Stepping back, and taking a macro look at the markets, JPMorgan strategist Marko Kolanovic believes that the risks posed by COVID-19 to public health and economic prosperity were badly overstated back in March, leading to a series of frankly wrong decisions that we are still feeling now. But now, the economy is starting to improve, and the current bear market’s bull rally is looking more and more like a sustained trend rather than a one-off event.
However, Kolanovic acknowledges several large-scale risks. He points out that California and New York are the largest economic units in the US, and that the coronavirus pandemic has had an important – and negative – impact on ‘global cooperation and trade.’ Kolanovic writes, “We will closely monitor how these risks evolve, but at this point see them as potential tail risks rather than an imminent threat, and thus maintain our positive outlook on markets.”
That positive outlook on the markets includes pointing out promising stocks. JPMorgan analysts have been noting a number of bullish stock moves — companies that are well-positioned to make gains in coming months. We’ve looked at three of those stocks through the lens of the TipRanks database, to find out what makes them compelling buys.
Bilibili, Inc. (BILI)
Up first is a Chinese internet video sharing website focusing on anime and comics and including a large Japanese audience – while for business purposes, traded in New York. Bilibili is a truly international company that has found a niche and levered it for growth. Since it started trading three years ago, this stock has seen considerable growth, tripling its share value in that time. In the months since the February market collapse, BILI has heavily outperformed the markets.
Bili’s financial stats back this up. While the company operates at a net loss, the strong positives recorded in Q1 2020 included: 69% year-over-year revenue growth, to $327 million; an increase in average monthly users to 172.4 million, up 70% year-over-year (yoy); and an increase in daily active users to 50.8 million, up 69% yoy. The most impressive stat, however, is the increase in monthly paying users – a key metric. This rose to 13.4 million, for a 134% yoy increase.
With positives like those, it’s no wonder that BILI is getting lots of love from Wall Street’s analysts. JPM analyst Alex Yao upgraded this stock from Neutral to Buy after the earnings report. His price target, which he raised to $42, indicates confidence in a 37% upside for the coming year. (To watch Yao’s track record, click here)
In his comments, Yao wrote, “…it was the steady or even improving engagement metrics (i.e. DAU/MAU ratio, average daily time spend, etc.), in spite of the strong user growth, which makes us believe strong user growth remains achievable in the next 1-2 years, as a virtuous cycle between content and user base has been formed and reinforced by COVID-19. We expect seasonal user growth momentum (i.e. 3Q/1Q) to drive further share price upside.”
Based on all the above factors, Wall Street analysts are thoroughly impressed with BILI. It boasts 100% Street support, or 7 Buy ratings in the last three months, making the consensus a Strong Buy. The $36.25 average price target implies that shares could surge 18% in the next twelve months. (See Bilibili stock analysis on TipRanks)
Wyndham Destinations (WYND)
Next up is Wyndham Destinations, a major operator of hotel brands and vacation ownership timesharing programs. Wyndham’s destinations are located in North America and the Caribbean, along with the South Pacific. As state begin to loosen economic restrictions, Wyndham expects to see a gain in activity; it’s North American locations will not be dependent on air travel to attract customers.
With so much of the country under lockdown orders in Q1, WYND shares felt the pain. The stock is still down 37% year-to-date, severely underperforming the broader markets. Q1 earnings were grim, well below expectations at a 98-cent net loss.
And yet, with all that, WYND shares are looking up. The company has announced that it will be reopening its resorts in 2H20, and expects that the corona lockdowns will have generated pent-up demand. With most of its American properties within driving distance of potential customers, Wyndham expects it can sell its destinations as compatible with social distancing rules. And finally, the company reported this month that it is sitting on $1 billion is cash reserves, and as access to an additional $342 million through a credit facility. With that kind of money available, Wyndham has said that it can continue operating for another 23 months.
As a further gesture for investors, WYND will continue paying its 50-cent quarterly dividend. The dividend has been increased steadily over the past 2 years, and now at $2 annualized it offers an excellent yield of nearly 6.3%. Considering that the average yield among hospitality and services companies is only 1.37%, WYND’s yield is impressive.
Joseph Greff, one of JPM’s 5-star analysts, is optimistic. He says of WYND shares, “We see WYND’s risk-reward as favorable given the potential for relatively attractive near-term leisure demand that is not reliant on air travel and that is offered at an affordable price point. We think WYND’s current bookings position is underappreciated with its second half 2020…”
Greff shifts his view on WYND from Neutral to Buy, and sets a price target of $35. This suggests that he sees 10% upside growth in the stock’s future. (To watch Greff’s track record, click here)
Wyndham has a Strong Buy analyst consensus rating, based on a 7 to 1 Buy-Hold split. Shares are selling for $31.94, and the $39.86 average price target indicates room for an upside of 25% in the coming 12 months. (See WYND stock analysis on TipRanks)
Martin Marietta Materials (MLM)
A commercial economy outgrowth of the old defense giant by the same name, the modern Martin Marietta company lives in the heavy construction niche, providing cement and other aggregate building materials for commercial and municipal purposes. The company’s products are common in roads and sidewalks – there is a strong chance that you have walked on them.
MLM was hit hard by the Q1 economic shutdowns. The cessation or slow down of construction work reduced demand for MLM products, and the company reported sharp sequential declines in earnings. There were some bright spots, however. EPS remained positive, at 41 cents per share. Revenue was slightly up year-over-year, to $958.2 million. And the company reported strong gains in cash on hand, from $21 million at the end of 2019 to $424 million as of the end of Q1 2020. And best of all for investors, MLM projects Q2 earnings of $2.78 per shares, getting close to pre-corona levels.
Martin is our third upgrade from JPM. Analyst Adrian Huerta raised his stance from Neutral to Buy, and set a $210 price target that indicates 9% upside growth potential for the year. (To watch Huerta’s track record, click here)
Supporting his move, Huerta writes, “We see attractive upside at least in the short-term as 2Q will likely not be as bad as previously expected... Also, as the trade war with China intensifies, we see increased interest on domestic driven sectors like this one.”
With 7 Buy and 5 Hold ratings, the analyst consensus on Martin Marietta Materials is more evenly divided than the other stocks on this list. MLM shares are currently selling for $194.28, while the average price target of $222.92 suggests a one-year upside potential of 15%. (See Martin Marietta stock analysis on TipRanks)
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