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Looking Back on Wall Street: Twitter Inc, Tesla Motors Inc., Apple Inc

The fourth quarter has officially kicked off with companies beginning to recover from the recent market sell-off and aiming to finish the year out strong. These companies are already off to a good start with new launches and recent changes:

Twitter Inc. 

This week, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) announced the appointment of Jack Dorsey, the company’s co-founder, as its permanent CEO. Adam Bain, the company’s Head of Products, was appointed as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. Analysts from SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and Axiom Capital weighed in.

On October 5, Robert Peck of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey maintained a Buy rating on the social media company. He referred to Bain’s appointment as COO critical.

Peck commented, “While we are very pleased with today’s announcements, we think that ultimately the company and Mr. Dorsey will be judged on their execution. Mr. Dorsey alluded to new products coming that should not only engage a wider mass audience, but also serve their more deeply engaged users. No details were given on these products, but most expect Project Lightening shortly. We have noticed an increased product launch cadence under Mr. Dorsey in his interim CEO role and would look for this to continue. Importantly, we think this applies to advertising products as well, that can hopefully increase ROIs and ad spending.”

Peck currently has an overall success rate of 58% recommending stocks and a +8.4% average return per recommendation when measured over a one year horizon and no benchmark.

Separately on October 5,  Victor Anthony of Axiom Capital upgraded his rating on Twitter to Buy from Hold, while setting a price target of $37. Anthony says Dorsey’s appointment is a positive.

Anthony comments, “Recent media attention has called for the imminent appointment of Jack Dorsey as the permanent CEO, as well as board changes. We agree that the CEO role is likely to be filled near-term. We believe Mr. Dorsey has the backing of the board, several shareholders, and employees.”

Dorsey is also the CEO of Square, Inc., a financial services and mobile payment company, which is expected to go public this year. Talking about the dual role, Anthony said, “We are fine with him keeping a dual role as CEO of Square to see the IPO through to completion. However, at some point in the future he would need to step away from Square to focus solely on Twitter. The pace of innovation at both companies is rapid and competition is intense, necessitating dedicated CEOs.”

On average, Anthony has a 59% success rate recommending stocks and a +13.3% average return per recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.

Based on TipRanks’ statistics, out of 28 analysts who have recently rated Twitter’s stock, 14 have rated it as a Buy, 13 have rated it as a Hold, and 1 has rated it as Sell. The consensus price target for the stock is $39.04, an upside of nearly 38% from current levels.

Tesla Motors Inc.

Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) recently announced the delivery of 11,580 vehicles in the third quarter, missing its guidance of nearly 12,000 vehicles. The company has also been in the news for its recently-launched SUV, the Model X.

On October 7, analyst Ben Kallo of Robert W. Baird downgraded Tesla to Hold and dropped his price target on the stock to $282, from $335. Reasons behind his downgrade are uncertainty about the timing of increase in production of the new model and also its higher-than-expected price.

Talking about the new Model X, Kallo noted, “Given the complexity of the vehicle, we believe the ramp will be slower than expected, which could impact 2015/2016 vehicle delivery estimates.” Kallo has reduced the non-GAAP EPS estimates for the company for 2016 (to $2.00 from $3.00) and for 2017 (to $4.70 from $6.07).

Kallo has rated Tesla a total of 39 times, earning a 58% success rate recommending the stock and a +24.5% average return per recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark. Overall, he has a 49% success rate recommending stocks and a +7.3% average return per recommendation.

On October6, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas cut his price target for Tesla to $450 (from $465), while maintaining an Overweight rating. According to The Fly, while the new model has met Jonas’ “very high” expectations in terms of technical capabilities, the average transaction price is “easily” $10,000 to $15,000 higher than his expectations. Given the higher-than-expected price, Jonas has cut his annual Model X forecasts between 5,000 and 10,000 units for 2016-2018.

Jonas has rated Tesla 35 times total, earning a 66% success rate recommending the electric car maker and a +36.7% average return per recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.

A day earlier, on October 5, Colin Rusch of Oppenheimer maintained an Outperform rating on Tesla with a price target of $340.

Rusch said, “While the shipment numbers amount to a 3.5% difference between guidance and deliveries, the total number of vehicles is relatively small at 420. We believe that can be made up in 4Q:15. Furthermore, our 2015 estimate shipments remain the same at 50,577 (guidance of 50K-55K). Our 2015E non-GAAP EPS moves slightly lower, to ($0.16) from ($0.10), as we shift sales to 4Q:15 and expect some drag on GM due to the Model X ramp. The balance of our estimates remain the same.”

Rusch concluded by saying, “We believe investors will also focus on meeting shipment guidance for the year, launching its stationary storage business, and progress on the Gigafactory and development of the Model 3.”

Rusch has rated Tesla 10 times, earning an 80% success rate recommending the company and a +137.7% average return per recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark. Overall, he has a 51% success rate recommending stocks and a +18.5% average return per recommendation.

Out of 19 analysts polled by TipRanks who have rated Tesla within the last three months, nine analysts are bullish on the stock, four are bearish, and six remain on the sidelines. The average 12-month price target on Tesla is $301.47, marking a potential upside of 31.18%

Apple Inc

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been in the news for its latest iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. The company sold 13 million units over the launch weekend; a 30% increase over the 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units sold a year ago. While these numbers are strong, this year’s figures also include sales from China, which were not included in the prior year. Analyst Jim Suva from Citi weighed in with bullish sentiments.

Yesterday, Suva maintained a Buy rating for the stock with a price target of $145. However, Suva lowered his EPS estimate for the September quarter to $9.06 from the earlier estimate of $9.14 after he shifted some iPhone sales to the next quarter. For the September quarter, Suva estimates iPhone sales of 47 million, lower than the consensus estimate of 48 million because sales of only two days – Friday and Saturday – of the weekend launch will be counted in the current quarter.

Suva expects various other sell-side analysts to do the same and lower their estimates for iPhone sales in the September quarter. Apple is scheduled to report its earnings on October 27.

Suva also expects the volatility in Apple’s stock to continue. Given the limited upside potential of sales and earnings in the near term, he expects some investors to exit the stock.

As per Suva, “The investment thesis for Apple is likely to shift from an iPhone ‘beat and raise’ investment story to a gross margin upside story heading into a difficult comp year for iPhone 6S unit sales.”

The analyst concludes that any pullback from current levels will be a good buying opportunity for long-term investors.

On average, Suva has a 44% success rate recommending stocks and a +1.5% average return per recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.

As per TipRanks’ statistics, out of 38 analysts who have recently rated Apple’s stock, 28 have rated it as a Buy, 9 have rated it as Hold, and only 1 has rated the stock as Sell. The average consensus price target for Apple is $147.26; marking a potential upside of nearly 33% over current levels.