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Top Wall Street analysts pound the table on these 5 stocks

Source: Nasdaq

Selecting the right stocks against a backdrop of mixed economic data and earnings can be challenging for investors. One strategy is to track the investment ideas of Wall Street pros and glean valuable insights into making successful stock decisions.

To that end, TipRanks, a platform that ranks analysts based on their past performance, has identified five stocks well liked by top-ranking analysts. Learn more about these stocks below.

Amazon

E-commerce and cloud computing giant Amazon (AMZN) is this week's first pick. Earlier this month, the company trounced analysts' second-quarter earnings estimates and returned to double-digit revenue growth.

DBS analyst Sachin Mittal noted that, after seven quarters of losses due to macro headwinds, the company's retail segment generated operating profit in the second quarter. The analyst expects the retail segment to be a key driver of AMZN's share price appreciation from this year onwards.

He also noted that, with 32% share of the global cloud infrastructure market, AWS is the most valuable business for Amazon. It is worth noting that AWS accounted for only about 17% of AMZN's overall revenue in the second quarter but generated 70% of the company's profit.

Mittal increased his price target for AMZN to $175 from $150 and reaffirmed a buy rating on the stock, citing the company's leadership position in e-commerce and dominant position in cloud through AWS.

The analyst is also optimistic about the robust growth opportunity for Amazon's online advertising business. "More advertisers are turning to AMZN's retail media network to deceive Apple's privacy changes and get closer to shoppers," Mittal said.

Mittal ranks No. 744 among more than 8,500 analysts on TipRanks. His ratings have been successful 75% of the time, with each rating delivering an average return of 18.4%. (See Amazon insider trading activity on TipRanks).

AppLovin

Mobile app technology platform AppLovin (APP) recently impressed Wall Street by surpassing second-quarter earnings estimates. The company also issued better-than-anticipated revenue guidance for the third quarter.

Following the Q2 print, Goldman Sachs analyst Eric Sheridan increased his price target for AppLovin to $50 from $25 and reiterated a buy rating. The analyst noted that the evolution of the company's software platform drove revenue and margin upside in the second quarter, in the wake of improving industry trends.

The analyst raised his operating estimates to reflect higher revenue growth expectations, fueled by the launch of the company's latest artificial intelligence (AI)-based advertising engine, Axon 2.0.

Despite near-term concerns about volatility in the advertising and gaming end markets, Sheridan is bullish on the stock. He continues "to look long-term at the collection of businesses under AppLovin as producing above average industry growth and a strong margin profile in a recovered mobile ads/mobile gaming landscape."  

Sheridan holds the 188th position among more than 8,500 analysts on TipRanks. His ratings have been profitable 61% of the time, with each rating delivering an average return of 13.3%. (See AppLovin Stock Chart on TipRanks)

Datadog

Another Goldman Sachs analyst on this week's list is Kash Rangan, who remains bullish on Datadog (DDOG) even after the cloud-based IT monitoring and security platform spooked investors with its lackluster revenue outlook for the third quarter. The company also trimmed its full-year revenue guidance.

Rangan noted that the slowdown in spending by Datadog's larger customers and the pace of net new enterprise additions (80 in Q2 2023 compared to 130 in the previous quarter) disappointed investors.

Nevertheless, the analyst is encouraged by the solid second-quarter bookings, with remaining performance obligations (or RPO) increasing 42% year-over-year compared to the 33% growth seen in the first quarter. The growth in RPO was driven by higher average deal size and contract duration.   

Rangan reiterated a buy rating on DDOG stock with a price target of $114, saying that his long-term thesis remains intact. "Datadog maintains its competitive advantage as an E2E [end-to-end] observability platform as validated by product consolidation driving large deal sizes."

The analyst also highlighted solid product stickiness, growing platform penetration, and product innovation as reasons for his optimism.

Rangan ranks 601 out of more than 8,500 analysts tracked on TipRanks. Also, 58% percent of his ratings have been profitable with an average return of 8%. (See Datadog's Blogger Opinions & Sentiment on TipRanks)  

Royal Caribbean

We now move to cruise operator Royal Caribbean (RCL), which recently raised its full-year outlook and reported blockbuster second-quarter earnings. The company is enjoying strong business due to pent-up travel demand.

This week, Tigress Financial analyst Ivan Feinseth reiterated a buy rating on RCL and raised his price target to $139 from $102, citing stellar demand for cruise vacations, the company's industry-leading position and its solid value proposition.

The analyst thinks that the company is well-positioned to gain from the reprioritization of consumer spending toward travel and experiences following the pandemic. He said that demand in North America remains strong. In particular, Feinseth expects RCL's "Perfect Day at CocoCay" private island resort to be a key growth driver and industry differentiator, which could fuel significant incremental revenue growth and yields.

"RCL's current liquidity and ramp-up in cash flow will enable the ongoing funding of its fleet expansion and upgrades, growth initiatives, and balance sheet optimization," said Feinseth.

Feinseth holds the 266th position among more than 8,500 analysts on TipRanks. His ratings have been profitable 59% of the time, delivering an average return of 11.8%. (See RCL Financial Statements on TipRanks) 

Netflix

We end this week's list with streaming giant Netflix (NFLX), which reported upbeat second-quarter earnings but fell short of analysts' revenue expectations.

Despite the decline in NFLX shares since its Q2 results, JPMorgan's Doug Anmuth reiterated a buy rating on the stock with a price target of $505. The analyst pointed out certain areas that investors are concerned about, including paid sharing monetization and how and when it will boost average revenue per membership.

While paid sharing monetization is happening at a slower pace than Anmuth's initial forecast, he continues to expect it to be highly accretive to revenue over time. Of the more than 100 million password-sharing users globally, the analyst expects Netflix to monetize 18.8 million by the end of this year, 31 million by the end of 2024 and 38 million by the end of 2025.    

However, Anmuth, who ranks 92 out of more than 8,500 analysts tracked on TipRanks, expects advertising to be a bigger and more reliable revenue stream than paid sharing for Netflix in the future.

Calling Netflix a key beneficiary of the ongoing disruption of linear TV, the analyst said: "The recent launch of NFLX's ad-supported tier, as well as the broader Paid Sharing launch, should further help re-accelerate subscriber & revenue growth while driving high-margin incremental revenue."

Anmuth has a success rate of 61% and each of his ratings has returned 17.1%, on average. (See Netflix Hedge Fund Trading Activity on TipRanks).

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