Airbnb, Square Upgrades Among Today's Top Calls On Wall Street

'MATERIAL' POSITIVE REVISION CYCLE: KeyBanc analyst Justin Patterson upgraded Airbnb (ABNB) to Overweight from Sector Weight with an $180 price target. The analyst believes a "material positive revision cycle is about to take place," driven by market conditions remaining favorable and Airbnb's "model durability against digital ad inflation." As the company demonstrates its direct traffic and unit economics advantages over peers, 2021 and 2022 consensus EBITDA forecasts will trend higher and the stock's multiple will expand, Patterson told investors in a research note.

AFTERPAY ACQUISITION, RESULTS: Cowen analyst George Mihalos upgraded Square (SQ) to Outperform from Market Perform with a price target of $343, up from $266. The analyst is "bullish" on the Afterpay (AFTPF) acquisition and sees the deal as accretive to Square's long-term profit growth even before revenue synergies. Mihalos expects "levers for additional estimate upside" relative to consensus expectations for Square. The company offered "best of breed" industry growth before the acquisition and post deal it should see pro-forma gross profit growth over 30%, even without synergies, the analyst told investors in a research note. Overall, he sees "multiple sources" of upside for Square and recommends buying the stock now.

Meanwhile, Raymond James analyst John Davis upgraded Square to Market Perform from Underperform without a price target following "impressive" second quarter results and the acquisition of Afterpay. Better-than-feared July Cash App GP growth coupled with the Afterpay acquisition changes the narrative, Davis told investors in a research note. Longer-term concerns around the cyclicality/credit risk embedded in "buy now, pay later" keep him from becoming more positive.

BUY WORKDAY: Barclays analyst Raimo Lenschow upgraded Workday (WDAY) to Overweight from Equal Weight with a price target of $282, up from $268. As investors look for software opportunities in the second half of the year, Workday and Anaplan (PLAN) stand out as companies with low valuations and those that will benefit from enterprise heavy second half of the year spending trends, Lenschow told investors in a research note. The analyst is "starting to see green shoots" that indicate demand for both companies will "snap back" in the second half of the fiscal year.

MOVING TO THE SIDELINES: Davidson analyst Christopher Brendler downgraded Affirm (AFRM) to Neutral from Buy with a price target of $65, down from $90. The Afterpay - Square deal is a "key inflection point" in the "buy now, pay later" landscape, legitimizing the format and increasing the likelihood of further consolidation, the analyst told investors in a research note. With this deal, Square is soon be the global leader in this "hyper-growth" consumer payments solution, which is "bad news" for BNPL competitors, and Affirm is unlikely to become a takeout candidate given its lend-centric model and nonprime exposure, Brendler added.

'POSITIVELY SURPRISED': Morgan Stanley analyst Kimberly Greenberger initiated coverage of Victoria's Secret (VSCO) with an Overweight rating and $76 price target following the company's separation from L Brands (LB). She thinks investors will be "positively surprised" by the revenue recovery and EBIT margin trajectory as management continues to modernize the brand, Greenberger said. She thinks the stock should be valued at least in-line with specialty retail peers, if not at a premium.

Disclosure: None

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