United Airlines Shares Slump on Deep Quarterly Loss; Lost $7.1 Billion in 2020

United Airlines reported worse-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter with net loss ballooning to $1.9 billion and to $7.1 billion for the full-year 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions hammered air travel demand, sending its shares down about 3% in extended trading on Wednesday.

Chicago, Illinois-based airline reported fourth-quarter adjusted net loss of $2.1 billion, or a loss of $7 per share. That missed Wall Street’s estimates for a loss of $6.56 per share. The airlines’ reported loss of $7.7 billion for the full-year 2020 and total operating revenue declined 69% to $3.4 billion from the same quarter in 2019.

“Domestic remained the relative source of strength for the airline, as revenues fell 72% compared to international down 83%. The one source of relative strength on the international side was Latin America, which saw revenues decline by just 65% y-o-y as leisure demand to the region has remained strong. Cargo revenue was another source of strength, increasing 77% y-o-y, with other operating revenue declining by 31% y-o-y,” wrote Sheila Kahyaoglu, equity analyst at Jefferies.

The airline which operates a large domestic and international route network spanning cities large and small across the United States and all six continents said over the last three quarters, the company has identified $1.4 billion of annual cost savings and has a path to achieve at least $2.0 billion in structural reductions moving forward.

United Airlines forecasts the first quarter 2021 total operating revenue to be down 65-70% versus the first quarter of 2019. Accelerated distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine may lead to faster improvement, however, the company is not including this potential improvement in its first-quarter 2021 revenue outlook. The airline forecast first-quarter 2021 capacity to be down at least 51%.

United Airlines shares slumped about 3% to $43.97 in extended trading on Wednesday; the stock plunged 50% in 2020.

Analyst Comments

“United reported 4Q20 adjusted EPS slightly below our and Street expectations. Near term revenue trends are slightly worse than expected, but likely not a major focus for investors. Management targeted +$2 Bn in annual costs savings that should allow them to exceed2019 EBITDA margins by 2023. Many will look for comments on summer bookings as a snapback in 2H21 travel is expected,” said Helane Becker, equity analyst at Cowen and company.

“Trading activity will likely hinge on management comments about summer bookings and if they’ve seen any increased activity to support the idea of pent-up demand. The idea of a strong 2H21 will be dictated by vaccine distribution, something the Biden administration should push aggressively early in his administration.”

United Airlines Stock Price Forecast

Thirteen analysts who offered stock ratings for United Airlines in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $48.91 with a high forecast of $62.00 and a low forecast of $32.00.

The average price target represents an 8.26% increase from the last price of $45.18. From those 13 analysts, four rated “Buy”, five rated “Hold” and four rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $37 with a high of $79 under a bull scenario and $21 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Underweight” rating on the airline holding company’s stock.

“Why Underweight? We believe United Airlines (UAL) has the most challenged network of any airline in our coverage based on our path for a COVID-19 recovery and a levered balance sheet, which could limit rebound opportunities. In addition, UAL’s new CEO Scott Kirby (former COO) is very well regarded by investors but investors may wait to see evidence that UAL is indeed focused on cost improvement rather than aggressive growth (at the cost of PRASM) before giving the stock credit,” said Ravi Shanker, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Stifel raised the target price to $47 from $33. Cowen and company upped to outperform from market perform, raising the price objective to $53 from $34. BNP Paribas issued an “underperform” rating and a $32 target price for the company. Citigroup reduced their price target to $43 from $47 and set a “buy” rating.

In addition, Zacks Investment Research downgraded to a “sell” rating from a “hold” and set a $38 price target. Jefferies Financial Group issued a “hold” rating and a $45 price target. At last, Exane BNP Paribas issued an “underperform” rating and a $32 price target for the company.

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

Procter & Gamble Raises FY2021 Guidance; Stock Has 20% Upside Potential

Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest maker of consumer packaged goods, reported better-than-expected earnings in the fiscal second quarter and said it has raised its outlook for fiscal 2021 all-in sales growth to a range of 5-6% from the previous forecast of 3-5%.

Cincinnati, Ohio-based consumer goods corporation said its net sales rose 8% to $19.7 billion in the second quarter fiscal year 2021. Diluted net earnings per share increased 4% to were $1.47 and Core-EPS surged 15% to $1.64, beating the Wall Street consensus estimate of $1.51 per share.

Procter & Gamble raised its outlook for organic sales growth to a range of 5-6% from 4-5%. The Company said it now expects fiscal 2021 GAAP diluted net earnings per share growth in the range of 8-10% from fiscal 2020 GAAP EPS of $4.96. In addition, P&G upgraded their guidance for core earnings per share growth to a range of 8-10% from 5-8% versus fiscal 2020 core EPS of $5.12.

Procter & Gamble’s (PG) strong quarter should lift shares, improve sentiment for (lagging) HPC group -stock remains a Franchise Pick. We are focused on a “stronger for longer” theme in HPC w/ ’21 a transition year as the public gradually overcomes its trepidation toward the vaccine, though certain consumer behaviours sustain (cleaning, health & wellness, etc.), which should benefit PG and the group,” noted Kevin Grundy, equity analyst at Jefferies.

“At 22x P/E, PG (and our “core” HPC / beverages basket) are near relative lows vs. the S&P 500 last seen during the 08-09 downturn, leaving risk-rewards skewed to the upside. PG’s strong quarter should drive shares higher and offers a positive read-through for the group as Procter kicks off earnings season.”

However, Procter & Gamble shares traded 1.2% lower at $132.0 on Wednesday; the stock rose over 11% in 2020.

Procter & Gamble Stock Price Forecast

Twelve analysts who offered stock ratings for Procter & Gamble in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $157.00 with a high forecast of $169.00 and a low forecast of $130.00.

The average price target represents an 18.82% increase from the last price of $132.14. From those 12 analysts, eight rated “Buy”, four rated “Hold” and none rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $165 with a high of $184 under a bull scenario and $103 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Overweight” rating on the consumer goods corporation’s stock.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. JP Morgan lowered the target price to $159 from $163. Jefferies decreased the price objective to $168 from $169. Smith Barney Citigroup boosted their price objective to $165 from $159.

In addition, Truist boosted their price objective to $150 from $125. Wells Fargo & Company set an “overweight” rating and a $160.00 price objective for the company.

Equity Analyst’s View

“We expect a positive reaction to a strong FQ2 with a 2.5% top-line and 10.8% operating profit beat vs consensus, driven by strong 8% organic sales growth and an 80-bps gross margin beat vs consensus. Importantly, each segment organic sales growth was 5% or above, giving us greater confidence that PG momentum can continue going forward, as results were not narrowly driven by any one segment benefitting from COVID-19 demand. PG essentially flowed through almost all of Q2 EPS upside vs consensus to FY21 EPS guidance, which moved up by 250 bps at its midpoint, but we still view as overly conservative,” said Dara Mohsenian, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“We believe strategy tweaks can sustain PG long-term top-line growth in the 4% range. In the US, a strong breadth of performance and share gains give us confidence that market share momentum is sustainable and supports long-term top-line growth above HPC peers. We see continued GM expansion with moderate commodity headwinds and a solid competitive environment. PG trades at 23x CY22e EPS, a discount to HPC peers CLX, CL and CHD, and looks compelling given our call for higher long-term PG growth.”

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

Netflix Rockets After New Subscribers Fuel Blockbuster Q4 Sales

Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) shares surged over 12% in extended-hours trade Tuesday after the streaming content provider reported better than expected fourth-quarter sales on the back of robust subscriber growth. The company also said it is considering returning free cash flow to shareholders through buybacks.

Revenues for the fourth quarter (Q4) came in at $6.64 billion, slightly above the $6.63 billion consensus mark analysts had forecast. Moreover, the top line grew 20% from a year earlier, thanks to a boost of 8.5 million paid subscribers during the period. The company disclosed quarterly earnings per share (EPS) of $1.19, with the figure falling shy of Wall Street estimates of $1.30 a share and contracting 8% on a year-over-year (YoY) basis.

As of Jan. 20, 2021, Netflix stock has a market value of $221.68 billion and trades 7.21% lower on the year. However, the shares have gained nearly 50% over the past 12 months as investors piled into names that benefited from consumers spending more time at home during the pandemic.

Returning Free Cash Flow to Investors

CFO Spencer Neumann raised the prospect of returning excess free cash flow to investors while remaining on the lookout for strategic investments. “We put a premium on balance sheet flexibility, so we’re going to continue to invest aggressively into the growth opportunities that we see, and that’s always going to come first,” he said, per CNBC. “But beyond that, if we have excess cash, we’ll return it to shareholders through a share buyback program,” Neumann added. He also told investors that the company would no longer need to raise external financing for its daily operations.

Wall Street View

Citi’s Jason Bazinet maintained his ‘Neutral’ rating on Netflix shares earlier this month but raised his price target to $580 from $450. The analyst cautioned price hikes might limit new subscribers in coming quarters, resulting in a loss of market share to Disney’s streaming service, Disney+.

Elsewhere, the Street sentiment remains mostly bullish. The shares receive 21 ‘Buy’ ratings, 4 ‘Overweight’ ratings, and 12 ‘Hold’ ratings. Just one sell-side firm currently recommends selling the shares. Price targets range from as high as $700 to as low as $235, with the median pegged at $580.60. Watch for a flurry of additional upgrades over the next few weeks after yesterday’s upbeat quarterly update.

Technical Outlook and Trading Tactics

Since climbing to a new all-time high in mid-July, Netflix shares have remained stuck in a 110-point trading range. Premarket data indicates the stock will open around $565 today, placing the price toward the range’s upper trendline.

Those looking to play a breakout should plan entries above key resistance at $575 while managing risk with a stop-loss order placed around $20 below the execution price. Consider using a measured move to set a profit target. For example, add the trading range distance, as measured in points, to the breakout level. ($105 + $575 = $680 profit target)

For a look at today’s earnings schedule, check out our earnings calendar.

Halliburton Beats Q4 Earnings Estimates; Target Price $25 in Best Case

Halliburton, one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry, reported better-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter, largely driven by cost-cutting and recovery in business demand.

Halliburton reported a net loss of $235 million, or $0.27 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2020. This compares to a net loss for the third quarter of 2020 of $17 million, or $0.02 per diluted share.

Adjusted net income for the fourth quarter of 2020, excluding impairments and other charges, was $160 million, or $0.18 per diluted share. That was higher than the market expectations of 15 cents per share.

The second-biggest services provider’s total revenue rose 9% to was $3.2 billion, up from revenue of $3.0 billion in the third quarter of 2020. Reported operating loss was $96 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to reported operating income of $142 million in the third quarter of 2020.

“We view the strong results (Q4/20 EBITDA 8% better than consensus) as positive, with Halliburton (HAL) demonstrating that increasing activity should flow to the bottom line after completing its $1bn cost-out program in Q3/20,” said Waqar Syed, equity analyst at ATB Capital Markets.

“We think the key driver for HAL’s stock today will be guidance in the earnings call, if provided, but still think the results, high-level commentary, and supportive macro/commodity price environment should help the stock.”

At the time of writing, Halliburton shares traded nearly flat at $20.74 on Tuesday; however, the stock fell over 20% in 2020.

Halliburton Stock Price Forecast

Thirteen analysts who offered stock ratings for Halliburton in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $18.84 with a high forecast of $25.00 and a low forecast of $12.00.

The average price target represents a -9.20% decrease from the last price of $20.75. From those 13 analysts, five rated “Buy”, six rated “Hold” and two rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $20 with a high of $25 under a bull scenario and $8 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Equal-weight” rating on the energy company’s stock.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Cowen and company raised the target price to $28 from $24. Credit Suisse upped the price objective to $14 from $12.

In addition, Barclays increased the target price to $21 from $14. Stifel raised the target price to $26 from $18. Citigroup upped to buy from neutral; raises price target to $24 from $13.5.

Analyst Comments

“Relative positioning less favourable vs. some global peers: Though it has decreased in absolute size, Halliburton (HAL) still remains more NAm-focused vs. peers, where we see a higher relative risk of downward upstream capex revisions. Cost savings likely at their limit: HAL is winding down a major cost-cutting program, which suggests to us its ability to further cut overhead and significantly surprise on margins is relatively limited,” said Connor Lynagh, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“Risk-reward relatively balanced: We see relatively balanced risk-reward for HAL’s shares and believe a more significant capex shift back into its core markets would be required for meaningful outperformance vs. the group.”

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

Tesla Stuck in Neutral after Delivering First China-made Model Y Crossover

Shares in electric vehicle (EV) pioneer Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) failed to gain traction Monday, despite the company tweeting that it has commenced deliveries of its first Shanghai-produced Model Y Crossovers in China.

The development marks an important milestone for the Californian-based carmaker that wants to ramp up its vehicle sales in the world’s largest auto market from around 500,000 in 2020 to 20 million by the end of the decade.

The Model Y rolls off the production line just 12 months after Tesla made its first delivery of the hugely popular Chinese-made Model 3 – a vehicle that claimed the mantle of China’s bestselling EV in 2020, with sales of almost 140,000 sedans. Manufacturing cars locally boost the company’s profit margins by reducing delivery costs. “The cost of vehicles produced in Shanghai in Q1 is already lower than the cost to produce the Model 3 in Fremont,” CFO Zachary Kirkhorn told investors last year, per Barron’s.

Through Monday’s close, Tesla stock has a market value nearing $800 billion and trades up a massive 704% YTD. Since the start of the year, the shares have climbed an impressive 17%.

Wall Street View

Earlier this month, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives raised his target on the stock to $950 while maintaining his ‘Neutral’ rating. Ives believes that China will make up 40% of Tesla’s global deliveries by 2022. He sees EVs accounting for 5% of global auto sales by the end of 2021 and 10% by 2025.

Understandably, most other sell-side analysts sit on the fence, given Tesla’s surging share price over the past 12 months. The stock receives 8 ‘Buy’ ratings, 13 ‘Hold’ ratings, and 12 ‘Sell’ recommendations. All eyes will be on the company’s financial results next week, where Wall Street expects the EV carmaker to report a full-year profit for the first time.

Technical Outlook and Trading Tactics

Since plunging to the 200-day simple moving average (SMA) during the pandemic-induced sell-off, Tesla shares have trended sharply higher. More recently, price appears to be losing momentum, with the relative strength index (RSI) dropping below the overbought threshold.

Therefore, active traders should focus on buying retracements to the $660 level, where the stock finds support from a multi-month uptrend line and the 50-day SMA. Given there’s limited overhead resistance, consider targeting a move to the psychological $1,000 mark. Protect against a sudden reversal by placing a stop-loss order somewhere below the trendline.

For a look at today’s earnings schedule, check out our earnings calendar.

Logitech International’s Q3 Profit Jumps Over 190% to $2.45; Sales Grow 85%

Logitech International S.A., a Swiss-American manufacturer of computer peripherals and software, reported better-than-expected earnings in the fiscal third quarter with operating income surging 192% to $2.45 per share and sales rising 85% to $1.67 billion.

The company which manufactures mobile speakers, keyboards, mice and video conferencing devices said its Q3 GAAP operating income grew 248% to $448 million, compared to $129 million in the same quarter a year ago. Q3 GAAP earnings per share (EPS) grew 222% to $2.22, compared to $0.69 in the same quarter a year ago.

Moreover, Q3 non-GAAP operating income grew 214% to $476 million, compared to $152 million in the same quarter a year ago. Q3 non-GAAP EPS grew 192% to $2.45, compared to $0.84 in the same quarter a year ago. That was higher than the market consensus estimates of $1.08 per share.

For the fiscal year 2021, Logitech upgraded its sales growth forecasts to between 57%-60%, up from the previous outlook of between 35%-40%. The technology company raised their non-GAAP operating income to approximately $1.05 billion, up from $700 million to $725 million range.

Logitech International shares closed 2.79% lower at $100.91 on Friday; however, the stock more than doubled in 2020.

Executive Comments

“This quarter’s record results demonstrate the strength of our portfolio, addressing long-term growth trends in remote work and education, video collaboration, esports, and digital content creation,” said Bracken Darrell, Logitech president and chief executive officer.

“We are increasingly investing in our capabilities and people for the growth potential we see in the future. Logitech has never been more relevant to our customers’ work, play and creativity.”

Logitech International Stock Price Forecast

Twelve analysts who offered stock ratings for Logitech in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $102.46 with a high forecast of $116.00 and a low forecast of $63.97.

The average price target represents a 1.54% increase from the last price of $100.91. From those 12 analysts, nine rated “Buy”, three rated “Hold” and none rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $113 with a high of $151 under a bull scenario and $63 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Overweight” rating on the technology company’s stock.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. JP Morgan raised shares of Logitech International from a neutral rating to an overweight. Citigroup upped their price target to $110 from $105. Zacks Investment Research lowered to a hold rating from a strong-buy rating and set a $100 target price on the stock.

In addition, Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed an outperform rating and Wedbush upped their price target to $95 from $73.50 and gave the company a neutral rating.

Analyst Comments

“Logitech has been a COVID environment beneficiary, but it is on the cusp of a new era of growth where normalized EPS growth post-COVID will accelerate by 2 points from pre-pandemic levels as 1) enterprises permanently increase spending on tools that enable video collaboration, productivity and communication, 2) gaming and eSports soon become just as, if not more popular, than traditional sports, and 3) the attach rate of PC and tablet related peripherals multiplies off a low base driven by the structural shift towards notebooks,” said Erik Woodring, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“We believe this makes Logitech a long-term secular beneficiary, which argues for a premium valuation not currently reflected in Logitech’s current share price.”

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

Goldman Sachs’ Profit to Jump 56% to $7.33 in Fourth Quarter

New York-based leading global investment bank Goldman Sachs’ profit is expected to grow nearly 56% to $7.33 in the quarter ended December 2020 from the same quarter last year; however, revenue could decline 4.9% to $9.47 billion in the same period.

It is worth noting that in in the last two years, the world’s leading investment manager has surpassed market consensus expectations for profit and revenue most of the times. The better-than-expected number would help the stock to rally. The company will report its earnings result on Tuesday, January 19.

“Shares of Goldman have underperformed the industry in the past three months. Earnings estimate have been revised upward prior to the fourth-quarter earnings release. The company has a decent earnings surprise history, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters and missed in one. Goldman’s solid position in worldwide announced and completed M&As will keep strengthening the business,” noted analysts at ZACKS Research.

“Also, business diversification helps Goldman sustain growth. The company’s cost management efforts continue to support bottom-line growth. Moreover, with strong liquidity, Goldman carries a low credit risk in case of any economic downturn. Though, legal issues, high dependence on overseas revenues and volatile client-activity might impede top-line growth, steady capital deployment activities keep us encouraged.”

Goldman Sachs shares closed 2.23% lower at $301.01 on Friday; however, the stock rose about 15% in 2020.

Goldman Sachs Stock Price Forecast

Eleven analysts who offered stock ratings for Goldman Sachs in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $312.00 with a high forecast of $407.00 and a low forecast of $225.00.

The average price target represents a 3.65% increase from the last price of $301.01. From those 11 analysts, eight rated “Buy”, two rated “Hold” and one rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $291 with a high of $347 under a bull scenario and $160 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Underweight” rating on the financial services company’s stock.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. BofA global research raised the stock price forecast to $345 from $270. BMO upped the target price to $306 from $289. Citigroup increased the price objective to $357 from $325. Piper Sandler raised the target price to $325 from $270. Barclays increased the price objective to $362 from $270.

Analyst Comments

“As market volatility and the urgency around capital raising activity (both equity and debt) subside in 2021, we expect total revenues decline 11% y/y from a strong 2020. We are valuing the group on normalized 2023 EPS. While we still see 15%+ upside to Goldman Sachs based on this methodology, we see even more upside elsewhere in the group, particularly in consumer finance stocks which have been under more pressure. This drives our Underweight rating,” said Betsy Graseck, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“Over time, we expect Goldman Sachs can drive some multiple expansion as management executes on its multi-year strategic shift towards higher recurring revenues.”

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

Morgan Stanley Sees Over 37% Rally in Delta Airlines; Forecasts Stock at $86 in Bull Case

Morgan Stanley raised their stock price forecast on Delta Airlines, one of the major players in the United States aviation industry, to $55 from $51 and said a decent Q1 guide and bullish commentary on the call about the potential for a traffic rebound, particularly in corporate, reinforces their bullish view on the airline space.

On Thursday, Delta Airlines reported a loss for the fourth consecutive time in the December quarter and a full-year 2020 loss for the first time in 11 years as COVID-19 travel restrictions significantly dented air travel demand but CEO Ed Bastian said he expects 2021 to be the year of recovery.

The Airline company which provides scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo reported a quarterly adjusted loss of $2.53​​ per share, worse than the Wall Street consensus estimate of $2.47​​ per share loss.

“Despite coming into the new year on the back of tough 4Q traffic numbers amidst a third pandemic wave and the prospect of 1Q somewhat bereft of catalysts, we are very encouraged by mgmt’s confident tone on the conference call with a clear line of sight to the other side of the pandemic. We think this should result in a tide that will continue to rise and lift the airline stocks with it,” noted Ravi Shanker, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“We believe Delta Airlines’ (DAL) strong customer loyalty/franchise, corporate relationships, footprint, historical PRASM/margin strength, balance sheet and mgmt. team leave them well-positioned amongst legacy peers to participate in the rebound, with the potential for an upside surprise if international/corporate volumes/PRASM can surprise to the upside in 2H21/1H22. Long-only investors returning to the sector as traffic comes back are also likely to flock to DAL, in our view, which makes the technical setup attractive as well. Our 2021/2022/2023 EPS moves to -$1.42/4.33/7.52 vs. $0.91/4.80/NA prior,”

Other equity analysts also recently updated their stock outlook. Credit Suisse raised the target price to $48 from $47. Stifel upped the stock price forecast to $49 from $39. JP Morgan lowered the price objective to $49 from $51.

In addition, Deutsche Bank lowered shares of Delta Air Lines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $47 target price in December. BNP Paribas began coverage and issued an “outperform” rating and a $54 price target.

Fourteen analysts who offered stock ratings for Delta Airlines in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $48.83 with a high forecast of $58.00 and a low forecast of $40.00.

The average price target represents a 22.14% increase from the last price of $39.98. From those 14 equity analysts, six rated “Buy”, seven rated “Hold” and one rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Delta Airlines’ shares closed 3.59% lower at $39.98 on Friday; the stock fell over 30% in 2020. Morgan Stanley’s stock price forecast suggests a potential upside of 37.57% from the stock’s current price.

Morgan Stanley also gave a target price of $86 under a bull-case scenario and $29 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Overweight” rating on the Airline company’s stock.

“Why Overweight? Delta Airlines (DAL) has some of the strongest customer satisfaction numbers among the other Legacy peers, while also commanding a higher PRASM, making it our preferred Legacy carrier. With ample liquidity we see limited liquidity risk here,” Morgan Stanley’s Shanker added.

“Additionally, we continue to see DAL’s international alliances and partnerships as strategic assets, despite recent writedowns.”

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

Earnings to Watch Next Week: Logitech, Goldman Sachs, NetFlix and IBM in Focus

Next week’s earnings are of much significance for major market movements as 2021 is believed to be a year of recovery on hopes of successful roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Earnings Calendar For The Week Of January 18

Monday (January 18)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: LOGITECH INTERNATIONAL

Logitech International S.A., a Swiss-American manufacturer of computer peripherals and software, is expected to report a profit of $1.08 in the fiscal third quarter, which represents year-over-year growth of about 29% from the same quarter last year when the company reported 84 cents per share.

The Lausanne-based company’s revenue to grow over 35% year-over-year to $1.23 billion from $902.69 million in the same period last year.

“We are bullish into Logitech‘s F3Q21 earnings report next week as our December quarter checks point to a better than the expected market environment, most notably for PC peripherals. We’d be buyers into the print and raise our PT to $113 (from $106) to account for recent peer multiple expansion,” noted Erik Woodring, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

Tuesday (January 19)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: GOLDMAN SACHS, NETFLIX

GOLDMAN SACHS: New York-based leading global investment bank is expected to report a profit of $7.33 in the fourth quarter, which represents year-over-year growth of about 56% from the same quarter last year when the company reported $4.69 per share. The bank’s revenue is expected to dip 4.9% from the year-ago quarter to $9.47 billion.

“As market volatility and the urgency around capital raising activity (both equity and debt) subside in 2021, we expect total revenues decline 11% y/y from a strong 2020. We are valuing the group on normalized 2023 EPS. While we still see 15%+ upside to Goldman Sachs (GS) based on this methodology, we see even more upside elsewhere in the group, particularly in consumer finance stocks which have been under more pressure,” said Betsy Graseck, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“This drives our Underweight rating. Over time, we expect GS can drive some multiple expansion as management executes on its multi-year strategic shift towards higher recurring revenues.”

NETFLIX: California-based global internet entertainment service company is expected to report a profit of $1.35 in the fourth quarter, which represents year-over-year growth of about 4% from the same quarter last year when the company reported $1.30 per share. The streaming video pioneer’s revenue is expected to surge over 20% from the year-ago quarter to $6.60 billion.

“We expect paid net adds to come in the above guide, helped by ongoing shutdowns & seasonal strength. Our view is supported by our positive proprietary 4Q20 survey data, which implies rising pricing power into year-end. We tweaked estimate’s & introduced ’21 quarters; in turn, our DCF-based price target rises to $650 from $625 prior; reiterate ‘Outperform’ rating,” said John Blackledge, equity analyst at Cowen and company.

NetFlix (NFLX) shares were +67% in ’20 alongside a pandemic surge, following massive sub beats in 1Q / 2Q respectively and 28.1MM total paid net adds in 1Q-3Q ’20, up 47% y/y. With consumers staying home amid colder weather & limited social activities, we expect Netflix engagement to remain high; meanwhile, to the extent, there is any NT pressure on UCAN paid subs from the 4Q US price increase, we would consider this a buying opportunity for NFLX shares as the co. grows the value prop alongside rising ARPU.”

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE JANUARY 19

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
PACW Pacwest Bancorp $0.67
CMA Comerica $1.18
ONB Old National Bancorp $0.38
SCHW Charles Schwab $0.65
GS Goldman Sachs $7.33
STT State Street $1.57
HAL Halliburton $0.15
FULT Fulton Financial $0.27
JBHT J B Hunt Transport Services $1.30
ZION Zions Bancorporation $1.01
PNFP Pinnacle Financial Partners $1.36
FNB FNB $0.24
UCBI United Community Banks $0.60
NFLX Netflix $1.35
IBKR Interactive Brokers $0.58
RNST Renasant $0.59
SBNY Signature Bank $2.91

Wednesday (January 20)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: UNITEDHEALTH

UNITEDHEALTH: Minnesota-based health insurance and health care data analysis giant is expected to report a profit of $2.41 in the fourth quarter, which represents a year-over-year decline of about 40% from the same quarter last year when the company reported $3.90 per share.

The largest insurance company by Net Premiums is witnessing a slowdown in its international business as increased joblessness due to the COVID-19 pandemic has dented demand for commercial membership.

UnitedHealth Group is the number one Medicare Advantage player with 28% market share, the number two Medicare PDP player with 20% market share, and the number two commercial player with 15% market share. United’s model is enhanced via vertical integration with its OptumRx PBM platform, which is one of the three largest PBMs in the country,” wrote Ricky Goldwasser, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“With a large lead in the breadth of services offerings and considerable exposure to government businesses, UnitedHealth is well-positioned for any potential changes in the US healthcare system. A strong balance sheet and continued solid cash generation give flexibility for continued M&A.”

United Airlines is expected to report a deep loss in the fourth quarter due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, which harmed demand for travel.

Ohio-based Tide detergent and Pampers diaper manufacturer Procter & Gamble is expected to report an increase in profits on rising demand for home care and laundry products amid the COIVD-19 pandemic.

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE JANUARY 20

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
UNH UnitedHealth $2.41
PG Procter & Gamble $1.51
ASML Asml $2.96
MS Morgan Stanley $1.30
USB US Bancorp $0.95
BK Bank Of New York Mellon $0.88
FAST Fastenal $0.33
CFG Citizens Financial $0.91
CBSH Commerce Bancshares $0.92
BOKF BOK Financial $1.92
FCEL Fuelcell Energy -$0.07
KMI Kinder Morgan $0.24
DFS Discover Financial Services $2.36
UAL United Airlines Holdings -$6.56
AA Alcoa $0.09
WTFC Wintrust Financial $1.41
UMPQ Umpqua $0.48
HWC Hancock Whitney Corp $0.90
PLXS Plexus $1.10
STL Sterling Bancorp $0.46
PTC PTC $0.65

Thursday (January 21)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: IBM

IBM: Armonk, New York-based technology and consulting company is expected to report a profit of $1.81 in the fourth quarter, which represents a year-over-year decline of over 60% from the same quarter last year when the company reported $4.71 per share.

“For 2020, IBM refrained from providing any guidance, citing business uncertainty. Nevertheless, management stated that the fourth quarter is a seasonally strong quarter. The company is witnessing robust pipelines across hybrid cloud and data platform, AI solutions, in Cognitive Apps business driven by strength in Cloud Paks and Security, cloud-based transformation services in GBS segment, and App modernization offerings,” noted analysts at ZACKS Research.

“Also, management is banking on advancement in Red Hat “actual backlog growth.” Moreover, gains from the rapid uptake of IBM z15 is anticipated to be a tailwind. The company also anticipates to end 2020 with reduced debt levels.”

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE JANUARY 21

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
UNP Union Pacific $2.24
TFC Truist Financial Corp $0.85
TAL TAL International $0.04
TRV Travelers Companies $3.16
BKR Baker Hughes Co $0.17
FITB Fifth Third Bancorp $0.68
NTRS Northern $1.49
MTB M&T Bank $3.02
KEY KEY $0.43
CTXS Citrix Systems $1.34
HOMB Home Bancshares $0.39
INDB Independent Bank $1.02
FBC Flagstar Bancorp $2.36
WBS Webster Financial $0.75
BKU BankUnited $0.71
WNS Wns Holdings $0.59
INTC Intel $1.10
IBM IBM $1.81
ISRG Intuitive Surgical $3.09
CSX CSX $1.01
PPG PPG Industries $1.58
SIVB SVB Financial $3.79
TCBI Texas Capital Bancshares $1.13
ASB Associated Banc $0.30
PBCT People’s United Financial $0.32
OZK Bank Ozk $0.78
WAL Western Alliance Bancorporation $1.33
BKRKY Bank Rakyat $0.17
MTCH Match Group $0.50
MTG MGIC Investment $0.37
STX Seagate Technology $1.13

Friday (January 22)

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
EDU New Oriental Education Tech $0.26
ABBV AbbVie $2.86
HON Honeywell International $2.00
SLB Schlumberger $0.17
KSU Kansas City Southern $1.93
RF Regions Financial $0.42
HBAN Huntington Bancshares $0.29
ALLY Ally Financial $1.05
FHN First Horizon National $0.28
HRC Hill-Rom $1.05
NEP Nextera Energy Partners $0.39
IBN Icici $0.14
TOP Topdanmark A/S kr3.63

 

Wells Fargo Shares Plunge as Q4 Revenue Disappoints

The United States’ fourth-largest bank Wells Fargo’s profit modestly beat consensus estimates for the fourth quarter, but its revenue fell short of market expectations, sending its shares down over 7% on Friday.

The San Francisco-based financial services company reported a net income of $2.99 billion, or 64 cents per share, beating the Wall Street consensus estimates of 58 cents after missing expectations in the last six consecutive quarters. The company’s total revenue plunged 10% to $17.93 billion, missing forecasts of $18.127 billion.

“Expect FY ’21 expense to come down $1 billion to $53 billion which includes $3.7 billion of cost saves from efficiency initiatives and offsets from biz investments, revenue-related comps, and other items. Wells Fargo (WFC) expects restructuring charges to remain flat in ’21 vs. ’20 and notes that operating losses can be unpredictable with $1 billion currently baked into the guide. The guide looks in-line with cons. at $53 billion.”

At the time of writing, Wells Fargo shares traded 7.28% lower at $32.21 on Friday; the stock fell more than 40% in 2020.

On the other hand, the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock reported better-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter with 11% increase in full-year revenue reflecting strong organic growth, record performance fees and 17% growth in technology services revenue.

Executive Comments

“Although our financial performance improved and we earned $3.0 billion in the fourth quarter, our results continued to be impacted by the unprecedented operating environment and the required work to put our substantial legacy issues behind us,” Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf commented on the quarter.

Wells Fargo Stock Price Forecast

Fifteen analysts who offered stock ratings for Wells Fargo in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $34.23 with a high forecast of $40.00 and a low forecast of $27.00.

The average price target represents a 6.57% increase from the last price of $32.12. From those 15 analysts, nine rated “Buy”, six rated “Hold” and none rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $40 with a high of $54 under a bull scenario and $20 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Overweight” rating on the financial services company’s stock.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Compass point raised the target price to $41 from $31. UBS upped their price objective to $41 from $23 and upgraded their ratings to buy from neutral. Citigroup raised the stock price forecast to $37 from $33. JP Morgan upped the target price to $32 from $31.

In addition, Wells Fargo & Company had its target price hoisted by Deutsche Bank to $37 from $35. The firm currently has a buy rating on the financial services provider’s stock. Credit Suisse Group raised their price objective to $35 from $33 and gave the company a neutral rating. At last, Barclays lifted their price target to $36 from $33 and gave the stock an equal weight rating.

Analyst Comments

“Wells Fargo (WFC) appears to be beginning to take action to restructure its business mix as it works to exit the Fed consent order/asset cap and reduce its expense base. While uncertainty remains around impact of business exits and timing of consent order/asset cap exit, we believe risk more than accounted for in the stock at 7.7x our 2022e EPS and 0.9x BV,” said Betsy Graseck, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“WFC benefit to EPS from rising long end rates is the highest in the group, with each ~50bps increase in the 10yr driving ~4% to NII and as much as ~10% to EPS. We model WFC driving their expense ratio down to 66% by 2023 on reduced risk and compliance spend, operational efficiencies, and branch optimization. Lower expense ratio possible.”

Upside and Downside Risks

Risks to Upside: 1) New CEO’s financial targets higher than expectations. 2) Fed asset cap and consent order lifted in 1H21. 3) Business exits have minimal EPS impact and increase ROE. 4) Rates rise faster than forward curve – highlighted by Morgan Stanley.

Risks to Downside: 1) Fed does not lift asset cap until well into 2022+ 2) Business exits reduce EPS more than 10%. 3) Lower than expected operating leverage. 4) 10-year yield below expectations Macro environment remains challenging through 2021.

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

Delta Airlines Posts Full-Year Loss for First Time Since 2009 But CEO Bastian Eyes Recovery in 2021

Delta Airlines, one of the major players in the United States aviation industry, reported a loss for the fourth consecutive time in the December quarter and a full-year 2020 loss for the first time in 11 years as COVID-19 travel restrictions significantly dented air travel demand but CEO Ed Bastian said he expects 2021 to be the year of recovery.

The Airline company which provides scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo reported a quarterly adjusted loss of $2.53​​ per share, worse than the Wall Street consensus estimate of $2.47​​ per share loss.

“The current operating environment will remain incredibly challenging as demand fluctuates with COVID-19 headlines & vaccine rollout. The work Delta has done on costs should provide leverage once demand improves. Delta is bullish on a second-half recovery, and there are certainly encouraging signs, but we are cautious near-term as vaccine distribution has been disappointing,” noted Helane Becker, equity analyst at Cowen and Company.

“We are reiterating our Market Perform rating on the common shares of Delta Air Lines. We are maintaining our $44 price target, which is based on 10x 2022E EPS. The air travel industry continues to be depressed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and related restrictions.”

The Atlanta-based airline said its revenue slumped 65.3% to $3.97 billion from a year ago​, worse than the market expectations of $3.59 billion. The company reported December quarter 2020 GAAP pre-tax loss of $1.1 billion and loss per share of $1.19 on total revenue of $4.0 billion.

For full-year 2020, the company reported GAAP pre-tax loss of $15.6 billion and loss per share of $19.49 on total revenue of $17.1 billion. Full-year 2020 adjusted pre-tax loss of $9.0 billion and adjusted loss per share of $10.76 on adjusted operating revenue of $15.9 billion.

“While our challenges continue in 2021, I am optimistic this will be a year of recovery and a turning point that results in an even stronger Delta returning to revenue growth, profitability and free cash generation,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer.

Following this optimism, Delta Airlines shares closed 2.5% higher at $41.47 on Thursday. However, the stock fell more than 30% in 2020.

“Despite the pandemic, we continue to see clear reasons to expect a resounding recovery post-vaccine in both leisure and business travel. We are maintaining our $43 per share fair value estimate for Delta,” said Burkett Huey, equity analyst at Morningstar.

Delta Airlines Stock Price Forecast

Eleven analysts who offered stock ratings for Delta Airlines in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $46.33 with a high forecast of $54.00 and a low forecast of $40.00.

The average price target represents an 11.72% increase from the last price of $41.47. From those 11 analysts, three rated “Buy”, seven rated “Hold” and one rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $55 with a high of $86 under a bull scenario and $29 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Overweight” rating on the airlines’ stock.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. JP Morgan lowered the target price to $49 from $51. Cowen and company cut to market perform from outperform; raises target price to $44 from $36. BofA Global Research raised the price objective to $42 from $38.

In addition, Credit Suisse upped the target price to $47 from $38. UBS raised the target price to $47 from $32. Citigroup upped price objective to $48 from $38. Jefferies initiates with a hold rating and a price target of $40.

Analyst Comments

“4Q results were an expected tough end to a historically bad year for the industry, but a decent 1Q guide and bullish commentary on the call about the potential for a traffic rebound, particularly in corporate, reinforce our bullish view on the Airline space and our OW on Delta Airlines (DAL) as our top Legacy pick,” said Ravi Shanker, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“DAL has some of the strongest customer satisfaction numbers among the other Legacy peers, while also commanding a higher PRASM, making it our preferred Legacy carrier. With ample liquidity, we see limited liquidity risk here. Additionally, we continue to see Delta Airlines’ (DAL) international alliances and partnerships as strategic assets, despite recent writedowns.”

Upside and Downside Risks

Risks to Upside: 1) COVID-19 Vaccine timing. 2) Business Travel Recovery. 3) Industry Rationalization & Fare Stability – highlighted by Morgan Stanley.

Risks to Downside: 1) COVID-19 Second Wave. 2) Slower International Travel Rebound. 3) DAL has a significant underfunded pension liability at 78% funded status.

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

Asset Manager BlackRock’s Earnings Beat Wall Street Estimates; Target Price $890

The world’s largest asset manager BlackRock reported better-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter with 11% increase in full-year revenue reflecting strong organic growth, record performance fees and 17% growth in technology services revenue.

The New York-based multinational investment management corporation reported net income of $10.18 per share, beating the Wall Street estimate of $9.17.

“The EPS beat reflected a combination of better than expected revenues across most segments (led by perf fees), as well as several favourable below the line items. Adj op income came in +$92M vs our est. Long-term flows of +$116.2B were in line with our estimate with solid contributions from most active segments. The base fee rate declined 0.15 bps q/q, mostly due to lower sec lending and MM fee waivers,” said Daniel T. Fannon, equity analyst at Jefferies.

“This is the second quarter in a row of solid revenues, with a record annualized base fee growth of +13% in the period. The trends inflows remain broad-based and dominated by strength across the active segments as well as in iShares. The biggest positive on the quarter is the continued positive contribution from Active Equity and Active Fixed Income flows.”

However, upbeat earnings did not help BlackRock’s shares, which traded 3% lower at $756.04 on Thursday. The stock rose more than 40% in 2020.

BlackRock Stock Price Forecast

Six analysts who offered stock ratings for BlackRock in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $791.33 with a high forecast of $890.00 and a low forecast of $602.00.

The average price target represents a 4.12% increase from the last price of $760.00. From those six analysts, five rated “Buy”, one rated “Hold” and none rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $890 with a high of $1,338 under a bull scenario and $413 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Overweight” rating on the investment manager’s stock.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of BlackRock from a hold rating to a sell rating. BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective to $602 from $594 and gave the company a market perform rating. Deutsche Bank upped their price objective to $802 from $795 and gave the company a buy rating.

In addition, Wells Fargo & Company upped their price objective to $805 from $700 and gave the company an overweight rating. At last, Citigroup upped their price objective to $800 from $690 and gave the company a buy rating.

Analyst Comments

“We believe BlackRock (BLK) is best positioned on the asset mgmt barbell given leading iShares ETF platform, multi-asset & alts combined with technology/Aladdin offerings that should drive 14% EPS CAGR (2020-22e) via 5% avg LT organic growth & continued op margin expansion,” said Simeon Gutman, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“We see further growth ahead for Alts, iShares, international penetration, and the institutional market in the US. We expect the premium to widen as BLK takes share in the midst of market dislocation and executes on improving organic revenue growth trajectory.”

Upside and Downside Risks

Risks to Upside: 1) Growth in highly scalable iShares franchise driving margin expansion and strong EPS growth. 2) Further growth in tech & high fee products such as alts, active equities, and multi-asset – highlighted by Morgan Stanley.

Risks to Downside: 1) Market share loss in ETFs; lack of positive op leverage in declining markets. 2) Worse than expected base fee pressure through pricing initiatives or mix shift. 3) Greater regulatory scrutiny; liquidity challenges in products.

Other major banks will report their quarterly earnings on Friday.

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

Nordstrom Shares Slump About 3% on Disappointing Holiday Season Sales

Seattle-based luxury department store chain Nordstrom said net sales declined nearly 22% in the nine-week holiday season as shoppers avoided department stores due a fresh spike in COVID-19 cases, sending its shares down about 3% in extended trading on Wednesday.

However, digital sales surge 23% over last year and represented 54% of total sales compared with 34% from the same period in fiscal 2019. The specialty retailer forecasts to deliver positive earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) and operating cash flow for the fourth quarter.

“We expect the consensus 2020 EPS estimate to fall about 9% on today’s release (about -32c lost on the full year as the 46c Street 4Q estimate likely falls to about 14c as implied by y/y EBIT margin contraction). On the positive side, holiday-related headwinds that impacted the quarter likely abate going forward,” wrote Kimberly Greenberger, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“We slightly lower our 4Qe EBIT margin estimate to be in-line with management’s -500 bps y/y forecast. More specifically, we marginally lower both 4Q gross margin and SG&A rate by 15 bps each due to the aforementioned headwinds, yielding -500 bps y/y EBIT margin (2.3% vs. 2.6% prior).”

Following this announcement, Nordstrom shares fell about 3% to $36.5 in extended trading on Wednesday; the stock plunged over 20% in 2020.

Nordstrom will hold an analyst event on Feb. 4 and report its full earnings on March 2. We expect to update our model and analysis after these events, although we do not anticipate any significant changes to our long-term view or valuation. The firm is likely to report an EPS loss of more than $4.00 for 2020, but we forecast positive EPS in 2021 (our current expectation is $1.57),” said David Swartz, equity analyst at Morningstar.

“In the long term, we forecast revenue growth and operating margins of about 2% and 5%, respectively. We view Nordstrom as fully valued as its shares trade at a slight premium to our per share fair value estimate of $33.50.”

Nordstrom Stock Price Forecast

Eleven analysts who offered stock ratings for Nordstrom (JWN) in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $24.00 with a high forecast of $35.00 and a low forecast of $11.00. The average price target represents a -36.14% decrease from the last price of $37.58. From those 11 analysts, two rated “Buy”, seven rated “Hold” and two rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $19 with a high of $35 under a bull scenario and $10 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Equal-weight” rating on the specialty retailer’s stock.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Credit Suisse raised the target price to $39 from $26. Keybanc upped the price objective to $42 from $35. Wedbush increased the stock price forecast to $35 from $17. In November, Nordstrom had its target price lifted by Telsey Advisory Group to $28 from $24. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Nordstrom from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $17 price target.

Analyst Comments

“Secular Challenges Eclipse Nordstrom’s (JWN) Strengths: JWN’s standout service, competitive pricing, coveted product, and seamless multichannel shopping experience differentiate JWN from department store peers and should stay relevant L-T, especially as high-end consumers kick start spending again,” Morgan Stanley’s Greenberger added.

“However, department store margins appear in secular decline, largely driven by channel shift to lower margin eCommerce sales, and JWN is not immune. Although we think JWN can remain highly relevant, its future earnings growth rate appears limited.”

Upside and Downside Risks

Risks to Upside: 1) Strength at the high end causes a meaningful rebound in-store comps and eComm. 2) EBIT margins stabilize after multi-year declines. 3) Capital spending on IT/Tech decelerates, potentially allowing JWN to drive expense leverage on a 1-2% comp. 4) Rack.com proves resilient– highlighted by Morgan Stanley.

Risks to Downside: 1) 2020 COVID-19/recession impact more severe than anticipated. 2) CECL has a greater impact than forecasted to credit revenue.

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

Pfizer’s 2021 Earnings to be $3-3.10 Per Share, Says CEO Bourla

The world’s largest pharmaceutical company Pfizer is likely to post this year’s earnings in the range of $3 to $3.10 per share, according to chief executive officer Albert Bourla, speaking at a JP Morgan healthcare conference, Reuters reported.

That is also in line with the market expectations of $3.07 per share.

The company which ranked 64th on the 2020 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue, is expected to report its fourth-quarter earnings on February 2, 2021.

“We expect $39 billion in COVID-19 vaccine sales in 2021, and we see Pfizer/BioNTech dominating the vaccine market with nearly $14 billion in 2021 sales,” wrote Karen Andersen, sector strategist at Morningstar.

“Although we remain skeptical  of  AstraZeneca’s  ability  to  penetrate  the  U.S. market due to mixed phase 3 data so far, we assume the U.S. will see sufficient supply from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax (70% probability), and Johnson & Johnson (50% probability)  to  achieve  herd  immunity  by  mid-2021.”

At the time of writing, Pfizer shares traded about 2% lower at $37.05 on Tuesday; the stock fell about 1% in 2020.

Pfizer Stock Price Forecast

Eleven analysts who offered stock ratings for Pfizer in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $42.09 with a high forecast of $53.00 and a low forecast of $36.00.

The average price target represents a 13.97% increase from the last price of $36.93. From those eleven analysts, three rated “Buy”, eight rated “Hold” and none rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $40 with a high of $48 under a bull scenario and $33 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Equal-weight” rating on the pharmaceutical company’s stock.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Pfizer has been given a $40.00 target price by analysts at The Goldman Sachs. The firm currently has a “neutral” rating. Truist began coverage and issued a “buy” rating with $42.00 price target on the stock. Mizuho raised their price target to $44 from $43 and gave the company a “buy” rating.

In addition, BidaskClub cut shares of Pfizer to a “strong sell” rating from a “sell”. Barclays raised their price target to $37 from $35 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating. At last, Atlantic Securities cut shares to a “neutral” rating from an “overweight” rating and dropped their price target to $39 from $44.

Analyst Comments

“We project solid growth prospects, and the company’s COVID-19 vaccine offers significant accretion potential in 2021. But we expect COVID-19 vaccine sales and profits to decline significantly in 2022 and 2023,” noted David Risinger, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“Pfizer’s dividend is set to adjust down in spring 2021 when Viatris begins paying a dividend. Pipeline execution will be key to investor perception, given late-decade patent expiration exposure.”

Upside and Downside Risks

Risks to Upside: Upside risks are COVID-19 vaccine sales above expectations, competitors’ vaccines less efficacious, core business financial upside, positive pipeline developments, and encouraging strategic action– highlighted by Morgan Stanley.

Risks to Downside: Downside risks are COVID-19 vaccine disappointments, core business shortfalls, pipeline disappointments, disappointing strategic action, and negative US drug pricing developments.

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

Apparel Retailer Abercrombie’s Shares Soar After Sales Outlook Upgrade; Target Price $28

Ohio-based apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch’s shares soared on Monday after the company said net sales would decline lower than previously expected as strong digital sales offset store closures and capacity restrictions in North America and EMEA due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company, which owns the Hollister apparel brand, forecasts net sales to decline between 5% to 7%, better than the previous estimate of 5%-10%. Gross profit rate to be up at least 130 basis points to last year’s 58.2% versus plan of flat to up slightly, benefiting from reduced depth and breadth of promotions and markdowns relative to plan and to last year, the company said in the statement.

Abercrombie said operating expense, excluding other operating income, to be down at least 2% from fiscal 2019 adjusted non-GAAP operating expense of $566 million, reflecting savings in-store expenses due to closures and the recognition of rent abatements. This compares to plan of up 1% to 2%.

Following this, Abercrombie & Fitch shares surged over 7% to $23.04 on Monday; the stock rose about 20% in 2020.

Abercrombie & Fitch Stock Price Forecast

Eight analysts who offered stock ratings for Abercrombie & Fitch in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $22.63 with a high forecast of $28.00 and a low forecast of $14.00.

The average price target represents a -1.78% decrease from the last price of $23.04. From those eight analysts, two rated “Buy, four rated “Hold” and two rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $14 with a high of $26 under a bull scenario and $7 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Underweight” rating on the apparel retailer’s stock.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Bank of America increased their price objective on shares of Abercrombie & Fitch to $18 from $9 and gave the company an underperform rating. B. Riley upped their target price to $27 from $22 and gave the company a buy rating.

In addition, Citigroup upped their target price on shares to $28 from $20. At last, Robert W. Baird upped their target price to $24 from $14 and gave the company a neutral rating.

Analyst Comments

“Shares of Abercrombie have outpaced the industry in the past six months. Markedly, the company is gaining from efficient expense management actions. This aided bottom-line growth during third-quarter fiscal 2020. Adjusted earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also improved year-on-year. Moreover, gross margin witnessed considerable expansion,” noted analysts at ZACKS Research.

“Additionally, the company is gaining from strong digital sales, backed by higher traffic. This along with store optimization plans is likely to be an upside in the near term. Nevertheless, the coronavirus pandemic has been taking a toll on the company’s top line. Markedly, sales fell during the third quarter mainly due to soft traffic trends. Revenues were dismal across both Hollister and Abercrombie brands. Management expects such trends to persist in the fourth quarter as well.”

Upside and Downside Risks

Risks to Upside: Hollister US market share gains accelerate from teen apparel store closures. Square footage optimization boosts 4-wall profitability. The pursuit of strategic alternatives or ASR supports the share price – highlighted by Morgan Stanley.

Risks to Downside: COVID-19 prompts US mall traffic to decelerate below the -4% long-term average decline. Increased international outlays yield no revenue benefit. Tariff hikes offset supply chain optimization.

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

Gilead Sciences Upgrades 2020 Earnings Forecast on Strong Demand for Remdesivir

The U.S. drugmaker Gilead Sciences revised its full-year 2020 profit guidance as the second wave of coronavirus infections boosted the demand of Remdesivir, an antiviral agent that scientists initially designed to treat Ebola, also, beneficial for COVID-19 treatment.

The California-based biopharmaceutical company said it has upgraded their total product sales guidance range to the range $24.30 billion to $24.35 billion, reflecting increased remdesivir sales as hospitalization and treatment rates were higher than expected given the most recent COVID-19 surge.

The commercial-stage biotechnology company forecasts adjusted earnings to $6.98-$7.08 per share, up from a previous forecast of $6.25- $6.60 per share.

At the time of writing, Gilead Sciences shares traded 0.66% lower at $62.62 on Monday; the stock fell 10% in 2020.

Analyst Comments

Gilead Sciences (GILD) pre-announced a positive Q4 driven mostly by Remdesivir (RemD) as the value remains high. Bottom line is based on our conversations w/ mgmt, the co is confident about growth in 2021 and beyond. ’21 Guidance should be OK (or conservative) and separating out RemD will also show growth of underlying biz. GILD should generally move back up in 2021 on improving sentiment and also on new data this year,” said Michael J. Yee, equity analyst at Jefferies.

“For 2021, we could see GILD guide EPS $6.00-7.00 vs cons $6.57, with RemD and expenses as key swing factors – with the key issue that RemD is a wide range. We raised our H1:21 RemD estimates by $1 billion, which brings total 2021 RemD to $2.5 billion, given Q4:20 sales were strong and COVID-19 vaccines are just being rolled out. We raised our EPS from $5.74 to $6.15 but acknowledge RemD could be a wide range. Overall, the key message is 2021 should be fine and defined as a success if numbers are in-line but NEW clinical datasets read out positive from IMMU, RCUS, and FTSV (filing to FDA already in 2021 on MDS with CD47 drug),” J. Yee added.

Gilead Sciences Stock Price Forecast

Twenty-three analysts who offered stock ratings for Gilead Sciences in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $73.94 with a high forecast of $100.00 and a low forecast of $61.00.

The average price target represents a 17.44% increase from the last price of $62.96. From those 23 analysts, ten rated “Buy, twelve rated “Hold” and one rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $67 with a high of $88 under a bull scenario and $35 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Equal-weight” rating on the biotechnology company’s stock.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Redburn Partners assumed coverage on Gilead Sciences and issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. Credit Suisse Group reduced their target price to $65 from $70 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock.

In addition, SVB Leerink reduced their target price to $79 from $88 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock. Truist Financial cut their price target to $62 from $67. At last, UBS Group assumed coverage and set a “neutral” rating and a $61 price target on the stock.

Upside and Downside Risks

Risks to Upside: Better than expected pipeline success on key late-stage drugs – highlighted by Morgan Stanley.

Risks to Downside: Failure of Trodelvy to achieve significant market penetration & failure to meaningfully expand label. Unexpected competition in HIV. Failure of CAR-T to achieve significant market penetration & failure to meaningfully expand CAR-T label. Significant delays with regulatory progress for JAK inhibitor filgotinib.

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

Morgan Stanley Raises BlackRock’s Target Price to $890 Ahead of Earnings; Forecasts Q4 EPS of $8.89

Morgan Stanley raised their stock price forecast of the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock to $890 from $750 and said supportive financial market backdrop and improving flows trajectory lift fund NAVs and should continue to lead broad-based upward estimate revisions.

BlackRock to report its fourth-quarter 2020 earnings on Thursday, January 14, where the global investment manager is expected to report a profit of $8.66 per share, which represents a year-over-year change of more than +3%, with revenues forecast to grow over 7% year-over-year to $4.27 billion. Morgan Stanley gave a forecast of $8.89 per share.

“For BlackRock (BLK), our estimates are +3% above cons EPS / +2% above cons operating income for the quarter, and see prospects for BLK to surprise on better flows and particularly, flows into higher fee categories that should support organic base fee growth and overall fee rate leading to prospects for upward estimate revisions,” noted Michael Cyprys, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“We’re looking for +6.8% organic growth in 4Q, which is +200bps above consensus of +4.8% org growth. A resurgence in equity ETFs inflows, continued strength in active equities and momentum of ESG flows could be supportive to both flows and fee rate.”

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $890 with a high of $1,338 under a bull scenario and $413 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Overweight” rating on the asset manager’s stock.

Other equity analysts also recently updated their stock outlook. Jefferies raised the target price to $868 from $816. JP Morgan upped their stock price forecast to $793 from $707. Deutsche bank increased price objective to $835 from $802.

In addition, Citigroup raised their target price on shares of BlackRock to $800 from $690 and gave the company a “buy” rating. Wells Fargo raised their target price to $805 from $700 and gave the company an “overweight” rating.

Nine analysts who offered stock ratings for BlackRock in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $755.00 with a high forecast of $835.00 and a low forecast of $602.00. The average price target represents a -0.19% decrease from the last price of $756.45. From those nine equity analysts, eight rated “Buy”, one rated “Hold” and none rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

BlackRock’s shares closed about 1% higher at $756.45 on Friday; however, the stock rose more than 40% in 2020.

“We believe BlackRock is best positioned on the asset management barbell given leading iShares ETF platform, multi-asset & alts combined with technology/Aladdin offerings that should drive 10% EPS CAGR (2020-22e) via 5% average long-term organic growth & continued op margin expansion. We see further growth ahead for Alts, iShares, international penetration, and the institutional market in the US,” Morgan Stanley’s Cyprys added.

“We expect the premium to widen as BlackRock takes share in the midst of market dislocation and executes on improving organic revenue growth trajectory.”

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar

Smith & Wesson Completes Breakout Pattern

Shares of firearms manufacturers have been proxies for American violence for more than a decade so it’s no surprise that Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. (SWBI) had a wild ride last week, taking off for the heavens on Wednesday and sinking like a rock into the weekend. Unfortunately for sane humans, this two-sided price action completed the next leg of a multiyear breakout pattern, predicting both higher prices and continued political tensions on this side of the Atlantic.

Controversial “Sin Stock”

The stock entered a brutal downtrend after the election of ‘gun-friendly’ Donald Trump signaled the end of U.S. firearm control efforts in 2016. The decline completed a double bottom reversal in the first quarter of 2020, yielding a modest uptick into December, when the 156-year old icon of the American West blew away fiscal Q2 2021 (October quarter) top and bottom line estimates, posting a 118% revenue increase.

Smith & Wesson has been down this road before, reacting to protests and acts of violence going back to the start of the Obama administration. It’s also been a hot play for market speculators whenever gun control debates break out, as they do after each mass killing and political catalyst in the United States. And, while Second Amendment rights are not at the top of Biden’s agenda, there’s little disagreement that life in America is growing more dangerous by the day.

Wall Street and Technical Outlook

Three Wall Street analysts cover Smith & Wesson, posting unanimous ‘Buy’ ratings. Price targets currently range from a low of $19 to a Street-high $28 while the stock closed Friday’s session less than $1 above the low target. Additional calls, ratings changes, and price targets are unlikely in the next few months, given high sensitivity after the U.S. Capitol incident. In turn, this should allow price action to track macro influences.

Smith & Wesson has now completed a long-term inverse head and shoulders pattern that projects a multi-month uptick into the 40s, after a breakout above resistance in the mid-20s. Wednesday’s gap between 19 and 19.50 got filled on Friday, suggesting higher prices through the first quarter. However, last week’s volatile whipsaws highlight extreme short-term risk, as well as the reality that political events could spin out of control once again.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Disclosure: the author held no positions in aforementioned securities at the time of publication.

Earnings to Watch Next Week: Delta Airlines, BlackRock, Citigroup and Wells Fargo in Focus

Earnings Calendar For The Week Of January 11

Monday (January 11)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: SYNNEX, CARNIVAL

SYNNEX: California-based business process services company’s earnings to decline to $2.89​ per share the fourth quarter, down from $4.26 per share reported the same quarter last year. The leading provider of business-to-business information technology services’ quarterly revenue will fall more than 5% to just over $6 billion from $ 6.58 billion a year ago.

“For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, revenues are expected between $6.45 billion and $6.65 billion. Non-GAAP net income is estimated in the range of $190.5 to $203.5 million. Moreover, the company projects non-GAAP earnings between $3.68 and $3.93 per share,” noted analysts at ZACKS Research.

CARNIVAL: The world’s largest cruise ship operator is expected to report a loss for the third consecutive time in the fourth quarter. The Miami, Florida-based company’s revenue will plunge ​nearly 100% to $142.09 million from $4.78 billion posted in the same period a year ago. Carnival is expected to report a loss of $1.83 per share, worse compared to a profit of 62 cents per share registered in the same quarter last year.

“We think the cruise industry will be one of the slowest sub-sectors to recover from the COVID-19. Cruising needs just not international travel to return, but ports to reopen, authorities to permit cruising, and the return of customer confidence,” said Jamie Rollo, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“We expect cruising to resume in January 2021, and only expect FY19 EBITDA to return in FY24 given historically CCL has lacked pricing power, and EPS to take even longer given dilution of share issues and higher interest expense. We see debt doubling in FY21 vs FY19 due to operating losses and high capex commitments, and leverage looks high at 4-5x even in FY23-24e, so we see risk more equity might need to be raised,” Rollo added.

According to the mean Refinitiv estimate from eleven analysts, Carnival Corp is expected to show a decrease in its fourth-quarter earnings to -186 cents per share. Wall Street expects results to range from a loss of $-2.10 to ​a loss of $-1.64 per share, Reuters reported.

Tuesday (January 12)

No major earnings scheduled for release.

Wednesday (January 13)

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
INFY Infosys $0.16
WIT Wipro $0.06
SJR Shaw Communications USA $0.24
INFO IHS Markit Ltd $0.67
AONNY Aeon ADR -$0.11

 

Thursday (January 14)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: DELTA AIRLINES, BLACKROCK

DELTA AIRLINES: The Airline company which provides scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo throughout the United States and across the world is expected to report a loss for the fourth consecutive time of -$2.47 in last quarter of 2020 as the airlines continue to be negatively impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. According to Ticket Report, analysts expect Delta Airlines to post $-11 EPS for the current fiscal year and $0 EPS for the next fiscal year.

“Delta is the airline most exposed to corporate travel, which was positive pre-pandemic. Corporate travel remains down 85% and the only corporate traveller flying now appears to be those at small and medium-sized businesses. Delta had hoped for a recovery in business travel in 2H21, but it is becoming increasingly clear that business travel will not be a meaningful contributor to revenue in 2021 as vaccination timelines continue to shift out,” said Helane Becker, equity analyst at Cowen and company.

BLACKROCK: The world’s largest asset manager is expected to report a profit of $8.66 in the fourth quarter, which represents a year-over-year change of more than +3%, with revenues forecast to grow over 7% year-over-year to $4.27 billion.

“We believe BlackRock is best positioned on the asset management barbell given leading iShares ETF platform, multi-asset & alts combined with technology/Aladdin offerings that should drive 10% EPS CAGR (2020-22e) via 5% average long-term organic growth & continued op margin expansion. We see further growth ahead for Alts, iShares, international penetration, and the institutional market in the US,” said Michael Cyprys, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“We expect the premium to widen as BlackRock takes share in the midst of market dislocation and executes on improving organic revenue growth trajectory.”

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE JANUARY 14

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
DAL Delta Air Lines -$2.47
BLK BlackRock $8.66
TSM Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg $0.94
FRC First Republic Bank $1.52
PRGS Progress Software $0.78

 

Friday (January 15)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: CITIGROUP, WELLS FARGO

CITIGROUP: New York-based diversified financial services holding company is expected to report a profit of $1.30 in the fourth quarter, which represents a year-over-year slump of more than 30%, with revenues forecast to decline about 10% year-over-year to $16.5 billion.

Citi is trading at just 0.7x NTM BVPS implying a through the cycle ROE of just 7%, well below our 9% estimate for 2023. While there is uncertainty around how much Citi needs to invest in technology to address the Fed and OCC consent orders around risk management, data governance and controls, we believe the stock is cheap even if expenses remain elevated. We have modelled in expenses rising to $44B for 2021 and 2022 well above $42B in 2019,” noted Betsy Graseck, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“Moreover, Citi is not getting credit for its diversification (only 40% of total loans are consumer and only half of those are credit card). Citi also has a more resilient wholesale business, skewed to FX, EM and cash management.”

WELLS FARGO: The multinational financial services company is expected to report a profit of $0.58 in the fourth quarter, which represents a year-over-year slump of more than 30%, with revenues forecast to decline about 9% year-over-year to $18 billion. Seaport Global Securities also issued estimates for Wells Fargo & Company’s Q2 2021 earnings at $0.60 EPS and FY2022 earnings at $3.10 EPS.

“Net interest income is anticipated to be $40 billion for 2020, lower than the previous guidance due to lower commercial loan balances and higher MBS premium amortization. Management expects fourth-quarter origination volume to be similar to third-quarter levels despite typical seasonal declines and fourth-quarter production margins should remain strong,” noted analysts at ZACKS Research.

“The company expects internal loan portfolio credit ratings, which were also contemplated in the development of allowance, will result in higher risk-weighted assets under the advanced approach and under the standardized approach in the coming quarters, which would reduce CET1 ratio and other RWA-based capital ratios.”

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR EARNINGS CALENDAR FOR THE FULL RELEASES FOR THE JANUARY 15

Ticker Company EPS Forecast
VFC VF $0.90
JPM JPMorgan Chase $2.56
C Citigroup $1.30
WFC Wells Fargo $0.58
PNC PNC $2.59
HDB Hdfc Bank $0.54

 

Neurocrine Biosciences Shares Rise Despite Disappointing Q4 Earnings; Target Price $121

California-based biopharmaceutical company Neurocrine Biosciences reported worse-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter as sales disappointed on anticipated inventory destocking; however, the shares rose over 7% on Friday.

The biotech company reported Q4 sales of $240 million and reported wholesaler total prescriptions for the year of 175,200. However, according to the company they sold $18 million less to wholesalers in Q4 which impacted Ingrezza sales.

The company reported a loss of 62 cents loss per share, worse than the market expectations of 3 cents loss.

At the time of writing, Neurocrine Biosciences shares traded 7.4% higher at $110.23 Friday. However, the stock fell about 11% in 2020.

Analyst Comments

“This morning, Neurocrine Biosciences (NBIX) pre-reported preliminary Q4 sales for Ingrezza, and reported a lighter quarter impacted by inventory destocking according to the company. Q4 Ingrezza sales were $240M, and down sequentially by 6% vs Q3 ’20, and lower than consensus estimates of $251.9M and our estimate of $251.6M. Adjusting for inventory, the co-states Ingrezza sales would have grown to $258M.  The co also reiterated pipeline commitments that were previously disclosed,” said Biren Amin, equity analyst at Jefferies.

“NBIX also provided an update on pipeline milestones for 2021, and expects readout from the Phase III trial testing Ingrezza in Huntington’s disease in Q4. We think Huntington’s indication, while niche, could be lucrative from an operating margin view given NBIX is unlikely to incur any add’l major costs once approved. The co also expects to report Phase II from NBI-‘5844s trial in patients with negative symptoms in schizophrenia patients in 1H ’21. Recall, this program was in-licensed from the Takeda collaboration. The Phase II enrolled 234 patients with negative symptoms, and is evaluating three doses: 50, 125, and 500 mg once daily to placebo. The co hopes to see an effect size of 0.3 in the trial. The current valuation attributes little/no value for this program, and therefore a positive outcome could serve as a catalyst.”

Neurocrine Biosciences Stock Price Forecast

Fifteen analysts who offered stock ratings for Neurocrine Biosciences in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months at $121.00 with a high forecast of $145.00 and a low forecast of $90.00.

The average price target represents a 17.68% increase from the last price of $102.82. From those 15 analysts, nine rated “Buy, six rated “Hold” and none rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave a base target price of $121 with a high of $143 under a bull scenario and $70 under the worst-case scenario. The firm currently has an “Overweight” rating on the biopharmaceutical company’s stock.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Canaccord Genuity cut their price target on shares of Neurocrine Biosciences to $122 from $145 and set a “buy” rating on the stock. Benchmark initiated coverage and issued a “hold” rating for the company.

In addition, Zacks Investment Research cut shares from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. BidaskClub raised shares from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. At last, Credit Suisse Group dropped their target price to $90 from $105 and set a “neutral” rating.

Check out FX Empire’s earnings calendar