Top Wall Street analysts like these stocks for maximum returns

A logo of Meta Platforms Inc. is seen at its booth, at the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups, at Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, France June 17, 2022.

Benoit Tessier | Reuters

As the earnings season rolls on, many companies are hinting at a challenging year ahead.

Meanwhile, it can be intimidating to invest in such a stressful environment. To ease the process, here are five stocks chosen by Wall Street’s top analysts, according to TipRanks, a platform that ranks analysts based on their past performances.

Alphabet

After languishing in the stock market last year due to numerous factors affecting the tech sector, Alphabet (GOOGL) will report its seasonally weakest quarter of the year on Thursday. From relatively low digital ad spending and regulatory crackdowns on digital ads to increasing costs and interest rates, Google endured it all. Needless to say, the company expects sequential growth deceleration in the fourth quarter.

Nonetheless, Monness, Crespi, Hardt, & Co. analyst Brian White expects the results to be in line with his expectations. The analyst anticipates a 10% sequential sales increase, implying a quarter-over-quarter deceleration in growth. This is notably lower growth than what is usually expected of a typical Alphabet fourth-quarter report (17% on average in the past four December quarters).

However, although Google Advertising revenue growth was significantly hurt by the slowdown in digital ad spending, White notes that “Alphabet proved more resilient than Meta and Snap that were   disproportionately impacted by Apple’s privacy initiatives, most notably App Tracking Transparency, along with other factors.”

The analyst expects year-over-year digital ad spending comps to improve in the second half of the year. Also, White’s estimates suggest that Google Ad revenues should return to growth in the second quarter of 2023. (See Alphabet Blogger Opinions & Sentiment on TipRanks)

White reiterated a buy rating on the stock with a price target of $135. The analyst holds the 66th position among almost 8,300 analysts followed on TipRanks. His ratings have been profitable 64% of the time, and each rating has generated an 18% average return.

Meta Platforms

Another technology name in Brian White’s list is Meta Platforms (META), which is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter earnings on Wednesday “after taking a savage beating in 2022,” according to the analyst’s words.

The headwinds that the company faced last year, including Apple’s privacy initiatives with App Tracking Transparency, the slowdown in advertisement spending, exorbitant investments in the metaverse, and regulatory scrutiny, are not expected to entirely dissipate in 2023. (See Meta Platforms Website Traffic on TipRanks)

Over the past 52-weeks, Meta shares were cut nearly in half. Gains in early 2023, are helping to trim last year’s losses.

However, a leaner cost structure, thanks to its significantly downsized business and other initiatives, as well as softening challenges, will be a relief this year. Additionally, in the long run, White expects Meta to benefit from the secular digital ad trend and innovations in the metaverse.

“With sales up 34% per annum over the past five years, EPS turning in a 32% CAGR and generating an   attractive operating margin, we believe Meta Platforms should trade at a premium to the market and tech sector in the long run; however, we expect the current macroeconomic and geopolitical environment will weigh on advertising spending in the coming quarters,” observed White, who reiterated a buy rating on the stock with a price target of $150.

WNS

India-based business process management company WNS (WNS) is next on our list. The company’s solid sales pipeline reflects a healthy demand environment that overshadows economic headwinds. This gives Barrington analyst Vincent Colicchio the “confidence in its ability to generate solid revenue and adjusted EPS growth in fiscal 2023 and beyond.”

The company recently reported its quarterly earnings, where it beat Street estimates, thanks to the strong demand for its services and products. “As of the close of fiscal Q3/23, the company’s sales pipeline was strong and at record levels and sales cycles declined sequentially, reflecting strong demand. Sales cycles have declined in recent quarters as clients accelerated decisions to improve efficiency ahead of a potential recession,” observed Colicchio. (See WNS Stock Chart on TipRanks)

The analyst was encouraged by the fact that WNS did not realize any meaningful pressures from the economic headwinds that have hung heavily on peers. Challenges like volume pressures, productivity issues, delays and cancelations, etc., did not deter the business from its growth path.

Colicchio reiterated a buy rating on the stock with a price target of $97 and even raised his fiscal 2023 and fiscal 2024 earnings-per-share forecasts to $3.86 and $4.14 from $3.78 and $4.12, respectively.

The analyst currently stands at #282 among almost 8,300 analysts tracked by TipRanks. Moreover, 62% of his ratings have been profitable, each generating a 13.1% average return.

BRC

BRC (BRCC) is a unique company. The operator of the Black Rifle Coffee Company is founded and led by military veterans. The company was built to serve premium coffee, content and merchandise to active military, veterans and first responders.

BRC has been on Tigress Financial Partners analyst Ivan Feinseth‘s buy list in recent weeks. The analyst has a $19 price target on the company. (See BRC Insider Trading Activity on TipRanks)

Feinseth is confident that the company is a solid emerging high-growth lifestyle investment opportunity, serving a loyal and niche customer base and offering meaningful growth opportunities through product innovation and a digitally native omnichannel distribution strategy.

BRCC recently announced that it will “shift focus from the near-term buildout of restaurants (Outpost) and DTC (Direct-to-consumer) sales to a faster growth and higher return opportunity in the expansion of the sales of its RTD (Ready-to-drink) beverages packaged and premeasured (k-cup) coffee through an increasing FDM (food drug and mass-market) focus,” explained the TipRanks-rated 5-star analyst.

Feinseth’s convictions can be trusted, given his 185th position among nearly 8,300 analysts in the TipRanks database. This apart, his track of 63% profitable ratings, each rating delivering 12.1% average returns, is also worth considering.

Starbucks

The world’s largest specialty coffee chain retailer Starbucks (SBUX) is also one of Ivan Feinseth’s favorite stocks for this year. The company continues to put its numerous growth drivers into action. This includes new product development, a global coffee alliance and ongoing store growth. Starbucks also enjoys strong brand equity and a committed customer base, which will help drive its new reinvention plan for long-term growth, according to the analyst’s observations.

“SBUX continues to improve operating efficiencies and customer experience by leveraging ongoing   innovation, new technologies, and new store formats,” said Feinseth, reiterating a buy rating on Starbucks with a price target of $136.

Moreover, the company’s focus on expanding its product portfolio to include new health and wellness beverages, teas, and core food offerings can boost customer traffic during later hours. (See Starbucks’ Dividend Date & History on TipRanks)

Staying up to date with the changing industry trends, Feinseth noted that Starbucks is investing in new   digital initiatives to improve customer service, supply-chain management, its loyalty program, and mobile ordering and e-commerce capabilities.

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Top Wall Street analysts pick these stocks to climb 2023’s wall of worry

The Spotify logo hangs on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange with U.S. and a Swiss flag as the company lists its stock with a direct listing in New York, April 3, 2018.

Lucas Jackson | Reuters

Coming off a week that was packed with corporate earnings and economic updates, it is still difficult to determine whether a recession can be avoided this year.

Investing in such a stressful environment can be tricky. To help with the process, here are five stocks chosen by Wall Street’s top analysts, according to TipRanks, a platform that ranks analysts based on their past performances.

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Apple

Ahead of Apple’s (AAPL) December quarter results, due out on Feb. 2, investors are fairly aware of the challenges that the company faced during the period. From production disruptions in the iPhone manufacturing facility at Zhengzhou in China to higher costs, Apple’s first quarter of fiscal 2023 has endured all. Needless to say, the company expects a quarter-over-quarter growth deceleration.

Nonetheless, Monness Crespi Hardt analyst Brian White expects the results to be in line with, or marginally above, Street expectations. The analyst believes gains in Services, iPad and Wearables, Home & Accessories revenue could be a saving grace.

Looking ahead, White sees pent-up demand for iPhones come into play in the forthcoming quarters, once Apple overcomes the production snags. (See Apple Stock Investors’ sentiments on TipRanks)

The analyst feels that the expensive valuation of approximately 27 times his calendar 2023 earnings estimate for Apple is justified.

“This P/E target is above Apple’s historical average in recent years; however, we believe the successful creation of a strong services business has provided the market with more confidence in the company’s long-term business model,” said White, reiterating a buy rating and $174 price target.

White holds the 67th position among almost 8,300 analysts followed on TipRanks. His ratings have been profitable 63% of the time and each rating has generated a 17.7% average return.

Spotify

 Audio streaming subscription service Spotify (SPOT) is also among the recent favorites of Brian White.

“Spotify is riding a favorable long-term trend, enhancing its platform, tapping into a large digital ad market, and expanding its audio offerings,” said White, reiterating a buy rating and $115 price target.

The analyst does acknowledge some challenges that await Spotify this year but remains optimistic about its margin improvement plans and several favorable industry developments. While it may be tough to attract new premium subscribers, while facing continued pressure from a lower digital ad spending environment, Spotify should benefit from ad-supported monthly active users (MAUs) this year. (See Spotify Stock Chart on TipRanks)

White is particularly upbeat about the waning mobile app store monopolies, after the European Union passed the Digital Markets Act last year. The act will be imposed from May 2023. One of the benefits for Spotify will be the ability to promote its cheaper subscription offers. Now, it can make the offers available outside Apple’s iPhone app. (This had been a challenge, as Apple previously would allow it to only promote its subscriptions through iPhone app.)

CVS Health Corp.

CVS Health (CVS), which operates a large retail pharmacy chain, has been on Tigress Financial Partners analyst Ivan Feinseth‘s list in recent weeks. The analyst reiterated a buy rating and a $130 price target on the stock.

The company’s “consumer-centric integrated model” as well as its increasing focus on primary care should help make health care more affordable and accessible for customers, according to Feinseth. CVS bought primary health-care provider Caravan Health as part of this focus. Moreover, the impending acquisition of Signify Health “adds to its home health services and provider enablement capabilities.”

The analyst also believes that the ongoing expansion of CVS’s new store format, MinuteClinics and HealthHUBs, will increase customer engagement and thus, continue to be a key growth catalyst. (See CVS Health Blogger Opinions & Sentiment on TipRanks)

Feinseth is also confident that CVS’s merger with managed healthcare company Aetna back in 2018 created a health-care mammoth. Now, it is well positioned to capitalize on the changing dynamics of the health-care market, as consumers gain more control over their health-care service expenditures.

Feinseth’s convictions can be trusted, given his 208th position among nearly 8,300 analysts in the TipRanks database. Apart from this, his track record of 62% profitable ratings, with each rating delivering 11.8% average returns, is also worth considering.

Shake Shack

Fast food hamburger chain operator Shake Shack (SHAK) has been doing well both domestically and overseas on the back of its fast-casual business concept. BTIG analyst Peter Saleh has a unique take on the company.

“Shake Shack is the preeminent concept within the better burger category and the rare restaurant chain whose awareness and brand recognition exceed its actual size and sales base,” said Saleh, who reiterated a buy rating on the stock with a $60 price target. (See Shake Shack Hedge Fund Trading Activity on TipRanks)

On the downside, the analyst points out that the expansion of services outside New York has weakened Shake Shack’s margin profile by generating low returns per unit and exposing the company to greater sales volatility. However, margins seem to have bottomed, and the analyst expects profitability to gain momentum over the next 12-18 months. A combination of higher menu prices and deflation of commodity costs are expected to push restaurant margins up to mid-teen levels.

In its preliminary fourth-quarter results, management at Shake Shack mentioned that it plans to tighten its hands with general and administrative expenses this year, considering the macroeconomic uncertainty. This “should prove reassuring for investors given the heightened G&A growth (over 30%) of the past two years.”

Saleh has a success rate of 64% and each of his ratings has returned 11.7% on average. The analyst is also placed 431st among more than 8,000 analysts on TipRanks.

TD Synnex

Despite last year’s challenges, business process service provider TD Synnex (SNX) has benefited from a steady IT spending environment amid the consistently high digital transformation across industries. The company recently posted its fiscal fourth-quarter results last week, where earnings beat consensus estimates and the dividend was hiked.

Following the results, Barrington Research analyst Vincent Colicchio dug into the results and noted that rapid growth in advanced solutions and high-growth technologies were major positives. Even though the analyst reduced his fiscal 2023 earnings forecast due to an expected rise in interest expense, he remained bullish on SNX’s efforts to achieve cost synergies by the end of the current fiscal year. (See TD Synnex Dividend Date & History on TipRanks)

Looking forward, the analyst sees a largely upward trend in growth, albeit a few hiccups. “The key growth driver in the first half of fiscal 2023 should be advanced solutions and high-growth technologies and in the second half should be PCs and peripherals and high-growth technologies. We expect Hyve Solutions revenue growth to slow in fiscal 2023 and slightly rebound in fiscal 2024 versus fiscal 2022 growth,” observed Colicchio, reiterating a buy rating and raising the price target to $130 from $98 for the next 12 months.

Importantly, Colicchio ranks 297th among almost 8,300 analysts on TipRanks, with a success rate of 61%. Each of his ratings has delivered 13% returns on average.

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Top Wall Street analysts pick these stocks to celebrate the new year

Apple CEO Tim Cook poses in front of a new MacBook Airs running M2 chips display during Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California, June 6, 2022.

Peter Dasilva | Reuters

With the brutal 2022 behind us, we look ahead to a year of relatively predictable challenges. This calls for careful investing with a longer-term view. To help the process, here are five stocks chosen by Wall Street’s top analysts, according to TipRanks, a platform that ranks analysts based on their track record.

DoubleVerify Holdings

As its name suggests, DoubleVerify (DV) helps to improve the safety and security of online advertising. A pioneer in this area, the company’s services are employed by customers in the financial services, retail, automotive, travel, telecom, and pharmaceutical sectors. (See DoubleVerify Holdings Stock Chart on TipRanks)

Truist analyst Youssef Squali sees multiple growth opportunities, especially in the social media field. Interestingly, DoubleVerify’s social media client roster includes names such as TikTok, Microsoft (MSFT)-owned LinkedIn, Reddit, Amazon’s (AMZN) Twitch, Meta’s (META) Facebook and Instagram, and YouTube. Looking at this, Squali expects “social media as a channel has unlocked incremental spend for DV to attack within walled gardens, which advertisers value vs. letting these platforms ‘grade their own homework.'”

Moreover, the analyst pointed out that DoubleVerify’s sophisticated software solutions help client companies safeguard their brand reputation while maximizing their return on ad spend. This is particularly important as the digital advertising ecosystem is growing and so is competition. A safe, fraud-free, and appropriately targeted ad environment also helps companies draw traffic.

Squali is “incrementally bullish” on DoubleVerify, with a Buy rating and $36 price target. The analyst stands 92nd among more than 8,000 analysts tracked on TipRanks. Moreover, 57% of his ratings have been profitable, bringing 17.6% returns per rating on average.

Apple

Investors may be spooked by Apple’s (AAPL) weakening demand and production issues right now (as evident from the sharp decline in stock value). However, taking into account the value that the company has returned to shareholders in the past years, even through market downcycles, these headwinds seem to be mere hiccups in the company’s long-term journey.

Tigress Financial Partners analyst Ivan Feinseth agreed, adding that the “near-term production headwinds create a long-term buying opportunity, and its massive installed user base, increasing ecosystem, and growing Services revenue will continue to drive accelerating Business Performance trends, and greater shareholder value creation.”

Feinseth is particularly upbeat about the company’s foray into the metaverse with the launch of its mixed-reality headset this year.

Moreover, strong balance sheet and cash flow generating capabilities should enable Apple to continue to invest in growth-driving initiatives and enhance shareholder returns through share repurchases and dividend hikes. (See Apple Dividend Date & History on TipRanks)

The analyst reiterated a Buy rating on AAPL stock with a price target of $210. “AAPL is on our Research Focus List and in our Focus Opportunity Portfolio,” emphasized Feinseth, who holds the #269 position among more than 8,000 analysts on TipRanks.

The analyst’s ratings have been profitable 59% of the time and each rating has generated average returns of 10.5%.

Booking Holdings

Booking Holdings (BKNG) is an online platform for making travel and restaurant reservations, which, needless to say, has been benefiting lately from the easing of Covid-related travel restrictions. The stock joins Apple in Ivan Feinseth’s “Research Focus List” and “Focus Opportunity Portfolio.”

Continued travel demand has been transcending the current macroeconomic uncertainties, and that is a boon for Booking. Feinseth also points out that the reopening of China after a prolonged period of strict zero-Covid policy “creates a massive upside catalyst.” (See Booking Holdings Hedge Fund Trading Activity on TipRanks)

The company is also gaining increased penetration in the direct travel booking market thanks to its Genius loyalty program and its concept of travel integration. “BKNG’s ability to optimize its market reach and profitability through new technology, including machine learning and other forms of AI (Artificial Intelligence), enables it to expand its global reach, drive more competitive pricing, and increase profitability,” said the analyst.

Feinseth reiterated a Buy rating on Booking, with a price target of $3,210.

Bumble

The challenging economic environment has led to too many problems for the public to be thinking about love. This has left investors swiping left on online dating service provider Bumble (BMBL), leading to a sharp drop in share prices.

Nonetheless, Stifel Nicolaus analyst Mark Kelley maintains a solid relationship with Bumble. “We view Bumble as one of the most innovative companies in the global online dating space offering a compelling and differentiated value proposition for consumers, which we believe will lead to a long runway of paying user/ARPPU growth, and a multi-year operating leverage story,” noted Kelley.

In the last quarter, Bumble launched its message-before-match feature, “Compliments,” which is expected to boost user engagement and thus, support monetization efforts. (See Bumble Blogger Opinions & Sentiment on TipRanks)

Additionally, the analyst believes that Bumble’s mission to prioritize user safety, accountability, and control helps the company stand out in the crowd of competing platforms. Importantly, Kelley also believes that Bumble may be heading into its best days as users increasingly open up to real-life dating after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the dating ecosystem since 2020.

Despite reducing the near-term price target to $27 from $30, Kelley maintains a Buy rating on Bumble.

The analyst’s track record shows that his conviction is worthy of consideration. Kelley has a 103rd ranking among more than 8,000 analysts. Moreover, 70% of his ratings have been successful, generating 31.5% average returns per rating.

Perion Network

Global technology player Perion Network (PERI) is another stock that Mark Kelley has vouched for recently. The analyst’s optimism was reflected in the reiteration of his buy rating and higher price target ($34 from $29). Its recent quarterly results showed positive trends, which led to the renewed conviction.

The analyst views Perion as a “unique ad tech offering,” boasting a portfolio of technology for helping advertisers and publishers scale their business. Perion’s growth journey has been a combination of organic expansion and expansion through acquisitions. Together, they have built a suite of assets that serve the “three pillars of digital advertising” — search, social media, and display/CTV. (See Perion Network Financial Statements on TipRanks)

Kelley expects the global digital advertising market to reach $650 billion by the end of this year. Within that, the analyst estimates the exact opportunity of Perion in terms of TAM (total addressable market) to be around $190 billion, keeping aside the $460 billion TAM estimate for Google search.

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3 takeaways from our daily meeting: Looking for new stocks, 2 trades, earnings recap




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