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Today's top analyst calls - Sept 14: DOW TASK COIN MSFT AMZN

DOW INITIATED AT PIPER: Piper Sandler analyst Charles Neivert initiated coverage of Dow Inc. ($DOW) with an Overweight rating and $78 price target. The analyst called the stock's valuation attractive, and said he expects to see the company take advantage in the future as "increasing free cash flow will allow for some growth initiatives, further opportunistic debt reduction and share repurchase at least in line with dilution."

BofA analyst Jason Kupferberg downgraded TaskUs ($TASK) to Neutral from Buy with a price target of $65, up from $42, as he rebalanced his Payments, Processors and IT Services rating. Following the stock's "huge run" post earnings in August, with the stock up 88% since then, he sees a balanced risk/reward, Kupferberg tells investors.

Despite holding an 86% correlation to the price of bitcoin since the company's initial public offering, Coinbase ($COIN) shares have fallen 4% quarter-to-date while bitcoin's and ether's prices have risen 28% and 43%, respectively, Piper Sandler analyst Richard Repetto tells investors in a research note. The underperformance for Coinbase accelerated in the past six trading days after news broke of the Wells notice from the SEC, adds the analyst. He believes the recent selloff is overdone and reiterates an Overweight rating on the shares with a $335 price target. Repetto says the company's decision to delay the Coinbase Lend product launch until October does not impact his estimates. He also thinks the Q3 consensus earnings estimate is too low.

AMAZON PRICE TARGET RAISED AT EVERCORE: Evercore ISI analyst Mark Mahaney raised the firm's price target on ($AMZN) to $4,700 from $4,200 and keeps an Outperform rating on the shares, stating that he believes investors "under-appreciate the magnitude and meaning of Amazon's dramatic fulfilment capacity expansion." Over the past five years he has tracked a 17 times increase in the number of Delivery Stations that the part of Amazon's fulfilment network, most of which are geared towards One Day and Same Day Delivery, said Mahaney, who believes this will "materially strengthen Amazon's customer value proposition" and increases his confidence in the company's long-term growth outlook.

Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss raised the firm's price target on Microsoft ($MSFT) to $331 from $305 and keeps an Overweight rating on the shares, noting that he sees the potential for a 10%-plus increase of the company's dividend. Mid-September is historically when Microsoft announces its annual dividend increases and given the 32% year-over-year operating income growth seen in FY21 he "conservatively" estimates an increase in the company's quarterly dividend to 62c per share from 56c per share, Weiss tells investors. This supports about a 20% total return profile for Microsoft when combined with the company's high-teens EPS growth, noted Weiss.

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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