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Today's top analyst calls - July 28: MSFT TDOC CHWY MGM SMG

ANOTHER 'SOLID' BEAT: RBC Capital analyst Rishi Jaluria assumed coverage of Microsoft ($MSFT) with an Outperform rating with a price target of $360, up from $290. The analyst stated that the company's fourth quarter saw another "solid" and "broad-based" earnings beat, while its management expects to sustain double-digit growth in full year 2022 and to maintain the growth of Azure business in the first quarter. Jaluria added that he remains positive on Microsoft's ability to capitalize on its multiple growth drivers.

MOVING TO THE SIDELINES: Deutsche Bank analyst George Hill downgraded Teladoc Health ($TDOC) to Hold from Buy with a price target of $153, down from $225, following second quarter results. Membership growth was up only 1% year-over-year as the company was in execution mode around service delivery and total visits were up 27.5%, Hill told investors in a research note. The analyst argued that despite Teladoc's continued progress against its growth objectives, the post-earnings stock selloff leads him to believe "there is little the company can do in the near term to meet lofty investor expectations." Teladoc's business and its shares "could be at an inflection point" as new large logo clients that move the needle will be harder to find and utilization growth is unlikely to match the expansion of 2020 and 2021, Hill contended.

BUY CHEWY: Baird analyst Justin Kleber initiated coverage of Chewy ($CHWY) with an Outperform rating and $105 price target. The company is the "online leader" in the "attractive, defensive growth sector" of pet goods, said Kleber, who believes Chewy is well positioned for continued outsized share gains as more industry volume shifts online.

MORE RAPID REBOUND: Goldman Sachs analyst Stephen Grambling upgraded MGM Resorts ($MGM) to Neutral from Sell with a price target of $43, up from $38. The analyst cited a "more rapid" rebound in Las Vegas and online sports betting market share gains for the upgrade. He also sees potential positive catalysts from MGM management pursuing more aggressive capital returns, with $6.2B cash on its balance sheet and "stabilizing trends giving visibility to a full recovery or better."

'COMPELLING' LONG-TERM GROWTH PROFILE: Stifel analyst W. Andrew Carter initiated coverage of Scotts Miracle-Gro ($SMG) with a Buy rating and $220 price target. He believes the shares - which he noted are down 28% since early April - undervalue what he sees as Scotts Miracle-Gro's "compelling long-term growth profile" as well as the standalone potential of Hawthorne, the leading manufacturer/distributor of hydroponics which positions the company to profitably capitalize on U.S. cannabis category growth.

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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