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Today's top analyst calls - July 29: ZM SPOT HOOD RTX ATUS FIVN

FUTURE HYBRID WORK STATE: KeyBanc analyst Steve Enders upgraded Zoom Video Communications ($ZM) to Overweight from Sector Weight with a $428 price target. The analyst sees Zoom benefiting from a "future hybrid work state" in which video and cloud communications stand as long-term priorities in enterprise IT budgets. A recent chief investment officer survey suggests enterprise adoption of video platforms will continue into 2022 as businesses return to office environments with 97% of respondents maintaining or increasing their spend, Enders told investors in a research note. In addition, the analyst believes the Five9 ($FIVN) acquisition should transform Zoom's model and support a "second leg to growth" as the company prepares to navigate a post-pandemic hybrid world.

'ATTRACTIVELY' PRICED: Guggenheim analyst Michael Morris upgraded Spotify ($SPOT) to Buy from Neutral with a price target of $265, up from $245. The stock is down nearly 40% from February which makes it more attractively priced against its long-term potential, Morris told investors. He contended Spotify has "established a sustainable position as the global audio industry leader" and should have "modest premium pricing power" over coming quarters.

Meanwhile, UBS analyst Batya Levi upgraded Spotify to Neutral from Sell with a price target of $240, up from $235. The analyst cited the company's improved financial results, expectations for better monthly active user trends post-pandemic, traction with new initiatives and a more attractive valuation given the stock's underperformance. Further, Levi believes that Spotify is a "secular winner" in the audio space given the size of its user base and its pace of innovation.

BUY ROBINHOOD: Atlantic Equities analyst John Heagerty initiated coverage of Robinhood ($HOOD) with an Overweight rating ahead of Thursday's initial public offering. Robinhood has delivered a four-year user annual growth rate of over 100% and this continued in the second quarter with 25% growth quarter-over-quarter to 22.5M, Heagerty told investors in a research note. The analyst believes this "superior" user growth will continue given the success of Robinhood's referral program and the "product appeal among its target demographic." His sales- and user-based multiples deliver a stock valuation of $65. Robinhood priced its public offering at $38 per share.

BUSINESS MIX APPEARS FAVORABLE: Argus analyst John Eade upgraded Raytheon Technologies ($RTX) to Buy from Hold with a $100 price target. The company's business mix appears favorable compared to that of most defense industry peers and its management has also recently raised its dividend by 7%, the analyst told investors in a research note. Eade added that relative to its peer group, Raytheon shares are now trading in line with or below peer averages on valuation metrics such as price-to-earnings and price-to-sales.

ELEVATED BROADBAND CHURN: Raymond James analyst Frank Louthan downgraded Altice USA ($ATUS) to Outperform from Strong Buy with a price target of $38, down from $40, following second quarter results as elevated broadband churn is pressuring operating performance. Louthan believes leverage will remain the biggest risk to Altice shares, along with lower top line growth, until advertising returns to full strength and fiber build penetration is further along.

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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