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Thursday’s Analyst Calls: Nvidia’s Price Target Raised, PayPal Receives Significant Upgrade

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Nvidia and PayPal were highlighted by analysts on Thursday. Daiwa raised Nvidia’s price target to $1,325, predicting over 15% upside, while Mizuho upgraded PayPal to buy with a price target implying more than 45% upside. Evercore ISI upgraded Okta, citing an ‘upbeat’ earnings tone and a more focused path for the company. Mizuho Securities downgraded First Solar, citing robust pricing power as the reason for the change. Baird initiated coverage on UnitedHealth Group, listing it as a top long-term play with optimism for the next decade of industry transformation.

Daiwa Capital Markets increased Nvidia’s price target to $1,325, highlighting the company as the ‘big winner’ in artificial intelligence. Analyst Louis Miscioscia emphasized Nvidia’s positioning in the AI market, stating that the company has built what AI needs. Nvidia’s stock has seen significant gains in 2024, with investors showing enthusiasm for the company’s AI prospects. Miscioscia believes that Nvidia’s importance in the AI sector is comparable to the launch of the PC, internet, and mobile phone, signaling a potential for further growth.

Mizuho upgraded PayPal to buy after years of struggles, with analyst Dan Dolev citing potential for a comeback. The introduction of PayPal’s Fastlane product has shown promise, with projections for transaction margin dollar lift in the medium term. Dolev expressed optimism about the stabilization of Branded Checkout trends and the addressable market for Fastlane. Despite challenges in recent years, PayPal shares are showing signs of recovery, with a 47% upside potential from the upgraded price target.

Evercore ISI upgraded Okta following a positive earnings tone and a more focused path for the company. Analyst Peter Levine expressed confidence in Okta’s current valuation and de-risked numbers, leading to an upgrade to outperform from in line. The firm’s forecast implies nearly 27% upside from the previous close. Despite a lack of strong appetite for software, Evercore believes that Okta’s unique situation offers a favorable investment opportunity.

Mizuho Securities downgraded First Solar to neutral from buy, with an increased price target of $274. Analyst Maheep Mandloi noted that the company already reflects robust pricing power, leading to the downgrade. The firm is not assuming a higher price premium in the short term, offset by a nominal 5% yearly price decline assumption after 2029. Despite the downgrade, First Solar stock has seen significant gains in 2024, emphasizing the volatility and potential in the renewable energy sector.

Baird initiated coverage on UnitedHealth Group, listing it as a top long-term play with an outperform rating and a $597 per share price target. Analyst Michael Ha highlighted the company as best positioned for the next decade of industry transformation, with growth potential tied to the expansion of its managed care business. Ha expressed optimism about UnitedHealth’s differentiated position in the market, particularly in its Optum arm, and the potential for sustained earnings growth and margin expansion. Despite a slight decline in UnitedHealth stock in 2024, the company’s long-term outlook remains favorable.

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