Analysts recently weighed in on online payments giant Paypal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL) and communications and information technology company Nokia Corp (ADR) (NYSE:NOK). While Paypal received bullish outlooks based on its impressive 1Q:16 earnings results, Nokia also generated a bullish analyst outlook despite a disappointing earnings release earlier last week. Let’s take a closer look:
Paypal Holdings Inc
Paypal posted its 1Q:16 earnings on April 27, which was described as “the best quarter in the time since I joined PayPal” by company CEO Dan Schulman. The report showed an earnings beat as well as many key performance indicators validating significant user demand and a strong payment processing platform.
In light of this, BTIG analyst Giuliano Bologna assigned a Buy rating on the stock, with a 12-month price target of $48.00.
The analyst explains that PYPL is a “show me” company, in that it will need to show investors it is able to gain traction before it can “break out meaningfully to the upside.” Fortunately, Bologna points out that shareholders may not need to wait long to see the benefits of investing in PYPL. He explains the company is scheduled to host an analyst day on Wednesday, May 18, which Bologna expects will present PayPal with the opportunity to address issues standing in the way of further appreciation.
Further, PayPal’s management has encouraged analysts and investors to focus on the company’s non-GAAP operating margins as opposed to transaction margins considering that the company has meaningful opportunities for cost savings ahead, according to the analyst.
Bologna expresses his overall optimism, noting, “We continue to view PYPL as the most direct means by which investors can participate in the rapid global growth of mobile payments and e-commerce, and that the company continues to stand out versus its large-cap peers in the financial technology space.”
According to TipRanks, the average analyst consensus for PYPL is Moderate Buy, with 59% of analysts bullish, 36% of analysts neutral, and 5% of analysts bearish. All recommendations amounted to a 12-month average price target of $45.63 with an upside of 15.58%.
Nokia Corp (ADR)
Nokia has recently undergone multiple earnings resets within its IPR and Networks margins. Further, the stock price unperformed year to date while the company seems to offer little potential regarding ALU deal synergies and licensing/technologies.
In spite of this, Merrill Lynch analyst Kai Korschelt suggests networks margins should trough in 1H16, and emphasizes his confidence that management’s 7% margin floor for 2016 is conservative. Due to these reasons, Korschelt upgraded his rating for the stock from Hold to Buy, with a price target of 6.00 EUR.
The analyst explains, “Our bear/base/bull scenario analysis suggests limited/10% downside but 40% to 100% upside potential on a 1-2 year view should management deliver on the ALU integration. Add in >7% expected cash returns p.a. with room for more, and we believe it is time to Buy Nokia again.”
Korschelt elaborates further on management, mentioning that it has become a “victim of its own conservatism” with its issuing of a 7% margin floor for this year. The analyst explains the under-par guidance is not sufficient as “1Q is the seasonal low-point and cost savings and a likely improvement in high-margin US spending should become tailwinds into 2H.”
The analyst further mentions, “With 30% of market cap in net cash we expect >7% in annual cash returns including the E1.5bn share buyback starting in mid-June. By 2018 up to 17% of market cap could be ‘excess cash’ additionally returned to shareholders, in our view.” He continues to explain that Nokia may potentially benefit from a 3-5% EPS increase from refinancing at low yields, specially, sourced from ECB’s Corporate Sector Purchase Program (CSPP).
Korschelt estimates NOK’s current share price only acknowledges pre-synergies Networks margins and net cash. The analyst believes the share price fails to account for technologies and synergies, which investors are potentially getting “for free”.
According to TipRanks, Kai Korschelt’s prediction succeeded 33% of the time, ultimately delivering a on-year average return per recommendation of (-1.0%).
The average analyst consensus rating for NOK is Moderate Buy, with 73% of analysts bullish, and 27% of analysts neutral. All recommendations amounted to a 12-month average price target of $6.99, marking a 34.94% upside from where shares last closed.