Morgan Stanley Predicts Double-Digit Surges for These 3 Stocks


  • Wall Street sees these three companies as good stocks to buy over the next year.
  • Shopify (SHOP): The merchant platform had a strong first quarter but its outlook for Q2 was shy of estimates sending its stock lower.
  • United Airlines (UAL): The airline narrowed its losses more than expected causing most of Wall Street to raise their outlook for the stock.
  • First Solar (FSLR): Shares of the solar panel company have steadily risen over the last six months causing analysts to keep raising their target price.
Stocks to Buy - Morgan Stanley Predicts Double-Digit Surges for These 3 Stocks

Source: Vova Shevchuk /

Wall Street’s record with stock predictions is probably no better than throwing a dart at a target. They seem to get just as many calls wrong as they do right (if not more). But the market can move after an analyst makes a call and the firms offer some valuable insights into a company and its industry, especially when you’re looking for which stocks to buy.

That’s why keeping an eye on how they view individual companies is not a bad idea. Big money investors and institutions do make decisions based on their recommendations that can influence a stock’s direction.

Below are three stocks to buy Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) analysts raised their price targets on. Based on their current price levels, the outlook suggests significant double-digit returns are possible over the next year. Let’s see whether these analysts got them right.

Shopify (SHOP) 

shopify logo sign on building facade
Source: Beyond The Scene /

Last month Morgan Stanley analyst Keith Weiss upgraded Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) from equal-weight to overweight and raised his price target on the stock from $74 per share to $85 per share.

At the time the merchant services platform was trading just under $70 per share, indicating the analyst saw some 20% upside potential but after reporting first quarter results two weeks later, Shopify stock tumbled sharply, and now it sits below $59 per share.

There was good reason to think Shopify would continue growing, and there still is. The merchant services business is the “second biggest checkout in the U.S.” and handles approximately 11% of e-commerce sales in the country.

While its initial focus was on helping small businesses gain an online presence, today Shopify counts large, multinational corporations in its customer mix.

Yet last week it reported earnings that missed guidance expectations. Topline results beat the Street’s view, but management forecasts for second quarter revenue were shy of analyst predicts.

Operating margin outlook was also less than expected. Weiss subsequently lowered his target price to $80 per share while keeping the overweight rating.

That still implies 35% upside and seems a good bet to happen considering its ability to generate significant free cash flow making this one of the stocks to buy for continued growth.

United Airlines (UAL)

The side of a United Airlines (UAL) plane with "united" written above passenger windows. Represents airline stocks.
Source: travelview /

Analyst Ravi Shanker raised his price target on United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) to $80 from $75 per share last month while maintaining his overweight rating on the stock.

At the time the stock was trading at around $51 a share so it implied a hefty 57% increase.

United has just reported strong quarterly earnings that featured a smaller than expected loss. The ongoing problems at Boeing (NYSE:BA) should not interfere with the airline’s long-term performance.

Although United took a $200 million hit related to Boeing grounding its MAX 9 planes following an incident earlier this year with a door plug popping off midflight, the aircraft manufacturer was going to reimburse the airline for its costs.

Without that charge, though, United would have reported a profit United Airlines stock surged.

There’s obviously an upbeat outlook around the airline and shares are trading slightly higher since Shanker raised his target price, making this one of the best stocks to buy now.

There is still 51% upside baked into the stock, though Morgan Stanley is on the high side of Wall Street target prices. Others peg United more around $70 per share, which would still represent a decent profit on where it stands today.

First Solar (FSLR)

Person holding smartphone with logo of US renewable energy company First Solar Inc. (FSLR) on screen in front of website. Focus on phone display. Unmodified photo.
Source: T. Schneider /

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) got its target price nudged slightly higher by analyst Andrew Percoco who pushed it from $245 per share to $248 per share while reiterating an overweight rating.

He’s been very bullish on the solar panel stock for sometime and has been incrementally raising his target price.

Previously he told investors in a research note, “We believe First Solar offers one of the strongest risk-adjusted earnings profiles” as it benefits from a “near-term competitive moat.”

First Solar stock has been steadily rising from its low point last November and now stands 48% above that level. The current price target the Morgan Stanley analyst assigned earlier this month suggests there’s at least another 30% hike to come over the next year.

It might be more difficult from here though. Higher interest rates, of course, will continue to weigh on installations as will ongoing pricing pressure from Chinese manufacturers.

Management expressed concern about cheap panels flooding the market through an “intentional structural overcapacity” as China attempts to dominate the industry.

First Solar has done well commanding a bit of a premium for its panels but bookings volume is flat at 2.7 gigawatts compared to the 2.7 gigawatts of sales volume sold. Further, because it has been living off the Section 45x tax credit credits, it’s a long-term risk if those credits dry up.

On the date of publication, Rich Duprey did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

Rich Duprey has written about stocks and investing for the past 20 years. His articles have appeared on, The Motley Fool, and Yahoo! Finance, and he has been referenced by U.S. and international publications, including MarketWatch, Financial Times, Forbes, Fast Company, USA Today, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Cheddar News, The Boston Globe, L’Express, and numerous other news outlets.

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