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Investors should buy these stocks with ‘outsized earnings power,’ analysts say

Wall Street analysts named a slew of stocks this week that have tremendous upside potential heading into their earnings results. These companies are persevering in a rough macro environment and are poised to deliver for investors, analysts say. CNBC Pro combed through the top Wall Street research to find stocks with outsized growth heading into earnings. They include: Kontoor Brands , TE Connectivity, Applied Materials, FirstCash Holdings and Pfizer. FirstCash Holdings The pawn shop operator was added to Jefferies’ franchise picks list ahead of FirstCash’s earnings report on Thursday. “In tandem with ongoing macro weakness and dwindling consumer balance sheets coming off of COVID-19 stimulus, we believe pawn will have sustained demand supporting calendar 2H receivables growth,” analyst John Hecht wrote. The firm said it expects FirstCash’s robust track of share repurchases and dividends to continue. Hecht called the company’s business model defensive adding that FirstCash’s of array of retail loan products seems to be clicking with customers. The stock is “well positioned” in the current economic environment, Hecht added, noting the pawn business is inflationary. The analyst is also bullish on FirstCash’s acquisition of American First Finance, a point-of-sale payments platform, which the company acquired late last year. “All in, likely inflationary pressures and the potential for better-than-expected pawn receivables suggest outsized earnings power,” he said. Shares of FirstCash are down 9.6% this year. TE Connectivity The designer and manufacturer of sensors and connectors was recently added to the tactical outperform list at investment firm Evercore ISI. The firm said it sees an “in line to some upside” report when the company releases its results on Wednesday. Analyst Amit Daryanani cited strong fundamentals and supply chain easing in China for his thesis. “Our assessment is that while there are several moving pieces impacting automotive production dynamics, H2:22 should see a material improvement vs. H1 levels,” he said. TE Connectivity also has pricing power and inflation should help raise margins, according to the firm. “Higher commodity prices, particularly oil & gas prices, should be a positive for TEL’s Industrial business,” he wrote. Daryanani also said in his note to clients that he expects “outsized growth” from the company’s data and devices business. Foreign exchange is likely be a headwind, but with shares down 23% this year, the stock is just too cheap to ignore, he added. Kontoor Brands The denim jeans maker is firing on all cylinders, according to Wells Fargo. Analyst Will Gaertner began coverage of the stock with an overweight rating earlier this month and said it is “a good place to hide” heading into the company’s second-quarter earnings report on Aug. 4. Wells Fargo said it views Kontoor as more of a consumer staples company than an apparel maker. Gaertner praised its dividend yield, strong free cash flow and numerous top-line and margin drivers. Kontoor Brands is also winning market share thanks to key retailers like Target and Walmart, the firm said. “After years of underinvestment in the brands, KTB has ramped marketing spend, which is yielding results in the form of market share gains,” he wrote. A shift to more lower-price casual attire is also presenting Kontoor with an “outsized” opportunity, Gaertner said. “The risk-reward is compelling at current levels, and we recommend investors use the opportunity to begin building a position in KTB,” he said. The company is scheduled to report second-quarter earnings on Aug. 4 and shares are up 14% this month. FirstCash Holdings – Jefferies, buy rating “In tandem with ongoing macro weakness & dwindling consumer balance sheets coming off of COVID-19 stimulus, we believe pawn will have sustained demand supporting calendar 2H receivables growth. … We consider FCFS as well positioned for the current macro backdrop & highlight the benefits from inflationary environments to the pawn business including better loan/retail demand. … All in, likely inflationary pressures & the potential for better-than-expected pawn receivables suggest outsized earnings power.” TE Connectivity – Evercore ISI, outperform rating “We think TEL could report in line to some upside vs. street when they report Jun-qtr results on July 27 as strong demand fundamentals + supply chain easing in China should drive a meaningfully improved FH2. … We expect this segment to sustain outsized growth given positive commentary from key hyperscale vendors. … Higher commodity prices, particularly oil & gas prices, should be a positive for TEL’s Industrial business. … Several moving pieces headed into the print but we think the overall demand backdrop continues to be solid with improved end-market performance headed into CH2:22.” Kontoor Brands – Wells Fargo, overweight rating “With structural top-line and margin drivers in place, attractive free cash flow and dividend yield & M & A optionality, KTB is a good place to hide in this choppy market, as we view KTB as more of a consumer staple than an apparel company. … The risk-reward is compelling at current levels, & we recommend investors use the opportunity to begin building a position in KTB. After years of underinvestment in the brands, KTB has ramped marketing spend, which is yielding results in the form of market share gains. … As a top three player globally, KTB will likely be an outsized beneficiary of a multi-year denim cycle” Applied Materials – JPMorgan, overweight rating “Remain Overweight AMAT on SAM (served available market) growth and market share expansion opportunities and a growing #2 position in process control. We believe OW-rated AMAT is well-positioned to drive outsized earnings growth over the next few years on SAM and market share expansion opportunities within its core manufacturing equipment franchises.” Cowen – Pfizer, outperform rating “Global Pharma Q2 performance should be strong; average sales and EPS are expected to increase 12% and 20%+. Growth could trend toward normal for pharma thereafter. Multiples are approaching historical averages. … We anticipate continued solid relative performance from Pharma, but economic visibility will determine duration of run. … In Q2, companies selling COVID solutions should deliver outsized results, with AZN, MRK and PFE leading this category.”

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