Top analyst Youssef Squali at Cantor is diving in the internet sector with bullish commentary on favorite stocks in his coverage, including Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL).
Online holiday sales proved to be good to these internet giants, as sales are tracking to the analyst’s growth projections of 16% to 18%. However, when looking at this week’s context of the market as a whole, the stocks underperformed.
Youssef Squali has a very good TipRanks score with a 68% success rate and he stands at #27 out of 4,274 analysts. Squali garners 10.3% in his yearly returns. When recommending FB, Squali earns 24.3% in average profits on the stock. When suggesting AMZN, Squali gains 25.8%. When rating GOOGL, Squali realizes 10.2%.
“While Internet stocks rose this week, the index trailed the overall market, reflecting continued rotation into Financials, Energy, Industrials and other categories positioned to benefit most from the President-elect Trump win. YTD the group remains ahead, however, up 21.2% Y/Y,” Squali notes.
Glancing at the bigger picture and thanks to “the strength season-to-date,” the analyst sings the praises of these three key players in the tech sector.
“We feel comfortable with our forecast for 16-18% Y/Y growth in total online sales over the holiday period and continue to view AMZN, FB and GOOGL as prime beneficiaries,” Squali contends.
As such, the analyst reiterates a Buy rating on shares of FB with a $170 price target, which represents just under a 43% increase from current levels.
In regards to Amazon, a big morsel of news was the unveiling of Amazon Go, a physical store that allows customers to shop for household items without requiring them to check out, with plans for a first store to open in Seattle at the start of 2017.
The store’s technology will maximize computer vision, sensor fusion, combined with deep learning to allow consumers to pick up and put away items in their shopping bags to carry out once ready to go, thanks to a virtual shopping cart’s tracking abilities.
Squali believes, “While the concept could be potentially disruptive to retail over time, we note that Amazon plans to debut the store initially in Seattle and that a wider rollout could be some time away. We believe that Amazon will likely use this as a test location to refine the offering and gauge consumers’ responses/adoption before rolling it out on a broader basis.”
Meanwhile, online sales, specifically desktop, charged forward 13% year-over-year for Cyber Week, according to comScore data.
“While this is below the 15% Y/Y growth over the Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 24-27), when the peak shopping season kicked off, it’s still 200bps above the 11% Y/Y growth pre-Thanksgiving, attesting to an elevated level of consumer spending during the peak holiday season (so far),” Squali highlights.
Therefore, the analyst reiterates a Buy rating on AMZN with a price target of $1,000, which represents a 30% increase from where the shares last closed.
Additionally, Squali maintains full bullish steam ahead for Alphabet after an investor conference has highlighted strides toward live television, on back of a strategic alliance with YouTube. The analyst reiterates a Buy rating on shares of GOOGL with a $1,040 price target, which represents a 30% increase from where the stock is currently trading.
“GOOGL, AMZN take aim at traditional cable bundles. CBS CEO disclosed at an investor conference this week that the company had “been able to make a deal with Youtube”, suggesting that Google is making progress in its efforts to bring an over-the-top subscription offering for live TV. Separately, Amazon announced that Prime members would be able to subscribe to HBO and Cinemax for $15/mo and $10/mo, respectively, via Amazon Channels. The latest moves highlights ambitions of Internet companies as consumers spend more time online and cord-cutting picks up,” Squali surmises.