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Today's top analyst calls - July 1: MU BBBY QRVO ZIP CE XOM

PEAKING INDUSTRY DYNAMICS: Summit Insights analyst Kinngai Chan downgraded Micron ($MU) to Hold from Buy. The analyst warned that the favorable memory demand-supply dynamics will peak in the second half of 2021 due to seasonal build and cited changes in inventory management tactics by many of Micron's customers. DRAM and NAND contract pricing will continue to improve sequentially into the August quarter, but pricing is likely nearing a near-term peak, Chan told investors in a research note.

SHARE UPSIDE: B. Riley analyst Susan Anderson initiated coverage of Bed Bath & Beyond ($BBBY) with a Buy rating and $44 price target, which represents 32% potential upside from current levels. The new management team has made "significant improvements" to reduce the cost structure and make necessary investments to elevate the company into a top omni-channel retailer in the bed, bath, and home space, Anderson noted. The analyst believes the stock's current valuation is "depressed because the Street is not fully accounting for significant margin improvements from management's initiatives."

BUY QORVO: Argus analyst Jim Kelleher initiated coverage of Qorvo ($QRVO) with a Buy rating and $225 price target. The analyst is positive on the company's position as a "leading provider" of RF solutions as it leverages its mobility position into diversified end markets. Kelleher added that Qorvo's experienced management team allows for multiple opportunities ahead in its served markets of mobility, infrastructure and aerospace while noting that its growth opportunities in areas such as IOT and data communication are accelerating.

ABILITY TO WIN SHARE: Barclays analyst Trevor Young initiated coverage of ZipRecruiter ($ZIP) with an Overweight rating and $30 price target. ZipRecruiter is a leading online recruiting marketplace that is gaining share in the $13B U.S. online recruiting industry, Young contended. The analyst believes the company is differentiated from online peers by its artificial intelligence-based matching, "resulting in faster/better quality candidate recommendations and faster time-to-hire, alleviating key pain points for employer-customers." He's constructive on the fundamental story and ZipRecruiter's ability to win share.

CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT: Deutsche Bank analyst David Begleiter upgraded Celanese ($CE) to Buy from Hold with a price target of $175, up from $168. With its $1.2B acquisition of ExxonMobil's ($XOM) Santoprene elastomer business, Celanese has proven its ability to deploy the excess cash flows from its commodity acetyls business and utilize its under-levered balance sheet "in a strategic and financially attractive manner to grow its high multiple Engineered Materials business," Begleiter told investors in a research note. The analyst expects additional bolt-on acquisitions in the months and quarters ahead given Celanese's "significant bandwidth still available."

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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