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Top Analysts Weigh In on 3 Stocks

Top Analysts Pound the Table on These 3 Stocks

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This article was originally published by TipRanks.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic pushed us into an economic recession in the first half of this year, but in odd ways, the downturn was artificial. The economy had been booming prior to the health crisis, and many of the factors that caused the boom are still in play – a general tax cut, and the deregulation policy of the Trump Administration. But a decent governmental attitude toward business is not the only factor giving a lift to the economy. A combination of a generous stimulus package and extended benefits put in place earlier this year, along with pent-up demand from the long lock-down periods and a strong desire in many parts of the country to just get back to work, have given life to hopes of a V-shaped recovery. A feeling of optimism, even in a tough time, and a perception that there are opportunities available, has Wall Street’s analysts tagging stocks for success. We’ve pulled up the TipRanks data on three stocks that high-rated analysts have tagged as potentially strong investments. Between Wall Street’s professionals, and the latest data, here’s what makes them compelling buys. Calix, Inc. (CALX) We’ll start in the tech sector, with Calix, a cloud computing company offering business software platforms designed to allow customers to monetize the interactions between infrastructure and service subscribers. The company’s software products are cloud based, and make broadband access and data analysis easier for customers. Calix’s success is clear from its annual revenues – and its growing sales and earnings recovery during the corona crisis of recent months. The company saw over $420 million on the lop line last year, and revenues in 1H20 grew sequentially from Q1 to Q2, coming in at $119 million for the second quarter. Earnings were negative in Q1, but quickly recovered and turned positive in Q2, coming in at 8 cents per share- the highest earnings the company has seen in over two years. Share prices have predictably grown as Calix beat the macro trends on sales and earnings. The stock is up an impressively robust 157% year-to-date. 5-star analyst Richard Valera, of Needham, sees Calix as a long-term choice for investors, so much so that he has initiated coverage of the stock with a Buy rating and a $25 price target that suggest a 21% upside for the stock. (To watch Valera’s track record, click here)
“COVID-19 has accelerated the demand for robust consumer broadband service. As a provider of broadband access solutions, we expect Calix to benefit from this demand… Benefiting from growing secular broadband demand, a model transitioning towards software, and the imminent start of a $20B, 10-year broadband subsidy program (RDOF), we look for CALX to show sustained growth and margin expansion over the next several years,” Valera commented. Overall, Calix has a unanimous Strong Buy analyst consensus rating, based on 4 Buy reviews. Shares are selling for $20.85, and the $25.50 average price target implies a one-year upside of 24%. (See CALX stock analysis on TipRanks) Gores Metropoulos (GMHI) Next on our list, Gores Metropoulos, is an associated company of the Gores Group. GMHI is a blank check company, existing to effect corporate mergers and capital exchanges, by acquisition of assets, stocks, and other business recombinations. Gores Metropoulos focuses on diversity in its portfolio, conducting acquisitions and management of companies in the business services, consumer products, healthcare, industrial, tech, and telecom segments. GMHI’s most recent merger agreement is with Luminar, a company in the autonomous vehicle sector. The agreement was completed this past August and was valued at nearly $3 billion. Under the terms, Luminar gets a cash infusion of $400 million, and begins trading on the NASDAQ. This example is typical of GMHI’s transactions. Analyst Gus Richard, covering this stock for Northland Securities, is impressed by the potential of the Luminar agreement. The possibilities induced him to initiate coverage of the stock. “LARZ has developed an inexpensive lidar system design for the automotive market. LARZ has contracts with Volvo and one other top tier auto OEM. We believe the technology risk has been eliminated and contracts with Volvo and another top tier automaker provide customer validation,” Richard commented. Richard, who has 5 stars from TipRanks and rated #83 of more than 7,000 professional stock analysts, notes that Gores Metropoulos is a winner here. He rates the stock as Outperform (i.e. Buy), and his $16 price target implies a strong 51% upside from the current share price of $10.57. (To watch Richard’s track record, click here)
AutoZone, Inc. (AZO) The last stock on our list is another company that benefits when economic and social conditions start promoting Do-it-Yourself projects. Autozone is a leading retailer of aftermarket car parts and accessories, offering customers everything necessary for home-based vehicle maintenance and repairs. Autozone saw top-line revenues of $2.5 billion in Q1, and has seen the top line grow sequentially through the next quarters. In Q2, revenues came in at $2.8 billion, and in the third quarter, the company’s fiscal fourth, revenues grew to $4.5 billion. Included in that result is a 21.8% growth in same-store sales year-over-year. The company credits the strong growth to customer behavior, and shift during the pandemic crisis toward DIY projects. Like Amazon, Autozone does not pay a dividend and rewards investors through share appreciation. The company’s stock price is high, at $1,193, and has fully recovered from the mid-winter market crash, trading now within $2 of its December 31 closing price. Over the past three years, AZO shares have gained 96% in value. Raymond James analyst Matthew McClintock is impressed by Autozone, and upgraded his stance from Outperform to Strong Buy. McClintock’s upgrade comes with a $1,565 price target that implies room for 31% growth over the coming 12 months. (To watch McClintock’s track record, click here)
"AZO is the proven, best-in-breed, consistent, long-term retail story that investors only get few chances over an entire career to acquire at a discount. AZO is now our top pick… We believe a premium relative to historical averages is warranted given that AZO's improving parts availability/e-commerce fulfillment capabilities position it exceptionally well to thrive — yielding outsized market share gains,” McClintock wrote. All in all, Autozone holds a Strong Buy rating from the analyst consensus, with 12 recent reviews breaking down to 10 Buys and 2 Holds. Meanwhile, the average price target of $1,409 suggests a one-year upside of 18%. (See AZO stock analysis on TipRanks)
To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment. The post Top Analysts Pound the Table on These 3 Stocks appeared first on TipRanks Financial Blog.

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Government

Countdown To The Next Lockdown: Biden Says “In All Probability” US Will See More Restrictions

Countdown To The Next Lockdown: Biden Says "In All Probability" US Will See More Restrictions

By now the narrative has gotten so absurdly grotesque and stupid, it’s as if a platoon of monkeys or, worse, woke SNL writers put it on the back…

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Countdown To The Next Lockdown: Biden Says "In All Probability" US Will See More Restrictions

By now the narrative has gotten so absurdly grotesque and stupid, it's as if a platoon of monkeys or, worse, woke SNL writers put it on the back of a shampoo bottle.

Today, when we discussed how US consumers have already burned through almost all of their savings from Biden's fiscal firehose... 

... just as the next burst of inflation is about to come and unleash a stagflationary recession or worse, we said that "there is just one event that could short circuit what appears to be a near-certain recession heading into 2022 and mid-term elections which would be devastating for Democrats faced with an imploding economy: another multi-trillion stimulus, just enough to kick the can by another 4-6 months. But for that to happen, the US economy needs to be shut down again which will only happen only once there is enough covid Delta-variant fearmongering. Which should also explain everything that's happening right now."

Well, guess what: after the CDC's legendary flipflop which has steamrolled the credibility of "science", and concurrent narrative whiplash it has made even the head of ultra-left liberals spin, today the president who earlier needed an aide to tell him he has "something" stuck to his chin, laid out the Delta endgame when he said that the US will, "in all probability," see more guidelines and restrictions amid rising coronavirus cases...

... even if actual deaths - you know, the supposed reason why the CDC is so terrified of covid - have not budged.

Coming from a president who needs a teleprompter to be reminded what day it is, it wasn't exactly surprising that Biden refuted the official White House position set just hours earlier on Friday, when White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters, "the way we see this is that we have the tools in our tool belt to fight this, this, this variant," adding, "we are not going to head towards a lockdown." She added that "our goal is to make sure that we are not headed towards that -- that is not going to be the direction that we take, because we have the tools to prevent that," Jean-Pierre said, unaware that her boss would make a mockery of her words just minutes later.

The administration's conflicting comments come as a new study, leaked Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showed that the variant produces similar amounts of virus in vaccinated and unvaccinated people if they get infected, in effect also making a mockery of the entire previous "get vaccinated and be safe" narrative. But there was no choice: the finding "was a pivotal discovery leading to CDC's updated mask recommendation," Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said Friday.

What she meant is that to have all the narrative pieces that the media needs to persuade America that another lockdown is in its own favor in order to release another $1-2 trillion in stimmies in a time when the admin is openly paying vaccine holdouts hundreds (and soon thousands) of dollars to get a jab, some sacrifices in terms of script continuity had to be made. As for the rest - well, that's what a propaganda media is for.

Seeking to further demonize the unvaccinated, yet terrified of signing an unconstitutional executive order demanding everyone gets a jab with an experimental vaccine that still hasn't gotten official FDA approval, the president has instead been urging corporations to do his dirty work for him and demanding that all employees get vaccinated. The wokest of them are already complying.

Biden also announced a number of new steps his administration will take to try to get more Americans vaccinated, including requiring that all federal employees must attest to being vaccinated against Covid-19 or face strict protocols (except for the USPS of course - one can't piss off that particular labor union or the republicans will be celebrating an avalanche next November). And just to ensure that social animosity and hatred hits a new record, Biden slammed those unvaccinated Americans who believe they should have the final say over what goes into their bodies, be it a Chinese-engineered virus, or an experimental drug meant to enrich Pfizer shareholders: "You present a problem to yourself, to your family and to those with whom you work" Biden said.

And then there were the bribes: like any self-respecting liberal, Biden decided that the best way to incentivize tens of millions is to just give them free money, and this week the administration called on states, territories and local governments to do more to incentivize vaccination, including offering $100 to Americans for getting vaccinated, paid for with American Rescue Plan funding. Of course, since not everyone is an idiot, the unvaccinated now have an even greater reason to hold out, waiting for the bribe to grow to $200, $400, $800 and so on. Which in a country where printing and handing out money is the only business model left, may well be the real motive.

The administration chickened out short of pursuing a vaccination requirement for the entire country, however. Biden said Thursday that he didn't know yet whether the federal government had the power to require vaccines, and White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the administration is not considering a nationwide requirement.

"That's not an authority that we're exploring at all," Zients said; so instead of doing what Biden believes in - or at least pretends to - he will pass the potato and force corporations to do Biden's dirty work for him and fire all those who refuse to get jabbed. At least they have many more years of stimmies to look forward to: after all, we are only on the Delta variant - by the time we get to Omega, the Fed will be printing a few hundred quadrillion every day...

Tyler Durden Fri, 07/30/2021 - 22:04

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Economics

Amwell dials in deals worth $320m to buy two digital health players

US telehealth group Amwell has agreed to buy two digital health specialists – SilverCloud Health and Conversa Health
The post Amwell dials in deals worth $320m to buy two digital health players appeared first on .

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US telehealth group Amwell has agreed to buy two digital health specialists – SilverCloud Health and Conversa Health – as it looks to expand its services amid a boom in virtual healthcare delivery.

SilverCloud specialises in digital cognitive behavioural health programmes aimed at people with mental health issues like anxiety and depression, while Conversa offers a telehealth-based patient engagement platform.

The telehealth specialist said it is paying a combined $320 million for the two business, which will be paid for using a mix of stock and cash. The two businesses will add around $15 million to its revenues this year, doubling to $30 million in 2022, said Amwell, and will also expand its client base.

Amwell is one of the larger players in the US market, providing telemedicine to more than 2,000 hospitals and 55 health plan partners with more than 36,000 employers, and recording $202 million in revenue in the 12 months ended June 30.

The company’s spending power has ballooned in the last few months following a $100 million investment from Alphabet’s Google and an initial public offering that raised gross proceeds of around $740 million.

In its IPO prospectus, Amwell indicated it planned to use some of the proceeds for acquisitions to bolt on new products and services. Adding SilverCloud and Conversa would help it develop a platform that blends “in-person, virtual and digital care,” said co-chief executive Ido Schoenberg.

SilverCloud’s platform is being used by 300 organisations including big healthcare providers in the US like Kaiser-Pernamente, Optum and Providence Health, as well as more 80% of the UK’s NHS mental health services, said Amwell.

Conversa’s technology meanwhile is being used by healthcare organisations across the US like Northwell Health, UCSF Health and UNC Health to engage with patients using automated text-based conversations between clinician visits.

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a dramatic increase in the use of telehealth in the US and elsewhere, and in turn seems to have prompted companies to look at consolidation, cutting strategic deals to enhance their presence, and avoid falling behind the competition.

Last year, for example, Teladoc and Livongo announced an $18.5 billion merger to create a digital health giant with pro forma sales of $1.3 billion from the combination of telehealth systems and health monitoring tools.

The big players are preparing for what Frost & Sullivan recently predicted could be sevenfold growth in telehealth by 2025, an annual growth rate of more than 38%.

This year, M&A has stepped up even further with an average of 22 acquisitions each month compared to a rate of 12 in 2020, according to investment group Rock Health, which expects tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft and Google to play a key part in the consolidation of the sector.

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Economics

Stocks Setting Up for Big Moves Next Week!

Over the past couple of weeks, over 50% of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported results for Q2 2021. Of those, 88% have reported EPS results above estimates. This is well above the average over the past five years.The markets are all about futur

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Over the past couple of weeks, over 50% of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported results for Q2 2021. Of those, 88% have reported EPS results above estimates. This is well above the average over the past five years.

The markets are all about future growth, however, and the good news is analysts are upgrading their EPS estimates for Q3 by an average of 3.6%. This marks the third largest increase in EPS estimates during the first month of a quarter in eleven years. (source: Factset Research)

Even better news, many of those companies that reported strong 2nd quarter earnings and also had their estimates revised higher are posting huge gains. Each of the top performers from the S&P 500 last week was a company that came in ahead of estimates and had their outlooks upgraded.

Below are four of many examples, and their average gain for the week was 11% -- well above the S&P 500's generally flat performance.

TOP PERFORMERS IN S&P 500 LAST WEEK

It's not too late to capitalize on this market action, as there are plenty more corporations due to report their 2nd quarter results. Below are two companies due next week. They're in industry groups where peer companies have seen explosive moves following strong results, as they provide products that are in high demand.

First up is Small Cap Semiconductor stock Rambus (RBMS), which provides chip design products for the computing, gaming and graphics market. Analysts are anticipating 2nd quarter earnings to grow 875% vs. last year as demand for their products has grown substantially.

RBMS is in the same industry as much larger Applied Micro (AMD), which is listed among the outperformers above. In addition to bullishly receiving a price target upgrade last week, Rambus is a hair away from a 1-month base breakout at $24. The company is due to report earnings after the market's close on Monday.

DAILY CHART OF RAMBUS, INC. (RMBS)

Next up is Western footwear and apparel retailer Boot Barn (BOOT) which is due to report earnings after the market closes on Wednesday. The average estimate is calling for $1.16 in earnings per share, which would be well above last year's negative report due to the pandemic.

BOOT also received a price target upgrade last week ahead of their report, and the stock is in the strong Footwear group, where several peer names such as Crocs (CROX) have gapped up to new highs after coming in ahead of estimates, with analysts raising estimates going forward.

DAILY CHART OF BOOT BARN HOLDINGS, INC. (BOOT)

When searching for additional stock candidates that may far outpace the markets following the release of their 2nd quarter results, here are some key attributes that will improve your success:

First, you'll want the stock to be part of an Industry Group that's seen a number of companies beat estimates and guide higher. This means you're in an area that is experiencing high product demand.

Subscribers to my MEM Edge Report were introduced to West Pharmaceutical (WST) in late April, as it was breaking out of a lengthy base following strong 1st quarter results. The stock is among the top performers (above) as, last week, it gained 9% following another strong quarter. The Medical Supply company provides inject-able drug delivery products which have seen increased demand as vaccine rollouts continue globally.

Another attribute is an analysts' upgrade within 2 weeks of the earnings release. Wall Street analysts are not going to put their neck on the line unless they have some researched insight that have them positive. With Advanced Micro (AMD) listed above, Citigroup finally turned bullish on the stock 2 weeks prior to the company's earnings.

Lastly, a bullish chart is always going to provide an advantage. You'll want the stock to be trading above key support and in an uptrend. While many Bank stocks have been reporting very strong quarterly results, their current downtrends are holding them back from trading higher on the news.

Of course, you'll need the broader markets to remain positive for the above strategy to work. Subscribe to my bi-weekly MEM Edge Report to remain on top of the broader markets, while also being alerted to stocks poised to outperform the broader markets. Use this link here for a special 4-week trial offer!

Warmly,

Mary Ellen McGonagle, MEM Investment Research


In this week's edition of StockCharts TV's The MEM Edge, I review last week's market dynamics and uncover what's supporting the continued uptrend in the broader markets. I also share how to capitalize on the strength in 2nd Quarter GDP. Watch now!

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