Why Analysts Are Stepping All Over Themselves Chasing Lam Research Higher

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Lam Research Corp. (NASDAQ: LRCX) has garnered a lot of attention this year, with its stock posting a massive gain so far. In fact analysts seem to be tripping all over themselves chasing this stock even higher. Spurring this latest outpouring of analyst calls was the firm’s most recent earnings report.

The company reported its fiscal first-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Tuesday. Although the investor response was somewhat muted, analysts hiked their targets across the board.

Compared to this time last year, the stock has practically doubled, and in 2017 alone the stock is up about 85%. Considering this performance, there’s no doubt why this stock is gaining favor among analysts.

In terms of its results, Lam Research posted $3.46 in earnings per share (EPS) and $2.48 billion in revenue, compared to consensus estimates of $3.27 in EPS and $2.46 billion in revenue.

As for the fiscal second-quarter guidance, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $3.53 to $3.77 and revenues between $2.45 billion and $2.65 billion. The consensus estimates call for $3.33 in EPS and $2.51 billion in revenue.

Martin Anstice, president and CEO, had this to say:

Lam delivered another record quarter for revenue and non-GAAP income in September and our positive momentum continues, with calendar year shipments on track to grow nearly double the rate of 2017 industry growth… For more than five years, we have consistently reported outperformance and this track record, combined with our commitment to invest in our future with a focus on disruptive technologies and enabling roadmaps, sets the stage for what we see as a very exciting future for the company.

Here’s what analysts are saying in response:

  • B. Riley reiterated its Buy rating and raised its price target to $250 from $220.
  • Berenberg increased its price target from $200 to $240.
  • Citigroup has a Neutral rating and raised its price target to $200 from $175.
  • Credit Suisse has an Outperform rating and hiked its target to $245 from $214
  • D.A. Davidson has a Buy rating and increased its target to $225 from $215.
  • Evercore ISI raised its price target to $250 from $215.
  • JP Morgan raised its price target from $190 to $230.
  • Keybanc increased the price target to $225 from $202.
  • Morgan Stanley reiterated it as Overweight and raised its target to $213 from $176.
  • RBC has an Outperform rating and hiked its price target from $185 to $210.
  • Stifel reiterated its Buy rating and raised its price target to $235 from $215.
  • Susquehanna raised the price target to $200 from $145.

Shares of Lam Research were last seen up just more than 1% at $197.04, above the consensus analyst price target of $195.56. The 52-week trading range is $93.69 to $198.88.