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Analysts' Actions: Apple, GoPro, Imprivata, Itron, Qlik Technologies

Stocks in this article: AAPL GPRO MNST JPM QLIK CCL

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- RATINGS CHANGES

Apple (AAPL) was upgraded at JMP Securities to outperform from market perform. Twelve-month price target is $135. New products and applications can drive resurgent growth and margin leverage, JMP Securities said.

Carnival (CCL) was downgraded to hold at TheStreet Ratings.

GoPro (GPRO) was initiated at Barclays with an equal weight rating. Driven by strong revenue growth in and beyond the action camera niche, Barclays said. Twelve-month price target is $45.

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GoPro was initiated at J.P. Morgan with an overweight rating. Twelve-month price target is $51. The company is a profitable, fast-growth business, addressing a large market as a category-defining brand, J.P. Morgan said.

Imprivata (IMPR) was initiated at J.P. Morgan with an overweight rating. Twelve-month price target is $19. The company is a leader in the health care market and is well-positioned to expand, J.P. Morgan said.

Itron (ITRI) was downgraded at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch to underperform from buy. Twelve-month price target is $39. Company is facing increased growth risks, Bank of America/Merrill said.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) was upgraded at FBR Capital Markets to outperform from market perform. Twelve-month price target is $70. Company deserves to trade at a premium to its peers, FBR Capital Markets said.

Monster Beverage (MNST) was downgraded at Morgan Stanley to equal-weight from overweight. Estimates were also cut, based on lower expected U.S. sales growth, Morgan Stanley said.

Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT) was upgraded to buy at TheStreet Ratings.

Qlik Tech (QLIK) was upgraded at Barclays to overweight from equal weight. Pending release of QV.Next should be likely contributor to meaningful upside, Barclays said. Twelve-month price target is $31.

Editor's note: To see analysts' stock comments and changes to price targets and earnings estimates, go to "Street Notes" which is available only to Real Money subscribers. To find out how to become a subscriber, please click here.

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Now let's look at TheStreet Ratings' take on some of these stocks.

TheStreet Ratings team rates APPLE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate APPLE INC (AAPL) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • AAPL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Although AAPL's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14 is very low, it is currently higher than that of the industry average. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.32, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Computers & Peripherals industry and the overall market, APPLE INC's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • 43.45% is the gross profit margin for APPLE INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 22.39% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $13,538.00 million or 8.26% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, APPLE INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 5.17%.

TheStreet Ratings team rates QLIK TECHNOLOGIES INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate QLIK TECHNOLOGIES INC (QLIK) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Software industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 96.0% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$13.21 million to -$25.88 million.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Software industry and the overall market, QLIK TECHNOLOGIES INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 32.32%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 93.33% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Naturally, the overall market trend is bound to be a significant factor. However, in one sense, the stock's sharp decline last year is a positive for future investors, making it cheaper (in proportion to its earnings over the past year) than most other stocks in its industry. But due to other concerns, we feel the stock is still not a good buy right now.
  • QLIK TECHNOLOGIES INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past two years. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, QLIK TECHNOLOGIES INC swung to a loss, reporting -$0.12 versus $0.04 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.25 versus -$0.12).
  • The gross profit margin for QLIK TECHNOLOGIES INC is currently very high, coming in at 86.08%. Regardless of QLIK's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, QLIK's net profit margin of -23.29% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.

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