Heading into the last 4 months of the year, J.P. Morgan top analyst Doug Anmuth highlights his top Internet picks, which include Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL). Let’s take a closer look:
So what’s in store for Facebook stock this year? Anmuth highlights three key drivers in 2H16: (1) Ad revenue deceleration likely slower than feared – “We think expectations are relatively in check following mgmt’s cautious tone around tougher ad rev comps in 2H16 and guide to lower sequential growth rates in 3Q and 4Q […] we feel downside is limited given our expectation for N-T growth to continue to be driven by the mobile News Feed, including video and DPAs, along w/Insta. (2) Opex spend – “We model +45% Y/Y ’16 cash opex growth, which we think could be a driver of the stock in 2H16 as margins are likely more stable than in.” (3) Attractive valuation as FB’s multiple has already compressed.
While overall enthusiasm toward Facebook is a bit muted, the analyst believes the stock presents a good buying opportunity. As such, Anmuth reiterates an Overweight rating on FB, with a price target of $170, which represents a potential upside of 30.5% from where the stock is currently trading.
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Doug Anmuth has a yearly average return of 19.8% and a 67.8% success rate. Anmuth has a 57.2% average return when recommending FB, and is ranked #20 out of 4147 analysts.
Out of the 36 analysts polled by TipRanks (in the past 3 months), 31 rate Facebook stock a Buy, and 5 rate the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 20%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $156.01.
Amazon is another J.P. Morgan favorite heading into the last 4 months of the year. Analyst Doug Anmuth reiterates an Overweight rating on the stock, with a price target of $925, which implies an upside of 18%.
The analyst noted, “The AMZN story has come together with profitability as AMZN continues to benefit from the AMZN flywheel, Prime, a growing distribution footprint, getting closer to customers, 3P, AWS…the list goes on. AMZN’s stock is currently trading near its all-time high after increasing 118% in ’15 and 14% YTD, but we think it still remains early in both eComm and public cloud adoption, w/plenty of headroom. Importantly, we believe AMZN is now at a level of scale and gross profit dollars where it can both invest aggressively and deliver material profits.”
The overwhelmingly majority of experts say Amazon is a “Buy.” The average forecast is for the stock to hit $888.45 in the coming months, according to data compiled by TipRanks.
Anmuth also highlights the search giant as a top pick, assigning an Overweight rating and $950 price target on GOOGL. The analyst explains, “Alphabet shares have underperformed the market at just +2% YTD vs. +7% for SPX despite posting strong 23%+ FXHN revenue growth in 1Q and 2Q w/operating income margin expanding 100bps+ in both quarters. We think Alphabet share performance YTD was weighted down by concerns over N-T revenue growth decel and TAC growth along with Alphabet shares being wellowned. However, we continue to believe strong revenue growth, greater cost discipline, better transparency, and attractive valuation should carry the stock higher.”
Anmuth is not the only analyst considering GOOGL stock a “Buy” at today’s price. According to TipRanks.com, out of 45 analysts, 44 rate Alphabet stock a Buy, while 1 rates the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 16%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $927.84.