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Today's top analyst calls - June 18: DAL ALK UAL BIIB MTCH CURI NVDA

PENT-UP DEMAND SCENARIO: Wolfe Research analyst Hunter Keay double upgraded Delta Air Lines ($DAL) to Outperform from Underperform with a price target of $55, upgraded Alaska Air ($ALK) to Outperform from Peer Perform with a price target of $78, and upgraded United Airlines ($UAL) to Peer Perform from Underperform with a price target of $51. While "skeptical" that business travel will return to pre-Covid levels long term, the analyst sees a "pent-up demand scenario later this summer, not unlike what's happening with leisure now." Many business travelers "will feel a competitive urge to get back out there," Keay tells investors in a research note. The analyst says Q4 revenue for airlines "will be weaker than most expect" but that history suggests the market will overlook that as the "overall tempo of the recovery stays positive."

'TOO POSITIVE TO IGNORE': Piper Sandler analyst Christopher Raymond upgraded Biogen ($BIIB) to Overweight from Neutral with a price target of $450, up from $384. Two new data points are "too positive to ignore," making the "path of least resistance on this stock is decidedly higher," Raymond tells investors in a research note. First, a new survey of 52 neurologists indicates above-consensus uptake of Aduhelm based on patient traffic, physician willingness to prescribe and anticipated payer countermeasures, says the analyst. Second, Raymond checked in with a reimbursement consultant "who painted an overwhelmingly positive picture on the access and reimbursement front." Combining this with a "low-probability but still completely free call option" that Biogen wins on appeal with the Tecfidera intellectual property case, the stock is likely to go higher in the near term, says Raymond.

MATCH RESUMED: Morgan Stanley analyst Lauren Schenk resumed coverage of Match Group ($MTCH) with an Overweight rating and $180 price target. Match remains a top pick, said Schenk, who sees pent-up demand for social interaction driving accelerating subscriber growth in 2021 and thinks the Hyperconnect acquisition adds two high-growth social discovery apps with strong monetization to the company's portfolio.

DOUBLE DOWNGRADE ON VALUATION: BofA analyst Devin Brisco downgraded CuriosityStream ($CURI) to Underperform from Buy with a $14 price target. The analyst notes that with the stock's recent strong performance, shares are now 6% above his price target, and while the recent addition of CuriosityStream into the Russell 3000 index is favorable, the long-term fundamentals of the business have not changed. Brisco further warns that CuriosityStream is a "very early stage company", and the visibility into quarterly revenue trends over the course of this year and thereafter is limited, while management continues to rely on investment activity into to drive top-line growth.

DATA CENTER SALES COULD TRIPLE: BofA analyst Vivek Arya raised the firm's price target on Nvidia ($NVDA) to $900 from $800 and reiterates a Buy rating on the shares following a "dee dive" into the company's data center business. Rising artificial intelligence adoption and expanding use-cases can help Nvidia double its content and triple its data center sales over the next few years, Arya tells investors in a research note. The analyst expects the company's data center business to grow at a 35% compounded rate, or three-times from 2021E, to $30B and become Nvidia's largest segment by 2025. The analyst says Nvidia remains his top computing pick.

Disclosure: I may trade in the ticker symbols mentioned, both long or short. My articles represent my personal opinion and analysis and should not be taken as investment advice. Readers should do their own research before making decisions to buy or sell securities. Trading and investing include risks, including loss of principal.

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