An employee preps a John Deere & Co. excavator for sale at Martin Equipment in Rock Island, Illinois.
Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
With May coming to a close, Wall Street analysts are fine tuning their recommendations as COVID-19 vaccinations pave the way for further economic re-opening this summer.
We used TipRanks analyst forecasting service to pinpoint stocks earning bullish support from the Street, narrowing our search to only calls made by the best-performing analysts. These are the analysts with the highest success rate and average return per rating, taking into consideration the number of ratings published by each analyst.
Here are top Wall Street analysts’ five favorite stocks heading into June:
Northland Capital analyst Gus Richard says it’s to infinity and beyond for Advanced Micro Devices. In line with this optimistic take, the five-star analyst reiterated a Buy rating and $116 price target.
Richard believes that the semiconductor name will have a solid Q2, but argues the real question is whether PC demand will slow as the economy re-opens. According to the analyst, the answer is yes, but points out that AMD’s “better products” are helping it to take market share from Intel.
“One of the most difficult markets to penetrate is the corporate client. In CY19 Intel was short on 14nm capacity and late on 10nm and this limited its ability to meet demand opening the door for AMD in the corporate market. We estimate that AMD currently has a 5% to 7% share of the higher-margin corporate client market and expect its share to accelerate as corporations dual source,” Richard explained.
Additionally, based on Intel’s recent results and the analyst’s industry checks, Intel has been focused on low-end Chromebooks, and “these dynamics bode well for a strong 2H for AMD in the client market,” in Richard’s opinion.
With this in mind, Richard argues that over the next few years, AMD’s revenue share in the PC clients market will reach around 50%, from 20% currently. It also is in the second year of a game console product cycle, which the analyst believes could lead to an improvement in gross margins for this segment.
It should also be noted that AMD has an advantage in the x86 server space. “We believe leadership in the x86 market is driven primarily by process technology and to a lesser extent design differentiation. INTC is chasing government money to build foundries in the US putting it into competition with TSMC. While INTC has struck a longterm supply agreement with TSMC they are also becoming a competitor to TSMC. It is in TSMC’s best interest to favor AMD over INTC as it will get all of AMD’s lead edge logic business,” Richard commented.
Landing a top 40 spot on TipRanks’ list of best-performing analysts, Richard boasts a 71% success rate and 33.8% average return per rating.
Operating in the healthcare services space, Amedisys offers home healthcare (HH), hospice services and disease management programs.
According to Oppenheimer’s Michael Wiederhorn, the company’s “growth story remains on track,” prompting the analyst to maintain a Buy rating. In addition, he left the $325 price target as is.
“We hosted meetings with Amedisys and believe the company remains well-positioned for growth in the post-pandemic era, driven by organic opportunities as it bulks up its BD staff and leverages opportunities to further penetrate existing markets with its sizable hospice platform, which included ~$600 million in acquired hospice revenues,” Wiederhorn noted.
Across both of its main segments, trends have been bouncing back, with elective procedures moving toward 100% of baseline. As for the hospice business, Amedisys’ primary focus is on admissions, but Wiederhorn points out that LOS issues might have normalized.
Some investors have expressed concern about labor inflation, but Wiederhorn doesn’t see this as a significant issue. The analyst tells investors that “despite the ongoing noise in the marketplace,” labor inflation is under control and management is watching the wage environment.
“Amedisys has continued to generate low turnover rates (15%) that are well below the market and historical levels (40%) due in large part to its predictive analytics that identify vulnerable employees,” Wiederhorn added.
When it comes to M&A, the company is “optimistic on the longer-term upside from home health M&A, as the myriad of pandemic-related benefits, including sequestration, payroll tax, Medicare accelerated payments, CARES Act money and the RAP impact, are set to expire,” says Wiederhorn. He also points out that Amedisys has made a significant effort to establish partnerships which “leverage its high quality scores.”
“The company spoke positively regarding its SNF @ Home Partnership with Sound Physicians, which deploys some form of capitation, while its Fresenius dialysis partnership has partial capitation,” Wiederhorn stated.
Thanks to his 76% success rate and 23.6% average return per rating, Wiederhorn is ranked #34 out of over 7,000 analysts tracked by TipRanks.
Even though Deere bumped up its outlook for 2021, Jefferies analyst Stephen Volkmann thinks these estimates “could prove conservative.” With this in mind, the top analyst reiterated a Buy rating. In addition, he gave the price target a lift, with the figure moving from $400 to $450.
When trying to call Deere’s next peak, it is “complicated,” in Volkmann’s opinion. “First, management’s commentary around the cycle – both Large and Small Ag business at roughly 110-115% of mid-cycle – excludes the last supercycle and therefore undercounts the potential. Second, we estimate overall ASPs have increased 40-50% since the 2013 peak through a combination of emissions regulations, increased technology content, and normal inflation,” the analyst explained.
So, what’s the bottom line? Volkmann estimates that the total potential revenue is $55 billion, and at 20% EBIT margin, this amounts to $30 in earnings power, not including additional capital employment.
According to the management team at Deere, for 2021, consolidated sales are set to rise 23.5%-28.5% (compared to the previous 16%-25% estimate), with this factoring in FX and pricing tailwinds.
Volkmann points out that although the company is benefitting from commodity price inflation, management has warned about a $750 million freight/logistics and material costs headwind for the rest of this year. In addition, given that the 2021 order book is filled, it might be hard for Deere to cover additional increases. That being said, the analyst argues “pricing was the standout message of the quarter, adding roughly 6 percentage points to F1H growth and 5-plus points to the full-year outlook.”
What’s more, Deere is evaluating additional structural changes, with this potentially including overseas footprint consolidations and closures. Its key priorities are to streamline the organizational structure, make “more focused capital allocation decisions geared toward the higher-growth, higher-margin portion of the portfolio,” expand the aftermarket opportunity and increase Wirtgen synergies.
Volkmann lands a top 100 ranking as a result of his 74% success rate and 25.8% average return per rating.
Calling Zscaler‘s latest quarterly performance “another jaw dropper,” Wedbush’s Daniel Ives remains very much with the bulls. To this end, the analyst kept a Buy rating and $240 price target on the cloud-based information security company.
Looking at the print, billings gained 71% and surpassed the consensus estimate by 20%-plus, with Ives noting its “clear that the zero trust shift is hitting another gear of growth with ZS leading the charge.”
Expounding on this, Ives stated, “While the bears and skeptics on ZS threw the company in the ‘WFH growth tailing off crew’ over the last few months, we continue to view this is a zero trust cloud transformation name that will see massive growth prospects for the foreseeable future as the company is essentially the only game in town on enterprise scale zero trust cyber security deployments.”
Arguing that Zscaler is in the “drivers seat” when it comes to the cloud cyber security shift over the next ten years, Ives believes that the current IT landscape has ramped up the company’s ability to capitalize on the opportunity.
“In our opinion, ZS is the best pure play in the cloud security arena, which we believe is still in the very early innings of taking off with overall hybrid cloud workloads poised to meaningfully accelerate over the coming years and in this climate could see some strategic deals moved forward as the shift to cloud outside the firewall is catalyzing a handful of key sales cycles,” Ives commented.
According to the Wedbush analyst, the need to secure applications, data and consumers outside the firewall highlight the huge total addressable market.
Summing it all up, Ives said, “To this point given last night’s results and our increased confidence in the ZS story, we believe a further re-rating is still in the cards over the next 12 to 18 months.”
Ives’ stellar track record speaks for itself. The #73 rated analyst has delivered a 68% success rate and 30.4% average return per rating.
AtriCure has developed a portfolio of products for the surgical ablation of cardiac tissue to treat persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) in concomitant and stand-alone procedures.
For BTIG analyst Marie Thibault, there are multiple reasons to be bullish on AtriCure’s long-term growth prospects. Bearing this in mind, the five-star analyst reiterated a Buy rating and a $76 price target.
Recently, Thibault hosted a call with Dr. Michael Panutich, a cardiac electrophysiologist (EP) at the Hoag Heart & Vascular Institute, who has been performing the hybrid Convergent procedure, which involves endocardial catheter ablation and epicardial ablation using AtriCure’s EPi-Sense Coagulation Device, since 2017. Given that the FDA has approved the EPi-Sense device in long-standing persistent AF, Dr. Panutich believes that the number of hospitals adopting and marketing the procedure will grow.
On top of this, Thibault points out that the FDA approval could make it easier to secure reimbursement, as “fewer insurers will be able to push back on the treatment as being ‘experimental’ or require a failed ablation first.”
“This discussion left us with the impression that ATRC’s minimally invasive franchise is poised for robust growth, that careful training will be key to continued success with the Convergent procedure, and that the AF field will continue to be a source of clinical progress,” Thibault commented.
What else is driving Thibault’s confidence? The analyst highlights the ongoing momentum for AtriClip, AtriCure’s product designed for use in the occlusion of the left atrial appendage, one of the most common sources of stroke. She is also expecting to see new verticals like cryoablation contribute to revenue generation.
Thibault sports an impressive 65.8% average return per rating, helping her to earn a #127 ranking.