A Good Friday-shortened week begins today, and will eventually ramp up near the end with a slate of bank earnings. Overseas, the new week kicked off with Japanese stocks posting gains, but European stocks heading broadly lower. U.S. futures are ticking slightly higher this morning.
Monday has no shortage of big stocks making headlines, with Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) all finding themselves in the spotlight this morning.
Here’s what you should know heading into Monday’s trade:
Tesla Inc (TSLA)
TSLA shares are pushing even higher into all-time-high territory this morning on a bizarre note from Piper Jaffray in which the firm significantly slashed Tesla’s earnings estimates, but upgraded and slapped a much higher price target on the stock.
Piper analyst Alex Potter — who said he and his team have been driving a Tesla around for seven months to better educate themselves — cleaved the company’s estimates for full-year 2017, previously expecting profits of 42 cents per share, but now expecting a loss of $4.83. That includes dramatic quarterly changes, such as the upcoming Q1 estimate, which is being hacked from a 12-cent loss to 78 cents of red ink.
Potter also predicts an 11-cent loss for full-year 2018; he previously did not have any earnings estimates on the stock.
Despite this change in heart, however, Potter also advised clients to “employ a ‘creative’ valuation methodology and prepare for a bumpy ride,” and proceeded to upgrade TSLA shares from “Neutral” to “Overweight.” He also jacked up the price target from $223 to $368 — a roughly 22% increase from Friday’s closing price of $302.54.
TSLA shares are currently up roughly 2% in Monday’s premarket trade, pushing shares even further into the stratosphere. The stock finally pushed up and out of a multiyear trading range last week, and is setting a new string of highs that appears will continue today.
UPDATE: With Monday’s push, Tesla passed General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) as the largest U.S. automaker by market capitalization. TSLA currently is worth $51.4 billion, while GM is worth $50.3 billion.
Alphabet Inc (GOOGL)
Google parent Alphabet is in hot water after weekend allegations by the Department of Labor that the company pays women less than men with the same experience on the same job.
The U.S. Department of Labor launched an investigation — which is not yet complete — into the tech giant, with regional director Janette Wipper saying there is a “systemic compensation disparities against women” at the company. The DoL also says that Google refused to hand over job and salary information to the office of federal contract compliance programs — a violation of its contract with the federal government.
The Silicon Valley entity responded on Sunday with a statement denying such allegations. Google said it does a robust examination of wages across genders and found no gender gap.
“Other than making an unfounded statement which we heard for the first time in court, the DoL hasn’t provided any data, or shared its methodology,” the company wrote.
GOOGL shares are trading around breakeven on Monday morning, and are up about 7% year-to-date.
Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL)
Delta’s wave of delays and cancellations have extended into a fifth day following storms that battered the airline’s main hub in Atlanta.
Delta has been forced to ax more than 3,300 flights since Wednesday, when storms hit Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. However, while the storms did cause some damage, the company also is being criticized for its own slow response, as well as internal regulations that may have exacerbated the problem.
Sunday marked the fifth day of troubles for the carrier, which had to cancel at least 150 flights yesterday, but the company continues to be held up by rules including how long pilots and flight attendants can staff planes.
Naturally, passenger stories are bubbling up — from tales of flights being cancelled, then rebookings cancelled, to even a tale about how one woman’s family brought in $11,000 by continuously giving up their tickets to Delta to service standby passengers.
Still, DAL stock is primed to open Monday’s trading up more than 2%.