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Wall Street’s top analysts say these are their favorite stocks right now

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The Airbnb logo is seen on a little mini pyramid under the glass Pyramid of the Louvre museum in Paris, France, March 12, 2019.
Charles Platiau | Reuters

Economic data and earnings reports have been dictating the pace of the market as investors search for hints on what the Federal Reserve may do next.

July’s payrolls report came in stronger than expected, rising by 528,000, suggesting the labor market still has plenty of steam. In turn, traders speculated that the Fed will likely keep up its tough stance on interest rates, anticipating greater odds for a 0.75 percentage point hike in September.

As tempting as it may be to follow stocks minute by minute, investors would do well to pick their names with a long-term perspective in mind.

To that end, here are five stocks highlighted by Wall Street’s top professionals, according to TipRanks, a platform that ranks analysts based on their performance.

ArcBest

ArcBest (ARCB) is a transportation sector player. Its subsidiaries operate in the less-than-truckload (LTL) sector. Despite ArcBest’s exposure to rampant macroeconomic and supply chain challenges, the company has managed to perform remarkably, as evidenced by its recent quarterly report.

ArcBest’s second-quarter results came in above expectations, partly driven by the contributions of its truckload broking firm, MoLo. Other highlights of the quarter were the impressive results of the core LTL business, which grew in revenues and tonnage.

Cowen analyst Jason Seidl was encouraged by the company’s strength even though he noted “some freight softness in 2H despite a stronger than expected July.” (See ArcBest Stock Investors sentiments on TipRanks)

Another concern that Seidl pointed out was the weak spot market environment, which led to a sequential decline in ArcBest’s asset-light business. The spot market is where international commodities are exchanged for immediate payment and delivery.

However, Seidl observed that the acquisition of Molo has increased ArcBest’s mix of contractual business. This is likely to somewhat buffer the business against volatility in the spot market.

Near-term headwinds prompted Seidl to lower his price target to $127 from $133. However, overall, the analyst was bullish on ArcBest’s long-term prospects and reiterated a buy rating on the stock.

Seidl is ranked No. 4 among nearly 8,000 analysts rated on TipRanks. Moreover, his ratings have led to positive returns 60% of the time, garnering average returns of 26.6% per rating.

Airbnb

The online hosting marketplace operator Airbnb (ABNB) has been affected by the constant macroeconomic clashes in the U.S. and delayed travel rebound in Asia. Moreover, investors were seemingly unhappy with the company, despite its record-breaking bookings..

Nonetheless, the company’s second-quarter results reflected a strong surge in travel as economies reopened, along with the domestic and international skies. (See Airbnb Stock Chart on TipRanks)

Analyst Brian Fitzgerald of Wells Fargo was impressed by Airbnb’s disciplined operating practices and efficient execution amid the various challenges. The analyst believes that Airbnb has a first-mover advantage in a relatively new and upcoming segment of the hospitality industry. He believes that a post-earnings retraction in share prices can be a great opportunity to increase stock positions for healthy long-term returns.

Maintaining a buy rating on the company, Fitzgerald sees the company’s third-quarter outlook as a “reflection of shifting consumer booking patterns/windows amid high reopening demand than a reflection of company- or category-specific growth limitations.”

However, from the near-term viewpoint, Fitzgerald slashed his prior price target to $185 from $250.

Fitzgerald is is ranked No.151 among nearly 8,000 analysts in TipRanks’ database. Also, 57% of his ratings have been profitable, generating 18.2% in average returns per rating.

Pinterest

Another favorite pick of Brian Fitzgerald is social media stock Pinterest (PINS). The company has been weighed down by intense competition, inflation-led setbacks, and other headwinds that shook investors’ confidence. Nonetheless, its recent quarterly results came in better than feared.

Fitzgerald called out management’s “constructive commentary,” which highlighted the return of monthly active users (MAUs) to normal seasonal growth patterns in the second half of 2022 and a slowdown of investments in 2023, leading to margin expansion.

The analyst was also upbeat about highly regarded activist investor Elliott Management supporting Pinterest’s business strategy. (See Pinterest Blogger Opinions & Sentiment on TipRanks)

However, the near-term operating expenses are expected to be high this year. Moreover, other headwinds are expected to keep revenues for the year under pressure. These forecasts led Fitzgerald to lower the price target to $34 from $37.

Nonetheless, the analyst remained firm on the longer-term outlook, and he reiterated a buy rating on PINS. “While we believe some investors remain skeptical of PINS’ Idea Pins content strategy, we see an emerging content consumption/creation flywheel and think PINS is making the right moves to drive engagement while continuing to refine relevance and shopping tools,” he said.

Cirrus Logic

Most chipmakers with exposure to the mobile phone market have had plenty of challenges this year. Cirrus Logic (CRUS), which delivers optimized integrated circuits for a range of audio, industrial and energy-related applications, is among those companies. (See Cirrus Logic Risk Factors on TipRanks)

Recently, Cirrus delivered strong quarterly results. Following the print, Susquehanna analyst Christopher Rolland analyzed the company’s future prospects.

Rolland highlighted Cirrus‘ long-documented strong relationship with its largest customer, Apple. “We believe their relationship with Apple has never been better, and the solid outlook provided this quarter only reaffirms our belief,” said the analyst.

Rolland also noted the company’s consistent commitment to a strong share repurchase program. Cirrus announced a $500 million share buyback program, in addition to the $136.1 million remaining from an earlier repurchase authorization in 2021.

“With almost $7 billion in net cash, we would hope Cirrus would accelerate these purchases in front of the strong outlook,” said Rolland, reiterating his buy rating and $110 price target on the stock.

Christopher Rolland is also one of the Wall Street analysts ranked five-star on TipRanks. He holds the 6th position among almost 8,000 analyst tracked on the platform. Also, 73% of his ratings have been successful, and each rating has delivered an average return of 25.4%.

Monolithic Power

Monolithic Power (MPWR) makes power solutions for a range of industries, including telecom and cloud computing, but it has suffered from softening demand in the consumer end market. Nonetheless, recently, the company delivered upbeat results and positive commentary.

Needham analyst Quinn Bolton made note of Monolithic Power’s increased “new greenfield design wins and market share gains,” which reinforced his belief that the company is the “fastest secular grower in the analog segment.” (See Monolithic Power Dividend Date & History on TipRanks)

Monolithic Power’s level of expertise in proprietary BCD process technology and applications has driven the company to achieve faster growth than its peers in the analog/mixed-signal domain. “We believe MPS will continue to grow faster than the analog market driven by market share gains, the ramp of new products/design wins and co-development projects with tier-one customers,” said Bolton.

Based on his analysis of Monolithic Power, Quinn Bolton reiterated a buy rating on the stock, and raised the price target to $550 from $500.

Bolton is No.1 in the large database of about 8,000 analysts tracked on TipRanks. In all, 74% of his ratings have been profitable, bringing in 45.1% in average returns per rating.

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