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Mastercard, Inc. (MA) saw improved gains over the past month, outperforming the S&P500 and rising by approximately 22.6% compared to the S&P’s gain of about 4.0% over the past year. Hedge funds and institutions were both actively buying the stock in the fourth quarter, resulting in this technology company rising on the WhaleWisdom Heatmap to a rank of 25 from 37.

Mastercard is a financial services and technology company that is a major player in the global payments industry. The company serves as an intermediary between consumers, merchants, businesses, financial institutions, and governments. Mastercard offers payment solutions such as credit and debit cards, payment programs, and prepaid cards. Mastercard generates revenue through fees paid by financial institutions that issue Mastercard-branded payment products used by consumers.

Positive Results in Fourth Quarter

Mastercard saw favorable results in the fourth quarter and the aggregate 13F shares held by hedge funds increased to about 172.8 million from 172.0 million, a mild increase of approximately 0.4%. Of the hedge funds, 46 created new positions, 198 added to an existing one, 64 exited, and 152 reduced their stakes. Institutions were also buying. Overall, institutions increased their aggregate holdings by about 1.9%, to approximately 734.4 million from 720.4 million.


Favorable Estimates

Analysts expect to see earnings rise in 2022 and 2023, bringing earnings per share up to $10.25 by December 2022 and $12.69 by December 2023. Sales estimates are also favorable, with an anticipated rise by late 2023 to approximately $26.1 billion, up from $22.3 billion in December 2022. Mastercard’s 13F metrics between 2006 and 2022 show an encouraging upward trend.


Mixed Actions from Analysts

Analyst Ramsey El Assal of Barclays Investment Bank lowered the firm’s price target on Mastercard to $420 from $430 while maintaining an Overweight rating. After viewing fourth-quarter results and guidance, Mizuho analyst Dan Dolev had a different outlook for Mastercard. Dolev raised the firm’s price target on shares to $435 from $400 and kept a Buy rating. Differing views on ratings and values are likely impacted by the competition Mastercard may soon face from Zelle, a digital payments network that some major banks are considering bringing to retail. Seven banks own Early Warning Services, the company that owns Zelle. If Zelle comes to more retailers, it will offer customers an alternative payment option to use in place of credit cards such as Mastercard.

Favorable Outlook

Mastercard’s year-over-year growth is very encouraging for investors, and analysts’ estimates speak to the stock’s future potential. Mastercard may face added competition if some banks choose to broaden payment options. But for now, the company continues to gain ground in the industry.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) traveled along a rocky path over the past six months, following impressive growth in the Fall of 2021. The semiconductor company was added to the WhaleWisdom Whale Index on February 15, 2022. While hedge funds were selling, AMD has outperformed the S&P 500. Over the past year, AMD has risen approximately 32.3% compared to the S&P’s gain of about 12.8%.

AMD is a global semiconductor company that develops central processing units (CPU), graphics processing units (GPU), chipsets, and other computing products. AMD has a Computing and Graphics segment and an Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom segment that appeals to business and consumer markets. AMD’s product line is well known for its use in desktop notebooks, server processors, professional graphics, and gaming applications. In February, AMD announced the completion of its acquisition of Xilinx, a technology and semiconductor company known for its programmable logic devices. This acquisition expands AMD’s portfolio and adds to its competitive presence in the information technology sector.

Mixed Results from Hedge Funds and Institutions

AMD saw hedge funds actively selling in the fourth quarter. The aggregate shares held by hedge funds decreased to about 158.5 million from 159.9 million, a change of approximately 0.9%. Of the hedge funds, 50 created new positions, 102 added to an existing holding, 28 exited, and 107 reduced their stakes. In contrast to hedge funds, institutions were buying and increased their aggregate holdings by about 1.9%, to approximately 830.9 million from 815.6 million. Also, long-term 13F metrics between 2002 and 2022 suggest that AMD continues to have investment potential.


Encouraging Multi-year Estimates

Analysts expect to see earnings rise through 2023, with anticipated growth that could bring earnings to $4.04 by December 2022 and $4.91 by December 2023. Year-over-year estimated increases could bring approximately 29.1 billion in revenue by late 2023, up from an estimated 25.5 billion for December 2022.


Analysts Keeping a Close Watch

AMD is receiving mixed attention from analysts, with more optimism for the company’s growth in 2022 and less certainty about market corrections in the coming year. Blayne Curtis of Barclays Investment Bank expressed concerns for estimated performance in 2023 due to recently higher levels of growth seen in many of the computing and technology company’s end markets. Curtis lowered his rating on AMD to equal-weight from overweight and reduced the price target to $115 from $148. Goldman Sachs removed AMD from its Conviction Buy List due to anticipated challenges over the next year. Analyst Anthony Cassamassino of Bank of America views AMD as a buy, optimism about AMD’s potential for market share gains and their recently completed merger with Xilinx.

Fair Outlook

AMD’s performance waned recently, but analysts’ continued earnings and revenue growth predictions are encouraging. Their products and services are likely to see increased demand related to growth across computing and graphics portfolios. The technology stock holds long-term potential for patient investors.

Adobe Inc. (ADBE) has experienced a great deal of volatility year-to-date. Over the past 2-years, Adobe has underperformed the S&P 500, with the stock rising by approximately 41.1% compared to the S&P’s overall gain of about 83.5%. Hedge funds were selling, though the stock managed to climb the WhaleWisdom Heatmap during the fourth quarter, to a rank of eleven from seventeen.

Adobe is a multinational computer software company specializing in digital marketing and digital media solutions. It operates through a segmented business model that includes Digital Media, Digital Marketing, and Print and Publishing. Adobe’s products and services are geared towards consumers, professionals, enterprises, marketers, and application developers across multiple operating systems, devices, and media. The company is well known for software and programs such as Acrobat Reader, the Portable Document Format (PDF), Adobe Flash web software ecosystem, Photoshop image editing software, and Adobe Creative Cloud.

February and March were not easy months for investors, with volatility in the market due to uncertain times throughout the world; Russia’s war in Ukraine, rising gas and oil prices, inflation, and impending interest rate hikes all impact the United States (US) economy. Like other software and technology companies, Adobe has been complying with government sanctions imposed by the US, European Union, and the United Kingdom by terminating access to many of its products and services to Russia and halting all new sales of Adobe products and services in Russia. While seen as a temporary action, these various changes will negatively impact Adobe’s potential revenue stream for 2022.

Hedge Funds Are Selling

Adobe received mixed responses from Hedge Funds and Institutions in the fourth quarter. While Hedge Funds were selling, some Institutions added the stock to their portfolios, and the aggregate 13F shares held by institutions increased to approximately 389.0 million from 388.1 million, a change of about 0.2%. In contrast, Hedge Funds decreased their holdings by about 6.3% to 90.4 million from 96.5 million. Overall, 37 created new positions, 153 added to an existing holding, 46 exited, and 152 reduced their stakes. While Adobe’s stock price recently saw a dip, long-term 13F metrics between 2002 and 2022 suggest that Adobe has long-term investment potential.


Encouraging Earnings Estimates

Analysts expect earnings to grow over the next two years, rising to $13.66 by November 2022 and $16.13 by November 2023. Year-over-year estimated increases could bring revenue to $20.5 billion by late 2023, up from the anticipated $17.9 billion for 2022.


Analysts Lower Price Targets

Adobe’s shares plunged after second-quarter guidance was shared, with earnings falling below market expectations. Analyst Keith Weiss of Morgan Stanley lowered his price target to $591 from $652, giving Adobe an outperform rating. Weiss had noted the promise of a second-quarter price increase and the need to move past concerns about a weak spending environment in Europe. Weiss is looking to see more steady performance from Adobe.

Bank of America analyst Brad Sills kept a buy rating on the software giant but lowered his firm’s price target on the stock to $560 from $640. Lower first-quarter revenue was due to the war-related slowdown of sales in Russia and nearby areas. Sills cited a lower earnings model and concerns for Adobe’s Digital Media business segment. Deutsche Bank’s Brad Zelnick also lowered the firm’s price target on Adobe shares to $575 from $600. Zelnick maintained a buy rating on Adobe, aware of the impact of Russia’s sanctions on Adobe and influenced by Adobe’s annual recurring revenue figures coming in slightly above expectations. While many analysts lowered price targets, Brent Thill of Jefferies LLC raised his firm’s price target on Adobe to $570 from $550, maintaining a Buy rating. Jefferies appears to recognize Adobe’s long-term outlook is brighter than recent performance.

Optimistic Outlook

Analysts see investment potential in Adobe despite many lowered price targets. Adobe remains a crucial player in the computer software market. Institutions were buying, and earnings estimates through 2023 look favorable. Its recently reduced share value may be appealing to investors long-term.

Microsoft Corp. (MFST) saw improved growth over the past few months, outperforming the S&P500 and rising by approximately 110% compared to the S&P’s gain of about 85%. Hedge funds were selling in the fourth quarter; however, the technology company rose on the WhaleWisdom Heatmap from a rank of thirty-three to four.

Microsoft is a multinational technology company that produces software, hardware services, and related services. The company’s revenue comes from three core business segments: productivity and business processes, intelligent cloud, and personal computing. While initially well known for its personal computer software such as Windows and the Office Suite, this tech giant also found success as it branched out into the video game market, server applications, cloud services, and search engine advertising.

Mixed Results from Hedge Funds and Institutions

Hedge funds were selling, in contrast to institutions. Looking at fourth-quarter activity, the aggregate 13F shares held by hedge funds decreased to about 994.6 million from 1.0 billion, a decrease of approximately 3.0%. Of the hedge funds, 67 created new positions, 262 added to an existing one, 31 exited, and 348 reduced their stakes. Institutions increased their aggregate holdings by about 1.3% to approximately 5.3 billion from about 5.2 billion.


Encouraging Estimates

Analysts expect to see earnings rise over the next two years, with year-over-year estimated earnings estimated to reach $10.77 per share in 2023, up from $9.44 for 2022. Revenue forecasts are also noteworthy, with revenue expected to increase to $226.5 billion by June of 2023, up from $198.8 billion in June of 2022. The company saw a healthy rise in 13F metrics over the past twenty years, indicative of continued investment potential.


Positive Forecast

Analyst Brent Thill of Jefferies LLC gave Microsoft a Buy rating and a $400 price target, sharing enthusiasm about its growth potential due to its newer Power Platform, a line of business intelligence and software applications with a low-code appeal. Power Automate allows automation of business workflows across multiple applications and software as a service (SaaS) options. Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives commented on recent and anticipated future Federal Reserve increases in interest rates, noting that it’s the right time “to own oversold tech stocks,” such as Microsoft.

Favorable Outlook

Microsoft’s estimated earnings through 2023 and trend of long-term 13F metrics are encouraging for investors. The technology company is already a leader in the industry and has opportunities for continued revenue growth. Combined with overall market performance, these factors make Microsoft a stock to watch.

Investors Load Up On Ubers Fallen Stock

Posted on March 14th, 2022

Uber Technologies Inc. (UBER) has underperformed the S&P 500 as of March 2022, falling almost 10% compared to the S&P’s gain of about 33.4% over the past 2-years. Additionally, the company slid on the WhaleWisdom Heatmap to a ranking of twenty-nine from twenty-one. However, hedge funds were bullish on the stock, increasing their positions in the fourth quarter for this behemoth ride-sharing company.

Uber is an American-based technology company with global operations. The company develops and supports the technology that enables ride-hailing, ride-sharing, food delivery, and package delivery services. Its focus on mobility services goes beyond just matching consumers looking for rides with independent providers of those services; Uber also connects consumers with electric bicycle rental options and partners with many communities to leverage Uber’s technology to improve public transit. Due to reduced consumer travel, demand for Uber’s ride services has fluctuated throughout the coronavirus pandemic. However, Uber’s diversification of services has allowed other aspects of the business, such as Uber Eats and Uber Connect, to gain popularity and flourish.

Adding to Holdings

Uber is a leader in mobility services, and hedge funds and institutions actively bought the stock. In the fourth quarter, the aggregate 13F shares held by hedge funds increased to about 576.8 million from 529.5 million, an increase of approximately 8.9%. Of the hedge funds, 69 created new positions, 124 added an existing one, 43 exited, and 86 reduced their stakes. Institutions were also buying and, overall, increased their aggregate holdings by about 3.0% to approximately 1.43 billion from 1.39 billion. The 13F metrics through January of 2022 show that funds have held steadier than stock prices.



Encouraging Revenue Estimates

Analysts expect to see an initial decline in earnings for 2022 but also anticipate a slight rebound by December 2023, with earnings per share predicted at $0.01. Year-over-year estimated increases could bring growth to approximately 33.7 billion in revenue by late 2023, up from anticipated revenue of 27.4 billion for December 2022. 


Favorable Ratings

There appears to be optimism among analysts following the stock’s rise on March 11, 2022. Analyst Benjamin Black of Deutsch Bank gave the stock a Buy rating and set a price target of $50, noting Uber’s “global market leadership.” Loop Capital analyst Rob Sanderson lowered the firm’s price target on Uber to $55 from $70 and maintained a Buy rating due to expectations that the mobility as a service provider will continue to rise in value over the next year. Uber has an advantage compared to many of its competitors due to its strategic offering of multiple services. 

Positive Outlook

Uber may have weathered a challenging year in 2021, but the technology company and maverick of mobility solutions is showing promise in 2022. Hedge funds and institutions were buying, and revenue estimates through 2023 look favorable. Uber seems well-positioned to adapt to changes in consumer demand for its various services, and its lower share value compared to 2021 may be appealing to investors for its long-term potential.