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Today's top analyst calls - July 22: ABNB FL WSM TRV VMEO

APPEALING ENTRY POINT: BTIG analyst Jake Fuller upgraded Airbnb ($ABNB) to Buy from Neutral with a $170 price target. The analyst noted that the renewed COVID uncertainty represents an "appealing" entry point as this "best in breed" online travel agency stock poses "one of the most compelling models" in his coverage. Fuller argued that while the COVID delta variant yields uncertainty, Airbnb is better situated than its peers if restrictions increase, and beyond the pandemic, the company stands to benefit from alternative accommodations having gone mainstream.

BUY FOOT LOCKER: Goldman Sachs analyst Kate McShane initiated coverage of Foot Locker ($FL) with a Buy rating and $70 price target. The analyst likes Foot Locker's "strong" omnichannel presence, "solid" pipeline of new fashion and "attractive" valuation. The company is likely to see ongoing share consolidation from "undifferentiated" competitors, McShane told investors in a research note.

SELL WILLIAMS-SONOMA: Goldman Sachs analyst Kate McShane downgraded Williams-Sonoma ($WSM) to Sell from Neutral with a price target of $154, down from $193. Williams-Sonoma has outperformed her and consensus sales expectations despite the supply chain disruptions that persisted for most of 2020 and carried well into this year, but consensus estimates for 2022 could be too high given the likely return of promotions in 2022 and comparisons that are more difficult than for other hardlines peers, McShane contended.

DOUBLE DOWNGRADE: Bank of America double analyst Joshua Shanker downgraded Travelers ($TRV) to Underperform from Buy with a price target of $161, down from $171. He also lowered his 2022 earnings per share forecast to a "Street low" $11.80 as Commercial P&C pricing begins to decelerate and underwriting margins begin to erode in personal auto and homeowners' insurance. Though price increases should be able to improve margins in 2022, Shanker sees any such improvements leveling off in 2023.

ON THE SIDELINES: JPMorgan analyst Cory Carpenter initiated coverage of Vimeo ($VMEO) with a Neutral rating and $50 price target. Vimeo is a leading all-in-one video software solution that is well positioned for sustained annual sales growth of 30%, Carpenter told investors in a research note. However, the company trades at a premium multiple, creating a balanced risk/reward at current share levels, and its growth is expected to moderate on tough comps in the second half of 2021, the analyst argued.


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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