Beyond Meat, Cimarex, Cloudflare, CSX, Exxon, Micron, NetApp, Unity Software and More

Stocks had been rising daily, but Tuesday’s market indexes were showing a small bit of selling pressure heading into earnings season. Many investors missed out on the recovery since late March, but many of the key leadership stocks have pulled back from their highs to more attractive entry points.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week with a goal of finding new ideas for investors and traders alike. Some of these daily analyst calls cover stocks to buy. Other calls cover stocks to sell or avoid. Remember that no single analyst call should ever be used as a basis to buy or sell a stock. Consensus analyst target data is from Refinitiv.





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These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

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Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE: ALK) was raised to Positive from Neutral with a $57 price target (versus a $38.41 a prior close) at Susquehanna.

American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) was downgraded to Negative from Neutral with an $8 price target (versus a $12.92 prior close) at Susquehanna.

American Water Works Co. Inc. (NYSE: AWK) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Janney, which noted that the latest close at $158.32 has exceeded its fair value estimate of $153.00.

Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform with a $136 price target (versus a $192.30 prior close) at Bernstein.

Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Co Ltd. (NYSE: BHVN) was reiterated as Outperform and its price target was raised to $99 from $96 (versus a $78.23 prior close) at Wedbush Securities.

Carlyle Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CG) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $31 target price (versus a $26.89 prior close) at Citigroup.

Cimarex Energy

Micron yet to regain license to sell to Huawei, pressuring sales

(Reuters) – Micron Technology Inc has not yet obtained new licenses needed to sell its memory chips to China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, which will cut its sales over the next two quarters, company executives said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Micron Technology’s solid-state drive for data center customers is presented at a product launch event in San Francisco, U.S., October 24, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Nellis/File photo

Boise, Idaho-based Micron, one of the world’s biggest makers of DRAM chips, said it had previously obtained licenses from the U.S. government to sell chips for mobile phones and servers from its factories outside the United States to Huawei, which has been the target of U.S. restrictions on chip sales since last year.

Huawei accounted for about $600 million of Micron’s $6.06 billion in sales for the fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 3, or just under 10%.

But a new round of restrictions that took effect in September barred sales of any chip made using U.S. tools or software, which rendered Micron’s earlier licenses invalid and halted sales on Sept. 14.

“The manufacturing equipment in those fabs are obviously from U.S.-based companies,” Micron’s chief business officer, Sumit Sadana, told Reuters in an interview. These included Applied Materials Inc and Lam Research Corp.

Sadana said Micron has applied to the U.S. government for new licenses to sell to Huawei but does not yet have them and does not know if or when they will be approved. The company is shifting to selling to other smart phone customers but the shift will take until Micron’s fiscal second quarter to complete.

“As soon as we get the license, we would work with Huawei to determine how we can resurrect the business,” Sadana said.

Micron shares, which were volatile in extended trading, were down

Micron Slides Following Light Earnings Guidance: 6 Key Takeaways

Though it once more topped estimates, a light EPS outlook and mixed demand commentary is weighing on Micron’s (MU) stock post-earnings.

On Tuesday afternoon, the memory giant reported August quarter (fiscal fourth quarter) revenue of $6.06 billion (up 24% annually) and non-GAAP EPS of $1.23. Those numbers respectively beat FactSet consensus estimates of $5.89 billion and $0.98, thus continuing a recent string of sales and EPS beats.

On the flip side, Micron guided for November quarter revenue of $5 billion to $5.4 billion (down 3% to up 5% annually) and non-GAAP EPS of $0.40 to $0.54. Those numbers respectively compare with consensus estimates of $5.27 billion and $0.66.

As of the time of this article, Micron’s stock is down 3.5% in after-hours trading to $48.92. Shares were initially trading following the release of Micron’s report, but sold off after Micron shared its earnings presentation and prepared remarks.

Here are some notable takeaways from Micron’s earnings report, presentation and call.

1. Micron’s Near-Term Demand Commentary Is Mixed

On one hand, Micron generally struck an upbeat tone about smartphone, automotive, notebook, gaming and cloud server memory demand trends.

The company noted smartphone and auto demand has begun rebounding, with the former market also benefiting from the launch of 5G phones packing more DRAM and NAND flash memory than their 4G predecessors. It also mentioned gaming DRAM demand remains strong, aided by both upcoming console launches and Nvidia’s (NVDA) recent gaming GPU refresh, and that while cloud memory demand is expected to moderate some in the second half of 2020 following a first-half surge, it’s still healthy overall.

At the same time, Micron said its short-term demand outlook has weakened amid weak enterprise server/storage demand and elevated inventories among some enterprise clients. The company also noted desktop PC sales are weak, that the