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Top Wall Street analysts say buy Ford & Caesars

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Ford CEO Jim Farley poses with the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck in Dearborn, Michigan, May 19, 2021.

Rebecca Cook | Reuters

It seems each passing trading session brings a torrent of quarterly earnings and sharp swings for the stocks of the companies reporting results.

Positive prints can have stocks jumping low volume tradingin the after hours or selling off premarketas profit takers move in. In general, trading in the short term is dramatically more unpredictable, while long-term outlooks can provide morestable trajectories for stocks.

Top analysts have highlighted these five companies, most of which have reported their latest quarterly earnings, according to TipRanks, which tracks the best-performing stock pickers.

Ford

To be a major auto manufacturer in the midst of a months-long global semiconductor shortage is not an enviable position. However, Ford Motor (F) managed to weather the storm throughout the third quarter and print impressive earnings results. The company has been ambitiously moving toward a comprehensive electric vehicle (EV) pipeline and has several other promising opportunities up its sleeve.(See Ford Stock Analysis on TipRanks)

Philippe Houchois of Jefferies wrote that Ford’s upcoming product mix will help it continue driving valuation gains. He added that “industry leading product activity, structural cost reductions and a lower margin starting point (to-date) should better enable Ford to offset normalization in our view.”

Houchois rated the stock a Buy and raised his price target from $17 to $20.

The analyst was encouraged by management’s tone during the company’s earnings call. He believes that Ford’s leadership is maneuvering tactically in uncertain industry waters and is managing inventory well with its built-to-order strategy.

There is a gap between Ford’s current valuation and its gross margins, and Houchois believes the legacy automaker has upside to its share price. He mentioned that “many strategic levers remain available to improve market and product exposure” and that the company’s healthy balance sheet will provide sufficient leverage to execute on its EV aspirations.

Out of more than 7,000 analysts, TipRanks has rated Houchois as No. 304. His stock picks have resulted in success 64% of the time, and his average return per rating stands at 31.6%.

Coursera

While the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the world, individuals who were stuck at home looked to the internet for time-occupying activities. It seems that nearly every cloud or internet-based business boomed over the last year and a half. This is also true for the online learning platform, Coursera (COUR),which released impressive third-quarter earnings recently. (See Coursera News Sentiment on TipRanks)

Ryan MacDonald of Needham & Co. reported that Coursera had a strong quarter of ramped-up business performance, aided by record numbers of enrolled students. He added that the firm’s results and guidance “highlight the company’s strong and improving fundamental profile and exposure to attractive end market trends.”

MacDonald rated the stock a Buy and denoted a price target of $45.

The analyst was confident on the company due to the tough comparisons it went up against quarter-over-quarter. He said that Coursera’s success shows “the strength of the B2B end market.”

The growing number of users over the third quarter was particularly significant due to the waning of pandemic-related restrictions. Coursera’s pipeline is expected by MacDonald to continue driving valuation gains.

MacDonald is ranked by TipRanks as No. 169 out of over 7,000 financial analysts. He has a success rate of 66%, and his ratings have returned an average of 48.8% per rating.

Caesars Entertainment

Caesars Entertainment (CZR) had an productive third quarter, as noted in its recent earnings release. Its properties in Las Vegas carried the firm and solidified analysts’ confidence in its brick-and-mortar business.

Carlo Santarelli of Deutsche Bank reported that the company is “off to a strong start in Las Vegas” for the fourth quarter, and it’s expected to see a favorable season ahead. He mentioned that Caesars’ marketing campaigns have been successful in bringing in new bookings and raising revenue. (See Caesars Entertainment Website Traffic on TipRanks)

The bullish analyst rated the stock a Buy and assigned a price target of $132 per share.

In addition to its traditional hotel and casino streams, Caesars is experiencing bullish trends in its sports-gaming services. Moreover, the company’s online sports-betting license in New York State may receive regulatory approval, which would act as a catalyst for upside.

Furthermore, Santarelli noted a possible asset sale in the first half of the 2022 fiscal year. This could include a property in Las Vegas and would help ease the firm’s balance sheet.

Out of more than 7,000 analysts, Santarelli is ranked No. 102. He has a success rate of 71%, and his stock picks have returned an average of 42.8%.

Lithium Americas

Batteries are a central piece of the puzzle as electric vehicle adoption grows. Battery production costs have contributed to high prices on the majority of electric vehicles, and it is vital for EV makers to maintain a steady supply of lithium carbonate in order to keep up with heavy demand. A significant portion of the light metal is mined in Argentina, where Lithium Americas (LAC) has offered to acquire anotherlithium manufacturer. (See Lithium Americas Stock Charts on TipRanks)

The large lithium miner’s situation was detailed in a report from Laurence Alexander of Jefferies, who wrote that the offer made to absorb Millennial Lithium (MLNLF) would vastly expand LAC’s operations in the element rich Salta Province in northern Argentina. He added that Millennial’s properties sit on about 40 years’ worth of deposits of “battery-quality lithium carbonate.”

Alexander rated the stock a Buy and calculated a price target of $34. This target came as a significant raise from his previous at $22 per share.

The proposed acquisition would provide Lithium Americas with enough leverage to properly meet the exponentially growing demand for the mined resource. If miners are to capitalize on the wide supply and demand gap, Alexander expects them to “rally 6-12 months” before the “balance tightens.”

However, it is important to note that LAC’s upside hinges on several macroeconomic factors outside of its control. Regulatory sentiment toward EVs, South American tax policies, and severe weather events can all affect production costs and output.

Alexander has earned himself a position of No. 447 out of over 7,000 other analysts. He has been successful 64% of the time, and has an average return of 17.1%.

Steve Madden

Shoe and fashion retailer Steve Madden (SHOO) blew past Wall Street consensus estimates on both earnings per share and revenue. The company has been experiencing high levels of sales, aided by its e-commerce streams. The retailer and its brands are poised for upside, according to Sam Poser of Williams Trading. (See Steve Madden Risk Factors on TipRanks)

Poser expressed his bullish sentiment on the stock by rating it a Buy and stating a price target of $59.

The analyst believes that the indicators are signaling a high level of demand for Steve Madden’s offerings, and he believes its brands have a bright future in both the short and long term. The company has been mitigating the effect of supply-side constraints and efficiently managing its inventories. Poser mentioned that “in the face of supply chain disruptions, SHOO is keeping its relative speed to market advantage and gaining market share.”

In addition to the company’s loyal base, its marketing department has been successful in driving engagement with new customers. By taking a page from its own ad book, the new “Maddenverse” campaign has created nostalgia for the previous generation of buyers and inspired interest in younger groups. Speaking more generally, Poser commended the company for its “chameleon-like ability to deliver trend right product.”

Beyond these positive attributes, Poser expects the current weight of amplified shipping and logistics costs to give way to better margins and higher profits.

TipRanks has calculated Poser as No. 112 out of more than 7,000 professional analysts. He has been successful in his ratings 61% of the time, and collectively they have averaged returns of 55.3% per rating.

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Attention passengers! Indian Railways rolls back platform ticket fare in Mumbai; Here’s how much it will cost

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platform ticket, Mumbai divisionplatform ticket, Mumbai divisionThe price of platform tickets was hiked to avoid the unnecessary crowds at railway stations in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Attention train passengers! Indian Railways to roll back the platform ticket fare from Rs 50 to Rs 10 at several railway stations in Mumbai. The Central Railway zone’s Mumbai division has decided to change the price of the platform tickets from Rs 50 to only Rs 10 at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Kalyan, Thane, Dadar, and Panvel railway stations with immediate effect. According to Central Railways, the price of platform tickets was hiked to avoid the unnecessary crowds at railway stations in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, in the light of the easing of restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the decision to revert back the platform ticket price has been taken by the national transporter.

Meanwhile, the rate of platform tickets has also been regularised at Rs 10 per ticket for suburban as well as non suburban stations of the Mumbai Division of the Western Railway zone with immediate effect. All travelling passengers are required to follow health protocol and the current guidelines regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, the Western Railway zone added.

Also, from now on, passengers won’t have to pack their meals for train journeys. The national transporter has decided to resume serving freshly cooked food to passengers in Vande Bharat Express, Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express, Tejas Express, Duronto Express and Gatiman Express trains. In this regard, an order has been issued by Indian Railways to all concerned departments and stakeholders. The order said that the matter has been examined and it has been decided by the national transporter to restart serving of cooked meals in trains.

The zones of Indian Railways, according to an ANI report, will verify the onboard catering charges to be realized based on services being offered and also the applicable rate list. Also, for allowing booking or opting out of Catering services, it will feed the same in the Passenger Reservation System software, from ARP date, at the time of ticket booking.

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Boeing, airline stocks tumble as new Covid variant spurs travel curbs

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Boeing, airlines and other travel stocks tumbled on Friday after several European and Asian countries announced new travel restrictions from southern Africa because of a new Covid variant.

European Union member nations on Friday agreed to suspend travel from the region, a day after the U.K. said it would temporarily suspend flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

The U.S. starting Monday will bar entry to visitors from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. The Biden administration announced that decision after the stock market closed on Friday.

South African scientists detected the variant, which contains high numbers of mutations, raising concerns that it could spread quickly.

Health officials cautioned more research is needed, but the new travel restrictions highlight how quickly countries can limit travel as new variants are detected. The fast-spreading delta variant of the virus earlier this year drove down travel demand and prompted some companies to delay employees’ return to the office.

Airlines and aircraft manufacturers like Boeing have been upbeat about a rebound in travel demand, particularly from a recent drop in cases and after the U.S. lifted entry restrictions earlier this month.

Travel and aerospace shares fell more than the broader market on Friday but several pared earlier losses. Boeing shares dropped 5.4% to $199.21 during an abbreviated, post-holiday session.

Delta Air Lines and United Airlines are the only U.S. carriers with nonstop service scheduled to and from South Africa next month. United lost 9.6% to close at $42.26, while Delta fell 8.3% to $36.38. American Airlines dropped 8.8% to $17.75. Hotel giant Hilton dropped 6.3% to $136.21, while Marriott ended down 6.5% at $147.44.

There are 122 flights between the U.S. and South Africa scheduled for December, according to aviation consulting firm Cirium. United, which has the most scheduled service with 87 flights, is set to resume nonstop flights between its Newark, New Jersey, hub and Cape Town next month. A spokeswoman said no changes are currently planned.

Delta has 35 scheduled flights between the U.S. and South Africa in December.

“Delta will continue to work closely with our government partners to evaluate any changes to U.S. policy,” the airline said in a statement.

British Airways will operate 214 flights between London and South Africa next month, while Virgin Atlantic will operate 75, according to Cirium.

“Following the latest announcement from the Health Secretary we’re working through plans for our customers and colleagues currently in South Africa and those due to travel from the UK in the coming days,” British Airways, an American Airlines partner, said in a statement. The carrier said it would contact customers affected by the changes.

Delta’s transatlantic partner Virgin Atlantic said it would cancel flights from Johannesburg from Friday to early Sunday because of the new U.K. rules.

On Nov. 8, the Biden administration lifted a broad pandemic travel ban on most non-citizens visiting from more than 30 countries, including the U.K., the EU, South Africa and Brazil.

Though domestic travel had largely recovered from early pandemic lockdowns, international travel remained a missing piece in airlines’ recovery.

On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving in the U.S. and generally one of the busiest travel days of the year, the Transportation Security Administration screened more than 2.3 million people. That was the most since February 2020, though still 12% below the same day in 2019.

CNBC’s Matt Clinch contributed to this article.

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International travel: India updates rules, tells states to strictly monitor incoming passengers from these countries!

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These countries are a part of Indias list of at-risk countries

Foreign travellers in India new rules: On Thursday, the Union Health Ministry gave some new rules for foreign travellers. States were directed by the Centre that international travellers transiting via or coming from South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana needed to undergo rigorous testing as well as screening. This is because the new heavily mutated COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529 is spreading in these countries with multiple cases having been reported there. Notably, India has already dealt with the severe Delta variant earlier this year in a major second wave, and so, it makes sense that the advisory was issued as soon as concerns regarding the variant started making rounds in the scientific community.

Also read | South African scientists detect new virus variant amid spike

A report in IE cited Rajesh Bhushan, the Health Secretary, as saying that as per the National Centre for Disease Control in India, Botswana has reported four cases of the new variant, Hong Kong has reported two, while South Africa has reported 22 cases. The Health Secretary also said that since the variant B.1.1.529 has a very high number of mutations, it can be a severe issue for India considering the fact that the country has been relaxing visa norms and opening up its doors to international travel after having remained shut to a large extent for over a year. These factors make it imperative that an advisory is issued to ensure that relaxed norms do not lead to an issue for public health in India.

These countries are a part of Indias list of at-risk countries, and therefore, international travellers coming from or coming via these places would need to undergo strict screening and testing procedures. Apart from this, the contacts of such travellers would also be tracked closely.

With this, if any sample from travellers tests positive for COVID-19, states would have to send it to the labs designated under INSACOG or Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genetics Consortium. INSACOG tracks as well as monitors the COVID-19 variants that are of concern and of interest in India for their emergence and transmission. Apart from this, the state surveillance officers would need to coordinate with INSACOG labs and follow the test-track-treat principle to prevent the variant from transmitting.

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