Loop Capital Lifts Price Target for Micron Technology, Inc. Heading Into FQ4 Earnings, Piper Jaffray Cautious on Nike Inc’s Fundamentals Ahead of FQ1 Print

Expect Another Beat From Micron Technology, Inc, Says Loop Capital

Semiconductor giant Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) will report fiscal fourth-quarter 2017 earnings today after the closing bell. The flash memory specialist, which has seen its shares price rise 58% year to date, will look to extend its winning streak.

Ahead of the print, Loop Capital analyst Betsy Van Hees reiterated a Buy rating on Micron shares, while raising her price target to $46 (from $40), which represents a potential upside of 32% from where the stock is currently trading.

Van Hees wrote in a note, “While Street estimates steadily continue to go up ahead of the print, we believe favorable memory dynamics of tight supply, increasing prices, and cost downs bolstered by peak seasonality will drive another beat towards the high-end of the guidance ranges. We are also looking for just a modest raise for FQ1 (Nov) 2018 as we think management’s guidance will likely be conservative in an attempt to keep the bar in check and Street estimates from getting out over their skis. Although the stock has increased about 28% since early August compared to the roughly 7% of the SOX over the same time period, we believe with the semi-cycle far from peaking and no near-term negative catalysts on the horizon to change the favorable memory supply/demand dynamics that risk/reward remains compelling.”

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Betsy Van Hees has a yearly average return of 21.8% and a 71.2% success rate. Van Hees has a 53.9% average return when recommending MU, and is ranked #116 out of 4660 analysts.

How does Van Hees’ bullish bet weigh in against the Street? It appears the analyst is not the only one enthusiastic on this chip giant’s prospects, with TipRanks analytics demonstrating MU as a Strong Buy. Out of 23 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 21 are bullish on Micron stock while 2 remain sidelined. With a return potential of nearly 32%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $45.68.

Piper Jaffray Expects Nike to Come Out with Squishy Earnings After Hours

Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) is set to report its first quarter fiscal 2018 earnings today after market close. The sportswear giant has seen some tough times in the year so far. Growth in the U.S. has slowed down dramatically of late, while Nike faces rising pressure from rivals such as Adidas and Under Armour, especially in the footwear business.

According to Piper Jaffray analyst Erinn Murphy, intra-quarter reads point to ongoing deceleration in Nike momentum, increasing concern around Jordan, and intensifying promotional pressure on the category domestically.

“In our view, the NKE bulls are still denying the durability of adidas’ resurgence, which we view as having longer growth sustainability. For Q1, we see revenue as inline at best, GM as worse and would expect earnings to “beat” tied to SG&A mgmt. & belowthe-line items. We are approaching NA futures with some caution as NA retailers adjust their 2H buys. Finally, we see potential risk to Q2’s guide–making the 2H assumptions steeper. We expect management to speak to some of the components of the FY18 guide but namely expect lower GM offset in part by SG&A management,” Murphy opined.

As such, Murphy reiterates a Neutral rating on Nike shares, with a price target of $53, which represents a slight downside potential from current levels. (To watch Murphy’s track record, click here)

Overall, cautious optimism circles this athletic retail player, as TipRanks analytics exhibit NKE as a Buy. Out of 20 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 9 are bullish on Nike stock, 10 remain sidelined, and 1 is bearish on the stock. With a return potential of nearly 9%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $57.82.


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