Stocks to Watch: Facebook (FB), Tesla (TSLA), Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), Amazon.com (AMZN), First Solar (FSLR), Bank of America (BAC)

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Buy Facebook Stock Ahead of Earnings?

Needham analyst Laura Martin today writes positively about social networking giant Facebook, Inc. (FB), saying she is a buyer of the name ahead of earnings as she believes the company is “particularly well positioned” given its closed platform, global scale, optionality of new revenue streams on the core Facebook site as well as revenue upside potential from the company’s other key apps. The analyst reiterates a ‘Buy’ rating and $130 price target on the shares, implying 11.50% upside.

Shares of Facebook recently traded at $116.40, down 0.30 percent. The stock closed at $116.70 a share in Wednesday’s trading session.

Separately, Reuters reports the IRS is examining Facebook over its transfer of various rights associated with its worldwide business to a holding company in Ireland.

Tesla’s Stock Juiced Up After Response to Fortune’s Article

Shares of electric car maker Tesla Motors (TSLA) are higher by $1.05, or 0.49%, at $215 and change in early trading, after the company fired back at a Fortune report that questioned the timing of the company’s disclosure of an early-May Florida accident, which involved Tesla’s autopilot technology, before raising more than $1.4 billion from a May 18th to 19th stock offering to fund Model 3 production. In a blog post late yesterday, the Palo Alto, CA-based company called the article “fundamentally incorrect”, and argued the publication made false assumptions.

“First, Fortune mischaracterizes Tesla’s SEC filing. Here is what Tesla’s SEC filing actually says: ‘We may become subject to product liability claims, which could harm our financial condition and liquidity if we are not able to successfully defend or insure against such claims.’ This is just stating the obvious. One of the risks facing Tesla (or any company) is that someone could bring product liability claims against it. However, neither at the time of this SEC filing, nor in the several weeks to date, has anyone brought a product liability claim against Tesla relating to the crash in Florida….Next, Fortune entirely ignores what Tesla knew and when, nor have they even asked the questions. Instead, they simply assume that Tesla had complete information from the moment this accident occurred. This was a physical impossibility given that the damage sustained by the Model S in the crash limited Tesla’s ability to recover data from it remotely…”

CMG Stock Down in Early Trading

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (CMG) shares are trading 2% lower in early trade following a tweet from best selling author Eric Van Lustbader, who wrote: “@EVanLustbader: This Chipotle thing is still ongoing. My editor ended up in urgent care after being deathly ill all night from eating at Chipotle’s.”

Analyst Bullish on Amazon Stock

JPMorgan’s (JPM) analyst Doug Anmuth reiterated this morning an ‘Overweight’ rating and $915 price target on Amazon.com (AMZN), saying he remains bullish on the shares into the second half of FY 2016 and the e-commerce giant’s second annual “Prime Day” on July 12.

Amazon.com Inc. recently traded at $733.67, a loss of $3.93 over Wednesday’s closing price. The name has a current market capitalization of $346.17 billion.

First Solar Stock Gets a Downgrade

First Solar, Inc. (FSLR) fell 6.78 percent to $45.80 in early market trading on Thursday following a downgraded to ‘Hold’ from ‘Buy’ at Deutsche Bank (DB). The firm’s analyst Vishal Shah also cut his price target on the name to $44 from $80, saying he sees downside risk to the company’s 2017 earnings.

The analyst expects 2017 EPS of $1.50 compared to Wall Street’s forecast of $3.18.

“Even though FSLR remains one of the best run companies in our coverage, we believe it would be difficult for management to grow earnings amidst some of the expected near term headwinds,” Shah noted.

Shares of the $4.68 billion market cap company are flat year-over-year ; down 32% year-to-date.

BAC Downgraded at Raymond James

Bank of America Corporation (BAC) was downgraded to ‘Market Perform’ from ‘Outperform’ at Raymond James.

Shares have traded today between $12.85 and $13.11 with the price of the stock fluctuating between $10.99 to $18.48 over the last 52 weeks.

Bank of America Corp. shares are currently changing hands at 10.23x this year’s forecasted earnings, compared to the industry’s 15.32x earnings multiple. Ticker has a t-12 price/sales ratio of 1.74. EPS for the same period registers at $1.27.

Shares of BofA have gained $0.15 to $13.01 in morning trading on Thursday, giving it a market cap of roughly $134 billion. The stock traded as high as $18.48 on July 22, 2015.

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