Starbucks Downgrade, Cannabis Initiations Among Today's Top Analyst Calls

Here are today's top analyst calls from around Wall Street, compiled by The Fly.

WELLS FARGO CUTS STARBUCKS TO MARKET PERFORM

Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog downgraded Starbucks (SBUX) to Market Perform from Outperform and lowered her price target for the shares to $80 from $83 following Thursday night's Q2 results. The analyst remains optimistic that Starbucks can continue to simultaneously execute on its strategy to drive "strong" same-store-sales in the U.S. and expand in China. However, she thinks the market already "fully appreciates this" and, as such, sees the shares as "fully valued." The analyst steps to the sidelines despite raising her estimates.

GOLDMAN SACHS BOOSTS MEDICINES CO TO BUY

 Goldman Sachs analyst Paul Choi upgraded The Medicines Co. (MDCO) to Buy from Neutral and raised his price target for the shares to $55 from $25. The target implies 90% upside from the current price of $29.80. The analyst said that with the Orion Phase 3 topline results expected in Q3, his comfort level with inclisiran's benefit/risk profile has increased based on the recent updates from the independent data monitoring committee and a separate update for givosiran, which uses the same ESC-GalNAc conjugate platform. Further, new management is taking the appropriate steps to right-size the cost base and capital structure, Choi told investors in a research note. This sets up inclisiran for a successful launch, which should also increase The Medicines Co.'s potential appeal to partner or strategic buyer, added the analyst. Choi also thinks near term consensus launch expectations are achievable.

WILLIAM BLAIR BOOSTS ARGO TO OUTPERFORM

William Blair analyst Adam Klauber upgraded Argo Group (ARGO) to Outperform from Market Perform citing an improving growth profile. Argo is beginning to emerge as a long-term midcap growth insurer, Klauber told investors in a research note. He believes a "dislocation" in Excess & Surplus markets, a developing technology platform, and improving expense leverage are "paving the way for a higher growth outlook." These factors should push Argo's top- and bottom-line growth from an average of low single digits in recent years to the 10% to 12% range for the next three to five years, contended Klauber. Further, he thinks the stock at current levels does not reflect the prospects of this type of long-term compounding trajectory. Argo shares could nearly double in the next four to five years, said Klauber.

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