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Which Tech Stock Is Wall Street’s Best Pick Right Now?

Tech stocks, especially those trading at high valuations, have plunged significantly this year amid a challenging macro environment. Recent remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell about slowing down the pace of rate hikes provided some relief to investors. However, Powell cautioned that the monetary policy could stay restrictive until there are signs of inflation coming under control.

Tech stocks and the broader stock market might continue to be volatile due to macro uncertainty, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, trade tensions between the U.S. and China, and demand concerns due to the Covid-19 resurgence in China. However, the dip in some tech stocks provides an opportunity to buy them at attractive valuation levels.

Bearing that in mind, I used TipRanks’ Stock Comparison Tool to pit the following prominent tech companies against each other and select the stock that Wall Street finds most promising at current levels.

AMZN
Amazon
$89.62
AAPL
Apple
$142.09
AMD
Advance Micro Devices
$69.75

Amazon (AMZN)

Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

E-commerce giant Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) sales growth rate improved to nearly 15% in the third quarter from 7.2% in the second quarter. Also, the company generated market-beating earnings per share of 28 cents in Q3 after reporting losses in the first two quarters. The profitability of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) division helped offset the weakness in the retail business.

Nonetheless, investors were spooked by the company’s outlook for the crucial holiday quarter. Amazon expects sales growth in the range of 2% to 8%, reflecting the impact of macro challenges and inflation.

The company is streamlining its operations by reducing costs through various actions, including layoffs. It is lowering its capital expenditure in fulfillment and transportation networks following aggressive investments made during the pandemic to support robust demand.

Nonetheless, Amazon continues to invest in growth areas, especially AWS. The company expects its technology infrastructure expenditure to increase by $10 billion this year to support the continued expansion of its AWS business. Aside from AWS, Amazon’s advertising business also looks promising, though it currently accounts for a small proportion of the overall revenue. In Q3, advertising revenue grew 25% to $9.5 billion.

For JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth, Amazon is one of the best picks for 2023. He expects the company to benefit from the continued transition toward cloud and e-commerce. Anmuth stated, “Amazon is the most diversified mega-cap across revenues and profit and has numerous large growth opportunities.” Anmuth has a “buy” rating on AMZN stock and a price target of $145.

Overall, Wall Street has a “strong buy” consensus rating for Amazon stock based on 33 buys and two holds. The average AMZN stock price target of $140.50 suggests 57% upside potential.

Apple (AAPL)

Source: View Apart / Shutterstock.com

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022 (ended Sept. 24, 2022) reflected strong execution despite a challenging operating environment. Apple’s revenue grew 8% year-over-year to $90.1 billion, while EPS was up 4% to $1.29. Except for iPad, the company reported higher sales across all its key products and the Services division.

Nonetheless, investors are concerned about the slowdown across key revenue sources, like iPhone and services. Apple cautioned investors that it expects revenue growth to decelerate in the December quarter compared to the September quarter.

The December quarter is anticipated to be hit by currency headwinds, macro challenges and a significant decline in Mac sales. This is largely due to tough comparisons with the prior-year quarter, which benefited from the launch of the newly redesigned MacBook Pro with M1 chips.

Furthermore, the worker unrest and Covid-led disruption at the Zhengzhou, China plant of Foxconn, Apple’s largest iPhone supplier, is also expected to be a major headwind for the December quarter.

Piper Sandler analyst Harsh Kumar lowered his December quarter’s revenue estimate to $119 billion from $127.3 billion on the assumption that Foxconn shipped about 9 million fewer iPhone 14 units due to the protests at the Zhengzhou plant. Nonetheless, Kumar remains bullish about Apple, calling it a “formidable” brand.

All in all, the “strong buy” consensus rating for Apple stock is backed by 23 buys and four holds. At $180.10, the average AAPL price target suggests 26.9% upside potential.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)

Source: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com

Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) and other semiconductor companies are under pressure due to weakness in key end markets, mainly the personal computers (PC) market, following a strong run due to pandemic-induced demand. Despite the distressed PC market, AMD’s Q3 revenue increased 29% to $5.6 billion, fueled by strength in the Data Center, Embedded and Gaming segments.

AMD expects its fourth-quarter revenue to increase by nearly 14%, driven by growth in the Embedded and Data Center segments. The robust demand for the company’s EPYC server processors is expected to drive the growth of the Data Center segment. Additionally, the launch of the fourth-generation EPYC processors (code-named Genoa) is anticipated to boost revenues.

Meanwhile, the Embedded segment is benefiting from the Xilinx acquisition and is expected to capture growth opportunities in the automotive, networking, communications, aerospace and defense markets.

Recently, Baird analyst Tristan Gerra upgraded AMD stock from “hold” to “buy” and raised the price target to $100 from $65. The analyst noted that supply-chain checks indicate solid reception of AMD’s Genoa (5nm Zen 4) chips at data center original equipment manufacturers.

Gerra added, “Genoa’s very significant performance step up should translate into an acceleration in market share gains for AMD in 2023, along with significantly higher pricing and a higher gross margin profile, reinforcing AMD’s EPYC performance leadership for years to come.”

The Street’s “moderate buy” consensus rating for AMD is based on 20 buys and seven holds. The average AMD price target of $84.30 implies 20.86% upside potential.

To conclude, near-term challenges could continue to be a drag on all of these tech stocks. Nonetheless, Wall Street analysts remain highly optimistic about the long-term prospects of Apple and Amazon. Meanwhile, they are cautiously optimistic about AMD due to the slump in demand in the PC and gaming markets. Analysts see the steep pullback in Amazon as a good opportunity to build a position.

On the date of publication, Sirisha Bhogaraju did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Sirisha Bhogaraju has over 15 years of experience in financial research. She has written in-depth research reports and covered companies across various sectors, with a primary focus on the consumer sector. Sirisha has a master’s degree in finance.

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Why Is Express (EXPR) Stock Up 59% Today?

Source: Helen89 / Shutterstock.com

Express (NYSE:EXPR) stock is rocketing higher on Thursday after the company announced a strategic partnership with WHP Global.

That deal will see the two companies form an omnichannel platform focused on accelerated, long-term growth. It will do this via the acquisition and operation of brands. There are also plans for an intellectual property joint venture to expand the companies’ influence to new markets.

As part of this agreement, WHP Global is investing $25 million into Express. This will see it acquire 5.4 million newly-issued shares of EXPR stock for $4.60 each. That will give it a roughly 7.4% stake in the fashion company. It’s also a 253.8% premium from the stock’s closing price on Wednesday.

EXPR Stock Resists Poor Q3 Earnings

Express shares are sliding even after missing estimates for the third quarter of 2022. That includes adjusted earnings per share of -50 cents. That’s worse than the 19 cents per share reported in the same period of the year prior. It also missed analysts’ estimate of -29 cents per share.

Also not helping matters is the company’s revenue of $434.1 million. That’s another drop compared to the $472 million reported in the third quarter of 2021. It also comes in below Wall Street’s estimate of $451.77 million.

Investors will also note that EXPR stock is seeing heavy trading today. That movement is positive with some 31 million shares on the move. For the record, its <div class=”tradingview-widget-container”>  <div class=”tradingview-widget-container__widget”></div>  <div class=”tradingview-widget-copyright”><a href=”https://www.tradingview.com/symbols/NASDAQ-SOUN/” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”><span class=”blue-text”>SOUN Quotes</span></a> by TradingView</div>  <script type=”text/javascript” src=”https://s3.tradingview.com/external-embedding/embed-widget-mini-symbol-overview.js” async>  {  “symbol”: “NASDAQ:SOUN”,  “width”: “100%”,  “height”: “100%”,  “locale”: “en”,  “dateRange”: “12M”,  “colorTheme”: “dark”,  “trendLineColor”: “rgba(0, 0, 255, 1)”,  “underLineColor”: “rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.3)”,  “underLineBottomColor”:…’ class=”encyclopedia”>daily average trading volume is closer to 1.2 million shares.

EXPR stock is up 58.6% as of Thursday morning.

Investors seeking more recent stock market news are in luck!

InvestorPlace is home to all of the hottest stock market stories for Thursday! That includes what has shares of GameStop (NYSE:GME) stock in the news, this morning’s biggest pre-market stock movers, and more. You can catch up on all of that at the links below!

More Thursday Stock Market News

On the date of publication, William White did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

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Is It Time to Give Up on GameStop (GME) Stock?

GameStop (NYSE:GME) stock is trending on social media after the video game retailer reported that its revenue had sunk 8.5% year-over-year amid muted video game sales. GME noted, however, that it had made significant progress in reducing its costs.

GameStop’s Q3 Results

GME’s third-quarter loss, excluding some items, came in at 31 cents per share, meaningfully worse than analysts’ average estimate of a per-share loss of 28 cents. Its revenue dropped 8.5% year-over-year to $1.19 billion, versus the mean estimate of $1.345 billion. GME’s software revenue sank 19% year-over-year (YOY).

On a positive note, its collectibles sales increased 8% YOY. Additionally, GameStop’s sales, general, and administrative spending fell to 32.7% of its revenue from 34.1% in Q2.

However, after the retailer unveiled its results, Michael Pachter, an analyst at investment bank Wedbush, indicated that he does not expect the company to become profitable anytime soon.

Layoffs, Crypto, and Icahn’s Bet Against GME Stock

GameStop’s CEO, Matt Furlong, reported that the company had reduced the size of its workforce in the second half of this year. “At least six software engineers” recently reported that they had been laid off by the retailer.

As of September, GameStop had an alliance with failed crypto exchange FTX. The partnership was supposed to enable FTX’s customers to buy GME’s digital assets. But speaking on GameStop’s earnings call yesterday, Furlong, said “The Company has proactively minimized exposure to cryptocurrency risk throughout the year and does not currently hold a material balance of any token.”

At the end of last month, Bloomberg reported that Carl Icahn, a famed billionaire investor, had begun shorting GME stock around the time that it had reached its highest point last year. Icahn realized a profit on the bet and was still shorting GME as of the end of November, Bloomberg added.

On the date of publication, Larry Ramer did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Larry Ramer has conducted research and written articles on U.S. stocks for 15 years. He has been employed by The Fly and Israel’s largest business newspaper, Globes. Larry began writing columns for InvestorPlace in 2015. Among his highly successful, contrarian picks have been PLUG, XOM and solar stocks. You can reach him on Stocktwits at @larryramer.

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Joint Statement Through the Global Partnership for Action on Gender-Based Online Harassment and Abuse on Standing with the Women and Girls of Iran

Office of the Spokesperson

The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Chile, Iceland, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Begin Text:

The undersigned Foreign Ministers for country members of the Global Partnership for Action on Gender-Based Online Harassment and Abuse call attention to the extreme violence faced by the courageous Iranian women and girls who are leading sustained nationwide protests over the tragic death of 22-year-old Mahsa (Zhina) Amini. Since then, Iranian authorities have continued and even escalated their brutal suppression of protestors, including through their use of technology-facilitated gender-based violence. Women and girls have faced targeted online harassment and abuse by Iranian authorities, their apparatuses, and institutions as they demand respect for their human rights and fundamental freedoms. We condemn this ongoing violent crackdown on protestors, including on digital platforms and through Internet restrictions.

The people of Iran rely on social media and other digital tools to communicate and broadcast their messages to the world—always, and particularly during the ongoing violence perpetrated by Iranian authorities. The women and girls of Iran bravely use these essential tools, even as Iranian authorities and their supporters misuse and abuse the same technologies against them, propagating coordinated online harassment, abuse, and disinformation campaigns designed to discredit them and silence their protests. This use of violence against women and girls in public life, which manifests both online and offline and is exacerbated by the scale, speed, and reach of technology platforms, is a deliberate tactic leveraged by illiberal actors around the world seeking to halt democratic movements and shore up their own political power. Technology-facilitated gender-based violence threatens the lives, safety, and livelihoods of survivors and their families, especially as online and offline violence are often mutually reinforcing.

We invite the international community to join us in urgently working with technology companies to do everything in their power to enable women and girls’ access to information online, particularly their full and effective use of online platforms. This includes implementing practical and proactive measures to combat the abuse of their platforms to threaten, harass, and silence Iranian women and girls by surging resources for Persian (Farsi) language content moderation and other Iranian languages, applying policies on harassment and abusive content in a timely and consistent manner, and providing resources and transparent reporting options for those experiencing online harassment and abuse. The members of the Global Partnership for Action on

Gender-Based Online Harassment and Abuse stand in solidarity with Iranian women and girls and will continue to look for ways to support women globally in exercising their rights freely and safely, online and offline.

Co-signatories:

  • Australia Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Penny Wong;
  • Canada Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, P.C., M.P.;
  • Iceland Minister for Foreign Affairs, Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir;
  • New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Nanaia Mahuta;
  • Republic of Chile Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Antonia Urrejola Noguera;
  • Republic of Korea Minister of Foreign Affairs, Park Jin;
  • Sweden Minister for Foreign Affairs, Tobias Billström;
  • United Kingdom Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, James Cleverly;
  • United States Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken.