforms. Deutsche Bank ups its price target from $48 to $50. The consensus price objective is at $42. Shareholders are paid a 1.4% dividend.
Smart Technologies Inc. (SMT) may be a top small cap play for investors to look at. The stock was up huge last week after the maker of digital whiteboards reported a surge in fiscal first-quarter profit after Wednesday's closing bell. For the quarter ended June 30, Smart reported a profit of $9.2 million, or $0.07 a share, up from $1.5 million, or $0.01 a share, a year earlier. The company launched a restructuring effort in December in order to cut costs. Chief Executive Officer Neil Gaydon said the company has rejuvenated its executive team and managed operating expenses since the restructuring. Deutsche Bank has a $3 price target and the consensus is at $1.50. A move to the target would be a 30% move from current levels.
Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) is up well over 100% since it hit an all-time low in November of last year. The stock may have made a fool out of short sellers, but the slowing PC business combined with a huge run in the stock makes this a candidate for immediate sale, according to the Deutsche Bank analysts. While the enterprise server business is solid, analyst surveyed expect earnings to be lower next year than this year. Deutsche Bank has a $16 price objective for the stock, while consensus is at $25. Investors considering a short sale need to remember they would be responsible for the coverage of the 2.2% dividend the stocks pays.
Lexmark International Inc. (LXK) is another company that may have gotten way ahead of itself. With a printing and printer franchise that is struggling with lower priced competition, it is another company analysts think will make less money next year. The Deutsche Bank price target is $26, and the consensus target is $28. A move to the target from current trading levels is a 30% decline.
Many Wall Street firms shy away from putting Sell rating on stocks. Needless to say, companies tagged with those ratings are rarely happy about it. It does show that after many years of too much sales and investment banking interaction, some firms are showing the courage to “call em’ as they see them.” That is a refreshing change that is good for all investors.