Busy Start on Wall Street

It has been a bustling beginning to the year on Wall Street, as a flood of stock upgrades and downgrades set the tone for early 2024. Notably, Apple and Moderna have been in the spotlight, along with Verizon Communications which seems to be enjoying a boost from Wall Street.

Verizon’s Positive Outlook

KeyBanc Capital Markets recently upgraded Verizon shares, raising them from Sector Weight to Overweight. In a note titled ‘New Year, New Verizon’, KeyBanc highlighted the company’s advantage in the wireless industry for 2024. As a result, the stock soared 3.1% on Tuesday and is predicted to rise further by 1% ahead of Wednesday’s opening. KeyBanc’s price target of $45 suggests a potential 16% increase from Tuesday’s closing price.

Shifting Fortunes for Apple and Moderna

The turning tides of fortune are evident early on this year. This was seen clearly with Moderna and Apple. Moderna, which had the poorest performance among all stocks in the S&P 500 in 2023, experienced a remarkable surge of 13% on January 2nd following an upgrade from Oppenheimer.

On the other hand, Apple faced a setback after Barclays downgraded its shares from Equal Weight to Underweight. Despite a strong performance in the previous year with a nearly 50% increase, Apple stock fell 3.6% on January 2nd, touching a seven-week low.

Overall, it’s clear that Wall Street’s evaluations heavily influence market movements, as companies react to upgrades and downgrades from financial institutions. As we progress into the new year, it will be interesting to see how these early trends continue to shape the market.

Verizon Expected to See Strong Growth in 2024

Analysts at KeyBanc are optimistic about Verizon’s prospects, predicting that 2024 will be a standout year for the telecommunications giant. Led by Brandon Nispel, the analysts forecast an increase in Verizon’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of over 2% in 2024. This growth rate represents the second-fastest since 2018, a notable achievement.

Additionally, the analysts highlighted Verizon’s current trading position, noting that it is at historically low levels. The forward enterprise value-to-EBITDA ratio stands at 6.25 times, compared to its three-year average of 6.9 times. This suggests that Verizon may be undervalued in the market.

One key factor contributing to this positive outlook is the lack of competitive pressure in the telecommunications industry. The analysts noted that wireless carriers appear complacent with their performance and are hesitant to shake up the status quo. This lack of competitive intensity further strengthens Verizon’s position as a leading player in the market.

Overall, KeyBanc’s analysts are bullish on Verizon’s prospects and recommend increasing exposure to the wireless sector. With strong growth potential and a favorable market position, Verizon looks set for a successful year ahead.

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