Best stocks to buy now
Some Wall Street experts are suggesting the second half of 2021 is going to be great for markets, with some stocks supposed to gain strong increases. Audacy, Booking Holdings, Warner Music Group, Match, and Simon are among them.
According to Susquehanna analyst, Shyam Patil, the online dating app company is poised to break out as mobility improves.
“There is still a lot of upside potential ahead,” Patil wrote in a recent note.
Match, which owns Tinder and several other dating websites, reported a strong earnings report in early May, beating revenue expectations.
“Tinder is maintaining its momentum, and non-Tinder brands are outperforming expectations, setting a new record of 30 percent y/y growth in the first quarter,” he said.
Despite the fact that shares are down about 8.7 percent this year and have struggled under the weight of the pandemic, Patil believes investors should continue to hold the stock.
“We see MTCH as one of the strongest business franchises in the Internet sector, believe a likely second-half recovery will be a strong tailwind and would recommend taking advantage of the recent share price drop,” he wrote.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Match revenue continues to rise, especially as consumers reintegrate into society, according to Patil.
“MTCH noted that momentum is continuing across the portfolio, which is being driven in part by vaccine rollouts, particularly in the United States,” the company wrote.
Simon Property Group is a real estate investment firm.
According to Piper Sandler analyst Alexander Goldfarb, a strong recovery is finally in sight for the beleaguered real estate investment trust and owner of malls and outlet centers.
After the company reported strong first-quarter earnings in May, the firm raised its price target on Simon to a Street high of $150 per share from $130.
“Overall, the strong 1Q21 beat and guidance increase from a team known for being conservative bodes well for the rest of this year and next,” he said.
Furthermore, March sales were back to 2019 levels, which should give investors confidence that more foot traffic is on the way, according to Goldfarb.
“As the return to normalcy accelerates,” he said, “We expect the retail landscape to continue its robust rebound, particularly into a mask-free 2021 holiday season.”
Goldfarb also predicted that as the holiday season approaches, customers may see a familiar face return to Simon malls.
“This even opens the door for Santa to return in-person for the holidays, emphasizing the mall’s importance in the consumer landscape,” Goldfarb said.
Simon’s stock is up about 55% so far this year.
Audacy investors should buy the dip in the broadcast and website radio platform company’s shares, according to Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall in a client note.
The company, formerly known as Radio.com, reported mixed first-quarter earnings, but Cahall believes local customer spending is finally picking up and, in some cases, surpassing 2019 levels.
“Audacy remains in our 2H recovery bucket because we expect the local ad market to rebound with the reopening,” he wrote.
Cahall believes that a return to growth in the second quarter is also possible, making the stock appealing right now.
“There are early signs of pent-up demand in impacted verticals, such as restaurants, retail, and sporting events,” he said, “and we believe the combination of small- and mid-sized businesses returning, local events returning, and digital revenue growth will drive a strong top-line acceleration in 2H21.”
According to Cahall, the stock is also cheap, with a Street high price target of $7 per share on Audacy.
“We see no reason why reopening will not occur, so we believe the recent pullback presents a good entry point for this value stock,” the firm wrote.
The stock market finished the week down 1.8 percent.
Buy rating for Warner Music Group’s Guggenheim.
“WMG delivered solid second-quarter results, with double-digit revenue growth in both Recorded Music and Music Publishing. Importantly, the company’s investments in international growth and digital initiatives support our positive long-term outlook, which is based on unique intellectual property control, leadership in new content sourcing, and increasing exposure to secular growth businesses. Looking ahead, we anticipate continued revenue growth in streaming/digital, driven by a strong 2H release slate and expanded partnerships, as well as the recovery of COVID-impacted businesses such as live performances.
Susquehanna, Positive rating “Upside Potential Still Ahead.” We consider MTCH to be one of the strongest business franchises in the Internet sector, believe a likely 2H recovery will be a strong tailwind and recommend taking advantage of the recent share price drop. Tinder’s momentum is continuing, and non-Tinder brands are outperforming expectations, setting a new high of 30 percent year-on-year growth in the first quarter. We see the outlook as solid but conservative and believe MTCH has an opportunity to accelerate revenue in the second quarter. MTCH noted that momentum is continuing across the portfolio, which is being driven in part by vaccine rollouts, particularly in the United States.”
Overweight rating for Simon Property – Piper Sandler
“As the return to normalcy accelerates, we expect the retail landscape to continue its robust rebound, particularly into a mask-free holiday season in 2021….” Notably, March sales were back up to 2019 levels, and with the change in CDC guidance, we anticipate that an increasing number of shoppers will feel more comfortable shopping indoors post-vaccine. This even allows for the return of Santa in person for the holidays, emphasizing the mall’s importance in the consumer landscape. The strong 1Q21 beat and increased guidance from a team known for being conservative bodes well for the rest of the year and into next.”
Overweight rating for Audacy – Wells Fargo
“While the local ad recovery has lagged behind the national recovery to start the year, AUD anticipates a hockey stick return to growth beginning in the second quarter.” We see no reason why the reopening will not occur, so the recent pullback represents a good entry point for this value stock in our opinion. There are early signs of pent-up demand in impacted verticals like restaurants, retail, and sporting events, and we believe the combination of SMBs returning, local events returning, and digital revenue growth will drive a strong top-line acceleration in 2H21. AUD is still in our 2H recovery bucket because we expect the local ad market to rebound with the reopening.”
Wolfe, Booking Holdings, Outperform rating
“BKNG reported mixed first-quarter results, with total bookings outperforming consensus estimates by 19%, while revenue and EBITDA were 2% and $90 million, respectively, lower than the Street. Management discussed improving trends in April, with U.S. hotel room nights exceeding pre-COVID levels, as pent-up consumer demand is expected to drive a strong summer travel rebound. Trends in Europe remain more challenging due to lagging vaccination rates, but they are expected to improve in time for the summer months. Overall, near-term results remain depressed, but demand trends are improving, and hopes for a strong second-half recovery remain intact.”
The biggest news in the market is probably that oil could rise above $100 according to Bank of America. Weaker demand and a “risk that a supply/demand mismatch skews swiftly towards a tighter market” are behind Bank of America’s positive forecast.
WTI rose 0.7 percent to $69.26 per barrel on Friday, after reaching a high of $69.76 earlier in the session, the highest since October 2018. Brent crude rose 28 cents to $71.59 a barrel.
“We remain bullish on US oil, believing that the prospects of an extended recovery are only now beginning to be reflected in valuations,” the firm said.
The technical analysis team at Bank of America is even more bullish, claiming that the charts show a “very real possibility” that WTI will rise to $175 per barrel during this cycle.
The firm cited tightening supply at a time when demand is increasing as conditions that will support a price increase. OPEC and its allies agreed earlier this week to increase production modestly in July, based on April levels. This was widely anticipated by the market, but the group chose not to increase output further in light of the improving demand outlook, which drove WTI and Brent to multi-year highs.
Just over a year ago, when WTI futures fell into negative territory for the first time in history, the prospect of $100 oil was virtually unthinkable. Oil prices plummeted as the coronavirus pandemic took hold, shutting down economies all over the world. Following the drop, OPEC+ implemented historic production cuts of nearly 10 million barrels per day, with other countries following suit.
“Most importantly, the catalysts for global mobility improvements, such as vaccinations, the return of air travel, and a general shift back to office work, are still ahead. In layman’s terms, Brent has broken $70, but the fundamentals do not point to any material loosening of the oil market anytime soon,” according to Bank of America.
In the midst of this upbeat outlook, the firm named Marathon Petroleum its top refining pick. Valero Energy and Phillips 66 also have to buy ratings from the firm.
Exxon, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips are among the oil companies that the company admires.