If you're a top stock actively trading on the market, what's the best way to start a new year or decade?
For investors in certain companies, the answer might just be "the target of a glowing analyst report." Others of a more technological bent could be inclined toward "introduce a cool, edgy new product." Well, on Tuesday we had one stock rise above the market because of the former, and one the latter. Read on for details.
The 2020 version of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas kicked off on Tuesday. The inaugural day of the influential trade show usually features the unveiling of some wow! new pieces of gadgetry. One stock that benefited from this on Tuesday was Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER), which closed up nearly 4%.
Uber and Korean carmaker Hyundai (OTC:HYMTF) announced they are collaborating on flying taxis for the former's nascent Uber Elevate aerial unit. The two have formed a partnership to further this aim: Hyundai will handle the manufacturing duties, while Uber will operate the fleet and the various technologies that keep it aloft flying passengers.
Uber and Hyundai added that they are "collaborating on infrastructure concepts to support take-off and landing for this new class of vehicles."
The two companies unveiled a set of concept art for their SA-1 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) "personal air vehicle," plus several renderings of a landing platform. It all looks very sleek and futuristic, as you'd expect from rideshare and vehicle manufacturers hoping to get a big piece of our descendants' transportation business.
Uber is already in the skies. In New York City last summer, it began its Uber Copter service from Lower Manhattan to JFK Airport in Queens. It's encouraging that it has roped in Hyundai -- a big, prominent, and ambitious manufacturer -- on its aerial efforts.
Should we buy into Uber on the basis of the Hyundai collaboration news? I'd say no.
Although the rideshare company is clearly serious and dedicated to its conquest of the air, it's still a highly speculative endeavor. Much like Uber's overall business model, it's an initiative that will be extremely costly, and likely heavily loss-making in the initial stages (at the very least).
It might not be in the aerial taxi business, but IT memory specialist Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) was a high flyer on Tuesday, closing up by nearly 9% on the day.
An analyst upgrade, accompanied by a sunny analysis, will do that to a stock. Cowen lifted its recommendation on Micron stock to outperform (buy) from the previous market perform (neutral). More significantly, it made a big boost to its target price, setting it at $70 -- it was formerly at $50.
The core reason why is simple: Cowen believes the market for memory will soon rebound. Due to a supply glut, selling prices have fallen notably in recent times. This hurt the results of companies active in the segment -- Micron, for example, suffered a scary 35% year-over-year drop in revenue in its most recently reported quarter.
Based on encouraging developments in the DRAM spot market, Cowen feels that prices are in front of a recovery. If that occurs, Micron and its memory maker peers will get a water-in-the-desert boost from the increase. This might not be sufficient to offset the queasy drops in sales quite yet, so perhaps a little more pain is in store for the segment.
But mission-critical memory is crucial in a great many devices and applications, and is set to grow in demand thanks to the needs of Internet of Things (IoT) functionalities, advanced vehicle systems, and other bleeding-edge technology.
The memory market is highly cyclical, with often dramatic ups and downs, giving the sector's stocks a roller-coaster feel. Yet even if Cowen's projections for an imminent recovery aren't realized, this is a fine long-term business to be in for those who don't mind an often very bumpy ride. I'd be a buyer of Micron stock.