Monday’s Analyst Insights: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Netflix, Inc. (NFLX), Linn Energy LLC (LINE)


Microsoft Corporation

In a research report published Monday, UBS analyst Brent Thill reiterated a Buy rating on shares of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), with a price target of $52, as the company is scheduled to report its fiscal 2016 Q1 earnings report on Friday, October 23.

Thill noted, “Numbers have come down each of the past few qtrs., and the current debate is around whether mgmt. can switch from beat and lower to beat and raise. We don’t believe another big number cut is priced into the stock and are modeling for FQ1 rev/EPS of $21.3Bn/$0.58 vs. Street $20.8Bn/$0.59 (details in body). MSFT also recently announced a change in financial reporting structure to better align investors with how mgmt. looks at the company as well as a wave of new products meant to advance the W10 vision. In our view, mgmt. has done an excellent job articulating the vision and focusing the business during the transition. Microsoft remains one of our favorite value stories, but we acknowledge some NT hurdles (inc. a tough Q1 comp, which gets easier in 2H) still need to be cleared for investors.”

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Brent Thill has a total average return of 12.9% and a 69% success rate. Thill has a 13.5% average return when recommending MSFT, and is ranked #94 out of 3775 analysts.

Out of the 28 analysts polled by TipRanks, 16 rate Microsoft stock a Buy, 9 rate the stock a Hold and 3 recommend a Sell. With a return potential of 5%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $49.08.

Netflix, Inc.

In a research note issued Monday, Mizuho Securities analyst Neil Doshi reiterated a Neutral rating on shares of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), with a price target of $115, as the company will release third-quarter earnings results on October 23, 2015.

Doshi said, “Netflix is scheduled to report 3Q15 results after the close on Wednesday, October 14. Based on our model sensitivity work, we expect Netflix to post an in-line quarter, with some potential risk to International Subs due to a somewhat slow start in Japan, per our checks. However, the spotlight will be on the company’s 4Q guide for expectations with Japan and the next round of launches in Europe later this month. Looking further out, we believe the focus will be on the recent price increases and the potential impact on sub growth in 2016.”

According to TipRanks.com, analyst Neil Doshi has a total average return of 6.3% and a 47.5% success rate. Doshi has a -13.4% average return when recommending NFLX, and is ranked #930 out of 3775 analysts.

Linn Energy LLC

FBR Capital analyst Chad Mabry downgraded shares of Linn Energy LLC (NASDAQ:LINE) from Market Perform to Underperform rating, while reducing the price target to $2.00 (from $6.00), which implies a downside of 31% from current levels.

Mabry explained, “Our DDM valuation methodology becomes irrelevant following the partnership’s suspension of its distribution effective September 30. From an NAV perspective, we do not see any residual value for unit holders unless commodity prices improve meaningfully. Our $2 price target represents an option value on LINE reinstating a distribution at some point in the future. “

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Chad Mabry has a total average return of -34.7% and a 20.9% success rate. Mabry is ranked #3772 out of 3775 analysts.

Out of the 12 analysts polled by TipRanks, 1 rate Linn Energy stock a Buy, 6 rate the stock a Hold and 5 recommend a Sell. With a return potential of 74%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $5.06.

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