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5 analyst picks of the day: Meta nabs another upgrade | Pro Recap

By Davit Kirakosyan

Investing.com -- Here is your daily Pro Recap of the biggest analyst picks you may have missed since yesterday.

Meta earns one more upgrade this week

KeyBanc upgraded Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) to Overweight from Sector Weight with a price target of $240.00, noting it now sees the company as a leaner business after the announcement of the second big round of layoffs.

This comes just one and two days after Morgan Stanley and Edward Jones upgraded the stock.

KeyBanc believes the latest cost-cutting measures, which led to an approximately 10% reduction in the company's 2023 operating expense guidance, along with improvements in CPMs due to a combination of product launches, foreign exchange rates, and better spending practices, will result in an operating margin of at least 31% by 2024.

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As a result, the firm now projects Meta's EPS for 2023 and 2024 to be $10.57 and $13.39, respectively, which is 6% and 9% higher than the current market consensus.

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PulteGroup upgraded to Outperform

Wolfe Research upgraded PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM) to Outperform from Peer Perform with a price target of $64.

According to the firm, "balance" is the "appropriate word when describing PHM, from its consumer segmentation and Spec/BTO strategy to its steady capital allocation and highly profitable land/operating philosophy, which some investors have historically viewed as 'boring.' However, they "find little boring in this story."

The firm said PulteGroup has the potential to generate more than $2.3 billion in operating cash flow in 2023, despite having a market capitalization of only $12.5B, which equates to a cash flow yield of approximately 19%. This will enable the company to achieve a net cash position of $2 per share by the end of the year after using $750 million for share repurchases.

The firm also added that they expect PulteGroup will "consistently generate GM that is 300-to-400 bps above peer average throughout 2023" while having one of the healthiest balance sheets in the group.

So-Young International upgraded at Citi following a Q4 beat

Citi upgraded So-Young International (NASDAQ:SY) to Buy from Neutral and raised its price target to $3.00 from $0.80 following the company’s reported Q4 results, with both EPS and revenues coming in above expectations, resulting in a 27% stock price jump on Tuesday.

The analysts believe the gradual recovery of platform business driven by stronger demand for light medical aesthetic services and incremental revenue contribution from SY Prime in 2023, should maintain the company’s industry position as a leading vertical player, enable it to regain growth trajectory, and achieve above-sector growth.

2 more upgrades

Argus upgraded Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) to Buy from Hold with a price target of $104.00, noting that the company will benefit from higher rates, higher ROE, and tax credits beginning in 2023.

Barclays upgraded Regency Centers Corporation (NASDAQ:REG) to Overweight from Equalweight and raised its price target to $70.00 from $69.00.

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