Here are Thursday's biggest analyst calls: Nvidia, Apple, BJ's, Etsy, Carnival, Blackrock, FedEx & more


Here are the top Wall Street calls for Thursday: Bank of America lowers J.M. Bank of America downgraded Smucker from buy to neutral, citing the company’s acquisition of Hostess as a reason for its decision. “Our previous Buy rating was based upon the belief that SJM will focus on a portfolio of core brands after several years of divestitures. TWNK, in our opinion, would complicate SJM’s narrative and introduce execution risk to a company that has a mixed M & A track record. Morgan Stanley confirms Amazon as an overweight Morgan Stanley stated that it believes Amazon shares will have a 20-60% increase in value over the next few months as retail profitability rises. We believe that management is focused on increasing efficiency and profitability… as well as demonstrating to investors how their business model could deliver ROI following two difficult years. Wells Fargo confirms Nvidia’s overweight Wells stated that Nvidia remains in its “own league.” “We still haven’t seen a real competitive threat to NVIDIA.” JPMorgan confirms Apple as an overweight JPM said that recent survey checks showed Apple’s iPhone shares softerened ahead of the iPhone 15 release. Wave7 Research’s recent surveys into US sales trends for July 2023 across different carriers (survey done in early August), indicate a moderated share of US sales above the typical levels in July in previous years. Consumer spending pauses before the new product launch are likely to be a contributing factor. Deutsche Bank adds catalyst call buy to Penn Deutsche Bank kept its long-term hold rating but said it saw a number of positive catalysts in the near future for Penn shares. However, in the short term, we think PENN is a catalyst that has several potential upside drivers. This, combined with a valuation that we find unafraid, gives us a free option for the Interactive segment. Click here to read more about this report. Citi upgrades Virtu Financial from neutral to buy Citi said investors should purchase the dip in the shares of the global market company. As we’ve seen many times in the past, regulatory headlines offer opportunities for VIRT’s stock. We see the current weakness of VIRT as an attractive entry. Bank of America reiterates Alphabet is a buy. Bank of America stated that it stands by its buy rating for the stock because of “AI innovation and potentially lower expenses.” We remain positive on Google, as we expect improved ad demands to drive Search revenue and YouTube revenue acceleration for 2H’23. This is right at the time when 1H ’23 cost cuts have had the biggest impact on y/y growth in expenses. William Blair upgrade JFrog from market perform to outperform William Blair said that the software supply-chain company is now in its “next growth phase.” JFrog is a company that has a proven track record for execution and profitability. The company has a positive free cash flow since more than eight year and has made steady progress towards its long-term goal of a 22% nonGAAP operating margin. BMO upgraded First Solar from Market Perform to Outperform BMO advised investors to buy the shares at the current price drop. Upgrade FSLR from Market Perform to Outperform. Our estimates remain unchanged, as does our $237 target. “Our view is that FSLR has fallen unjustifiably since its recent Analyst Day. This call is described in more detail here. Jefferies upgraded MetLife from hold to buy Jefferies stated in its upgrade that it is taking a “constructive view” of the industry. “That being said, MET has had a stable performance in this asset category, and has seen an above-peer increase in excess capital, largely due to the reinsurance agreement announced in May.” Susquehanna upgraded Semtech from neutral to positive. Susquehanna stated that investors should purchase the shares at a discount and the turnaround has begun. Semtech announced in-line results on Wednesday, but significantly worse guidance. We are confident that this will be the final major reset, after a painful year of resets. Wolfe upgrades Etsy from peer perform to outperform Wolfe stated in its upgrade of Etsy, that it believes share outperformance is ahead. There are many NT uncertainties because of the weakening macro but we see multiple paths for shares that will outperform in the next 12-18 month. You can read more about this report here. TD Cowen introduces BJ’s as an outperform TD stated in its initiation that BJ’s has a “value proposition with a strong appeal to a young demographic.” We like BJ’s holistic approach to club member engagement, which includes digital analytics and a complete basket with a strong appeal to younger demographic. Click here to read more about this call. Redburn Atlantic Equities upgrades Carnival to Norwegian and buys from neutral Redburn stated in its upgrade that the cruise companies were stronger post-covid. The cruise industry will benefit from a turbocharged form of this demand strength, as the US population over 65 is expected to grow by more than 2% annually until 2030. This rate is four times that of the US population’s overall growth rate. TD Cowen lowers Frontier’s rating to market perform, downgrading it from outperform. TD stated that Frontier’s booking trends are below expectations. We are downgrading to Market Perform, and we have lowered our price target from $8/share to $8/share in response to the latest management update. Bank of America confirms Blackrock is a buy. The company was described as the “leading platform for investment & tech solutions” by Bank of America. We also believe BLK has the best position for the key secular trends including the migration to Fixed Income, Money Market and Private Credit globally, given the new higher-rate backdrop, as well as multiple other themes, such outsourcing, digital wealth and private markets. Goldman Sachs confirms FedEx is a buy Goldman reiterated its buy rating going into earnings next Monday. “Apart from FDX’s long-term cost savings, investors will focus on the volume trend as we wrap up calendar 2023 and move into 2024.