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Friday’s analyst calls: Social media stock gets upgraded, Coinbase to rally 30%?

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(This is CNBC Pro’s live coverage of Friday’s analyst calls and Wall Street chatter. Please refresh every 20-30 minutes to view the latest posts.) A social media stock was in focus Friday along with a major crypto name. Deutsche Bank raised its rating on Snap to buy from hold, calling for more than 16% gains going forward. Meanwhile, Oppenheimer upgraded Coinbase to outperform, citing improving fundamentals. Check out the latest calls and chatter below. All times ET. 6:20 a.m.: Piper Sandler downgrades U.S. Bancorp Piper Sandler said U.S. Bancorp’s “favorable dynamics” will broaden out to its peers and leave the bank in a less unique position. The firm downgraded the regional bank to neutral from overweight in a Friday note and lowered its price target to $46 per share from $47. Piper Sandler’s forecast implies more than 7% upside moving forward. The stock has ticked down 1.1% from the start of 2024. Analyst R. Scott Siefers noted that while U.S. Bancorp currently trades at a deserved multiple premium compared to its peers, “we do not see the same degree of differentiated factors that would cause the shares to outperform peers as we have through much of the last year.” The analyst noted that he remains optimistic on the stock overall moving forward, albeit at a slower growth clip. “Moreover, growth in USB’s diverse fee base should accelerate such that it can generate mid-single digit fee growth this year,” he said. “This should all occur in the context of a flattish expense outlook, and we see no visible issues on credit.” — Brian Evans 6:01 a.m.: Here’s what analysts are saying after Intel’s fourth quarter results Analysts on Wall Street are viewing Intel’s fourth-quarter results as a lackluster report. Despite surpassing analyst estimates on the top and bottom line, the chipmaker issued a lower-than-expected first-quarter outlook which led to downbeat analyst commentary. “Although we continue to be impressed by the current execution, the next 12 months will be the most difficult for the team as they will be launching two datacenter products and two major client products over three new manufacturing technology nodes – however, we believe it will serve as a strong proxy on the team’s ability to execute over the next 3-5 years,” JPMorgan analyst Harlan Sur wrote on Friday. Sur reiterated an underweight rating on Intel stock alongside a $37 per share price target, or more than 25% downside moving forward. Intel shares were down 11% in the premarket. Bank of America’s Vivek Arya maintained a neutral rating on Intel stock and restated a $50 per share price target, or about 1% below Thursday’s close. “GM [gross margin] fall-through could remain choppy and adjusted FCF only break-even for CY24E, suggesting any potential lift-off is another year away,” Arya said. Deutsche Bank’s Ross Seymour reiterated a hold rating on the stock as well as a $42 per share price target, implying about 15% downside. “We remain impressed by the [company’s] technology and operational transformation but remain concerned that the magnitude of revenue growth required to monetize these transformational investments via desirable margins is daunting,” Seymour said. — Brian Evans 5:45 a.m.: Oppenheimer upgrades Coinbase on attractive risk-to-reward skew, ‘upward trajectory’ fundamentals Oppenheimer thinks a slew of positive catalysts will boost Coinbase . The firm upgraded shares of the cryptocurrency exchange to outperform from perform, and initiated its price target at $160 per share. Oppenheimer’s forecast implies more than 32% upside from Thursday’s close. Coinbase is off to a rough start for 2024, losing roughly 30%. COIN YTD mountain COIN in 2024 Analyst Owen Lau noted that the stock sell-off may present investors with an attractive risk-to-reward skew, while the approval of several spot bitcoin exchange traded funds could serve as a positive catalyst for the stock. “The stock was under extreme scrutiny during crypto winter. While many peers went under, COIN is still standing and fighting for its businesses and the industry,” Lau said. “We believe the company is stronger than many people realize, and the management team is tougher than most investors think.” The analyst posits that Coinbase will also either come out victorious from its litigation with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or that the case will be dismissed outright which could further aid company growth. — Brian Evans 5:45 a.m.: Snap gets upgrade from Deutsche Bank Snap shares are in for another leg higher after a strong 2023, according to Deutsche Bank. Analysts Benjamin Black upgraded the Snapchat parent company to buy from hold and raised his price target to $19 from $10. The new forecast implies a gain of 16.6% from Thursday’s close. Black cited four catalysts for the upgrade: “Snapchat+ creating incremental revenue;” “the ad platform rebuild yielding strong performance results and driving growing advertiser adoption;” “the Amazon partnership, which could be material given the ~$20bn a year Amazon spends on advertising;” “growing contribution from inbound advertising from China.” “Taking a step back, we are also encouraged by our industry checks which suggest the disruption from the ad-platform rebuild is complete and that the new focus on down-funnel conversions is providing demonstrable improvement in advertiser [return on ad spend],” Black said. Snap is coming off a strong year, rising 89% in 2023. Shares were up 2.8% in the premarket. — Fred Imbert

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