Mannequins stand next to merchandise displayed for sale at a Dick's Sporting Goods store in West Nyack, New York.
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Here are some of the best analyst calls on Wall Street this week:
Goldman Sachs – Dick's Sporting Goods, Buy rating
Goldman Sachs called Dick's Sporting Goods its "most out of consensus" idea in its specialty retail coverage this week. The firm remains bullish on the company with a buy rating and said that while the company's sales have been choppy the last few years it expects momentum to continue heading in to 2020. The analyst said Dick's direct-to-consumer initiatives from the major brands could take share from retailers among other things. 30% of analysts have a buy rating on Dick's according to TipRanks.
"Following the past ~2-3 years of choppy sales trends, DKS returned to positive comp growth in 2Q19 and we expect this momentum to continue (healthy consumer, improved apparel/footwear in-stocks, access to better/exclusive product, and a return to growth in the Hardlines category). The overall athletic environment appears healthy (rational promotions, innovation from brands) and management's efforts to drive better traffic/conversion (more differentiated experiences and better service) seem to be taking hold."
Guggenheim – Nextstar Media & Gray Television, Buy ratings
As the presidential election season gets underway, Guggenheim said there are two stocks investors can use to take advantage of what's expected to be record spending on political advertising. The firm told clients this week "all signs" point to advertising topping $10 billion, leaving buy-rated Nextstar Media and Gray Television as beneficiaries. Both media companies operate local television stations around the country.
"All signs point to another record political cycle in 2020 with total political advertising topping $10bn (up ~15% from $8.7bn during the 2018 midterm cycle). We have broken down station group market overlap within (competitive Presidential states, U.S. Senate races, and gubernatorial races). Our takeaways are two-fold: 1) all data to date supports a robust 2020 political cycle and 2) we believe NXST and GTN are best positioned for the 2020 Presidential cycle. Nexstar remains our top pick among local TV broadcasters heading into 2020, followed by Gray."
Jefferies – Focus Financial Partners, Buy rating
This week, Jefferies initiated Focus Financial Partners with a buy rating. The company assists registered investment advisers and investment-management teams start their own wealth management firms within the partnership of Focus. Jefferies said the company was a "growing segment" in the wealth management business and a $20 trillion industry. The firm also noted that it's "early" but Focus continues to attract and recruit "partner firms" at a rapid rate.
"Unlike traditional asset managers, the RIA business is largely focused on wealth preservation as opposed to beating benchmarks. While the value proposition of a traditional asset manager has been getting tougher to defend, the ~$20T advisor-mediated industry is an attractive and growing segment of the market. Layer in the need to add capabilities to effectively scale as well as offer transition assistance, and FOCS has found a true need in the marketplace. The ability to provide expertise across a wide spectrum of services ranging from back office and consulting service to technology investment and M&A has attracted over 60 partner firms since inception. We believe FOCS is still very much in the early innings of its growth trajectory enabling $50M+ RIA firms to continue growing at above average rates."
JMP Securities – Axon Enterprise, Outperform rating
JMP Securities initiated coverage of Axon Enterprise this week with an outperform rating. The company develops technology and weapons products for law enforcement and civilians. JMP said the company's "strong" brand and "solid" reputation in the law enforcement community give Axon a "dominant platform" for growth. The firm added it was impressed as the company continues its transition from a business based on electroshock weapons to a business that provides a broader array of technology options to law enforcement agencies.
"We initiate research coverage of Axon Enterprise with a Market Outperform rating and a price target of $89. Our research suggests that AAXN is still in the early stages of its transformation from a business based on electroshock weapons to a business that provides a broad suite of technology solutions to law enforcement agencies. The company's strong brand and solid reputation with law enforcement provide AAXN with a dominant platform from which to grow."
Stifel – MongoDB, Buy rating
Stifel reiterated its buy rating on the database software company after it reported solid earnings this week. The firm added the stock to its "Select List" and said MongoDB's products should enable the company to "sustain" at least 30% annual revenue growth in the years ahead. Stifel was effusive in its praise of the company adding that it continues to see "strong demand across verticals, geographies, use cases, netnew/ expansions, customer sizes, and products."
"We are adding Mongo to the Select List following their strong 3Q earnings and raised 4Q guidance, with the expectation for ongoing upside to estimates in coming quarters. The company is the leading independent vendor in the NoSQL database market and its Enterprise Advanced and Atlas (Cloud based solution, now 40% of revenue) products are increasingly addressing more and more of the $50B+ database market. This should enable the company to sustain ~30%+ annual revenue growth for many years to come."