PayPal stock forecast darkens: The week’s biggest analyst moves

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Midweek, PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) slid on a downgrade to Underperform from Neutral at SMBC Nikko.

The firm placed a $75 target on the equity noting “…when juxtaposing a digital payments industry defined by innovation with a growing focus on the ability to deliver margin expansion, we believe PayPal has never been more vulnerable to branded share losses.”

Shares fell from roughly $80 to $76 during the session on the downgrade before rebounding the rest of the week and finishing at $79.09, up 0.94%.

On Friday, Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) got a price target increase by JPMorgan to $60 from $53, with the bank keeping its rating at Neutral. JPMorgan wrote, “…the meaningful depreciation of cryptocurrency prices will make it much harder for Coinbase to return to profitability.”

Crypto-anything is popular around the world, and even a simple PT increase, with JPMorgan staying sidelined, sent the equity flying in the premarket session. The strength continued throughout the day and Coinbase closed Friday up nearly $6, or 11.61%, at $55.16.

Earlier in the week, BMO Capital upgraded Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) to Outperform with a $160 PT.

The bank noted, “We see positive consensus estimate revisions and are 18% above on 2023 EPS. We expect mid-cycle cracks to be above historical levels, and even on 2024 estimates, shares trade at 12.1% FCF, 4.2x EV/EBITDA, and 9.0x P/E.”

Share rose on the upgrade and closed the week up 5.30% as energy names continue to have appeal.

And Jefferies upgraded tobacco distributor Philip Morris (NYSE:PM) to Buy with a $118 price target.

The brokerage said it is now incorporating Philip Morris’ recent deal to expand its stake to more than 90% in tobacco outfit Swedish Match, which PM is moving to acquire outright.

It added, “On a longer-term basis, we have consistently been constructive on PM because it is leading the shift over to the tobacco model of the future, both RRP (reduced-risk products) and beyond nicotine. … Our previous near-term caution on PM had been based on an assumption of an unfavorable European Tobacco Tax Directive (EU TTD) for RRP taxes, and then PM’s lack of current RRP exposure to US, and potential share and cost implications around this.”

PM shares jumped on Thursday, making up lost ground from the previous session, and closed nearly even for the week.


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