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Today's top analyst calls - Nov 11: DIS BYND QSR CVNA IPGP

SLOWING DTC SUBSCRIBER: Atlantic Equities analyst Hamilton Faber downgraded Disney ($DIS) to Neutral from Overweight with a price target of $172, down from $219. Following an "astounding" streaming launch in late 2019, direct-to-consumer subscriber additions are slowing faster than anticipated and Faber doesn't see a pick-up until the company has broadened its offering. The analyst is "increasingly convinced" that the penetration of Disney's franchise fanbase is close to saturated in launched markets and believes volume growth will disappoint despite new geographies to come.

UNCERTAIN U.S. SALES OUTLOOK: Bernstein analyst Alexia Howard downgraded Beyond Meat ($BYND) to Market Perform from Outperform with a price target of $100, down from $130, following third quarter results. The analyst sees ongoing uncertainty around demand trends in Beyond Meat's U.S. retail and foodservice channels. Further, the company is likely to face ongoing margin pressure from labor and supply chain issues as well as escalating pea protein costs when contracts roll over, Howard told investors in a research note. While the "robust growth" in international markets is "encouraging," Beyond Meat's expected recovery of momentum in the U.S. retail and foodservice channels remains uncertain, the analyst added.

MOVING TO THE SIDELINES: KeyBanc analyst Eric Gonzalez downgraded Restaurant Brands ($QSR) to Sector Weight from Overweight without a price target. The analyst is less constructive on the shares given the recent underperformance of Burger King's same-store-sales and what that might mean for Restaurant Brands' asset-light business model. Gonzalez argued that while Burger King International is a "global growth powerhouse," bolder action might be needed in the home market to stem share losses. A potential reinvestment cycle could weigh on Restaurant Brands' free cash flow generation over the next few years, Gonzalez added.

ONGOING OPERATIONAL CONSTRAINTS: Wolfe Research analyst Greg Badishkanian assumed coverage of Carvana ($CVNA) with a Peer Perform rating and no price target. The analyst believes the company represents "one of the most unique, forward-thinking concepts across all of consumer." However, given the ongoing operational constraints within the Carvana model amid strengthening demand/pricing trends and an "elevated" valuation, the analyst is hesitant to put new money to work at current levels.

LOWER MULTIPLE JUSTIFIED: Bernstein analyst Jay Huang downgraded IPG Photonics ($IPGP) to Market Perform from Outperform with a $160 price target. The timing of the China cycle and the quick expansion of a low-end segment in China justify a lower multiple for the shares, Huang told investors in a research note. Even when IPG's technology remains superior and it still retains over 50% market share in performance-demanding applications like welding, local players like Raycus have "firmly established themselves as 'good enough' in most cutting applications," the analyst added.

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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