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Today's top analyst calls - Nov 24: BABA JWN DLTR SPOT GPS

LOWER CONSUMPTION SPENDING, INCREASED COMPETITION: Argus analyst Jim Kelleher downgraded Alibaba ($BABA) to Hold from Buy. The company is facing lower domestic consumption spending and increased competition, which is slowing growth in its core business, the analyst warned investors in a research note. Kelleher further stated that as China government cements its power, Alibaba is hindered by the "deteriorating environment" for large-cap tech names in the county, adding that a Hold rating is appropriate until he sees a "clearer path" to stronger sales and earnings.

QUESTIONS REMAIN: Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink downgraded Nordstrom ($JWN) to Hold from Buy with a price target of $30, down from $48, following the company's quarterly results. The company's transformation costs are rising while its execution is slipping, Wissink told investors in a research note. Shifting to 50/50 physical and digital sales model and weak retail execution are delaying Nordstrom's value realization, the analyst added. Wissink also noted that questions remain unanswered on degree to which high costs will remain into fiscal 2022.

BUY SPOTIFY: Benchmark analyst Matthew Harrigan initiated coverage of Spotify ($SPOT) with a Buy rating and $300 price target. Spotify is "the marquee global audio streaming service" and "continues to out innovate larger hyperscale tech competitors," Harrigan argued. The analyst sees advertising and podcasting growth increasingly complementing premium music streaming.

HIGHER VISIBILITY: Telsey Advisory analyst Joseph Feldman upgraded Dollar Tree ($DLTR) to Outperform from Market Perform with a price target of $175, up from $132. The analyst sees "higher visibility" into Dollar Tree's multi-year growth prospects given the roll out of a higher base price per item of $1.25 versus $1.00 previously across over 75% of the core Dollar Tree assortment by the end of the first quarter. The company also has "other transformative initiatives, including the rollout of Dollar Tree Plus! multi-price point assortment, Feldman told investors in a research note.

MOVING TO THE SIDELINES: JPMorgan analyst Matthew Boss downgraded Gap ($GPS) to Neutral from Overweight with a price target of $22, down from $39. The analyst sees rising multi-year model risks following the company's third quarter miss. Boss also cut estimates for Gap and told investors that he sees risk to margins going forward.

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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