Top Wall Street analysts see attractive prospects for these 3 stocks

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Micron Technology’s solid-state drive for data center customers is presented at a product launch event in San Francisco on Oct. 24, 2019.
Stephen Nellis | Reuters

Investors are grappling with a host of mixed signals as recent data suggests the economy may be softening and the S&P 500 surges to new highs.

As investors navigate this complicated environment, they may turn to research from top-rated Wall Street analysts as they search for stocks with strong balance sheets and solid growth prospects.

With that in mind, here are three stocks favored by the Street’s top pros, according to TipRanks, a platform that ranks analysts based on their past performance.

Micron Technology

Chipmaker Micron Technology (MU) is this week’s first pick. The company recently reported beats on the top and bottom lines for the fiscal third quarter, thanks to the demand induced by the ongoing artificial intelligence (AI) wave. Management is confident about the road ahead and expects to generate record revenue in fiscal 2025, backed by artificial intelligence-driven opportunities.

Reacting to the results, Goldman Sachs analyst Toshiya Hari reiterated a buy rating on MU stock and increased his price target to $158 from $138. The analyst sees the post-earnings pullback in the stock as a good opportunity for investors to build a position. He expects AI-driven demand and a disciplined supply to fuel better-than-consensus earnings growth in calendar year 2025.

The analyst highlighted several reasons for his bullish investment thesis, including market share gains in the lucrative high-bandwidth memory space and AI compute growth in Micron’s data center business and edge computing.

Hari pointed out that Micron generated free cash flow of $425 million in the fiscal third quarter, marking a rebound from several quarters of negative FCF. He added that the company “remains committed to driving positive cash flow in FY4Q and into FY2025, even considering the material increase in capex that is expected in FY2025.”

Hari ranks No. 25 among more than 8,900 analysts tracked by TipRanks. His ratings have been profitable 69% of the time, delivering an average return of 29.2%. (See Micron Technical Analysis on TipRanks) 

Amazon

We move to e-commerce and cloud computing giant Amazon (AMZN). Recently, Evercore ISI analyst Mark Mahaney reaffirmed a buy rating on AMZN stock with a price target of $225 following his firm’s 12th Annual U.S. Online Retail survey, which involved 1,100 respondents.

Highlighting the survey results, Mahaney said that Amazon continues to be the market leader in the U.S. online retail space, with its dominance reflecting in three vital shopping metrics that his firm tracks – price, selection and convenience. However, he cautioned that the survey indicated a mixed competitive backdrop for Amazon Retail, especially with rival Walmart (WMT) displaying notable improvement in the selection and convenience metrics.

Mahaney noted that AMZN remains three to four times ahead of its closest rival across all the three key metrics. Moreover, the company continues to improve its score in satisfaction, which increased 2% year-over-year to 84% and reflected a significant jump from the 65% bottom seen in 2020. The analyst thinks that the enhanced score is a “reflection of Amazon’s continued focus on improving speed and selection (esp. via the regionalization initiatives).”

The analyst also noted that the penetration of Amazon Prime touched a record high of 81%. Attractive features like Prime Video, Free Same Day Delivery, Prime Music and Grocery made the Prime membership more attractive to the survey respondents.

Overall, Amazon remains Evercore’s “No. 1 Large Cap Long,” with the survey results backing the company’s long-term investment thesis. Notably, the survey results supported the analyst’s views about three fundamental catalysts in 2024 – significant acceleration in the growth of Amazon Web Services, rising operating margins of the North American Retail business and solid free cash flow margins. 

Mahaney ranks No. 20 among more than 8,900 analysts tracked by TipRanks. His ratings have been successful 63% of the time, delivering an average return of 32.2%. (See Amazon Hedge Funds Trading Activity on TipRanks) 

Twilio

Cloud communications platform Twilio (TWLO) is this week’s third pick. The company reported better-than-expected results for the first quarter of 2024, with active customer accounts growing to more than 313,000 as of March 31, from 300,000 at the end of the prior-year quarter. However, shares declined following the results as the Q2 guidance missed estimates and reflected the impact of weak customer spending.

Nevertheless, Tigress Financial analyst Ivan Feinseth recently initiated coverage of TWLO stock with a buy rating and a price target of $75. The analyst sees the sell-off in the stock as an attractive buying opportunity, backed by his belief that “TWLO is well-positioned to benefit from the ongoing acceleration of AI-driven digital customer engagement.”

The analyst expects Twilio to gain from the demand for artificial intelligence-based automated responses that ensure timely and cost-effective customer interaction. He expects the company’s continued investment in research and development and the integration of predictive and generative AI into its new products to boost customer adoption.  

Feinseth also highlighted Twilio’s cutting-edge “call center as a service” platform and its industry-leading position in the communications market. He expects the company’s cost saving efforts and efficiency measures to drive higher margins and boost profitability.

Feinseth ranks No. 195 among more than 8,900 analysts tracked by TipRanks. His ratings have been profitable 61% of the time, delivering an average return of 13.1%. (See Twilio Stock Charts on TipRanks) 

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