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Today's top analyst calls - August 19: NVDA ILMN BILL ADSK AAPL

SELL NVIDIA: Summit Insights analyst Kinngai Chan downgraded Nvidia ($NVDA) to Sell from Hold following fiscal second quarter results. The October quarter outlook includes a significant amount of channel refill in its gaming market, "masking the considerable decline" in cryptocurrency related sales, Chan told investors in a research note. The analyst's industry checks suggest Nvidia's exposure to the crypto-mining market exceeded $1B and could be close to the $1.5B range in the July quarter. The company will see the adverse effects of crypto market demand decline in the January quarter, he added. The analyst believes there could be a $500M-$1B downsides in its gaming sales in the January quarter.

RISING UNCERTAINTY: SVB Leerink analyst Puneet Souda downgraded Illumina ($ILMN) to Market Perform from Outperform with a price target of $425, down from $510. The analyst sees significantly tougher comparisons emerging in 2022 in the absence of any new major product cycle or further pricing reductions, at a time when the thesis for Illumina's elasticity of demand is eroding with clinical testing reaching about 45% of sequencing consumables - a trend that will likely only accelerate. Adding to that is rising uncertainty with Illumina's action to close the Grail acquisition, now locking-in significant dilution in 2022 despite a clear line of sight of true integration and an uncertain regulatory process that holds potential to drag into 2025 with material fines and to risk relationships with the regulators, Souda added.

ON THE SIDELINES: Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss resumed coverage of Autodesk ($ADSK) with an Equal Weight rating and $334 price target. His checks pointing to upside in both resellers' second quarter performance and forward growth expectations has increased his confidence that Autodesk is back on track for the second half ramp implied in their guidance. However, the analyst sees debates on the longer-term sustainability of growth and quality of fiscal year 2023 free cash flow limiting further multiple expansion in the near-term and keeping him on the sidelines.

BUY BILL.COM: Jefferies analyst Samad Samana upgraded ($BILL) to Buy from Hold with a price target of $250, up from $155. The company is poised to reach $500M of revenue "much sooner than consensus expects," Samana told investors in a research note. While the stock is up 50% year-to-date,'s fiscal 2022 guidance will drive shares higher, as it should result in a "step-function increase" in consensus estimates for the next several years, the analyst added. Samana expects the new outlook to be the "first of many steps" that make the path to $1B of sales in 2024 "much clearer."

MULTIPLE CATALYSTS: JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee raised the firm's price target on Apple ($AAPL) to $180 from $175 and reiterated an Overweight rating on the shares. The analyst continues to see Apple shares set up for "multiple catalysts" into the back end of this year, including the upcoming iPhone 13 launch and "low investor expectations" for iPhone and total revenue for fiscal 2022, led by concerns relative to cycling past the peak upgrade cycle associated with 5G. Chatterjee increased his 2022 iPhone volume estimates to 246M units and sees "substantial upside" relative to consensus expectations. Estimated moderation in the upgrade rate to iPhone 13 relative to iPhone 12 will be offset by the higher volumes for the lower priced phone, as the 5G enabled iPhone SE to be launched in 2022 provides upside "through the upgrade of a large installed base that is looking for a more affordable 5G device," Chatterjee told investors in a research note.

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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