Investing

Why Investors Should Jump on Jefferies Top Growth Stock Picks After Q3 Results

Expedia

This online travel leader posted a very disappointing third-quarter report. Expedia Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) is the leading internet travel pure-play with exposure to online travel in the United States, Europe and Asia. The company’s portfolio of brands includes Expedia, Orbitz, HomeAway, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Trivago, Egencia, Hotwire, Wotif, Venere and Classic Vacations.

Top analysts see it as a story of improving execution, and they also think that the company finally is starting to match Priceline’s growth metrics. The company has raised the dividend and is buying back stock, and both are shareholder-friendly actions.

Jefferies noted this when discussing Expedia’s less than stellar third-quarter results:

Third quarter results were disappointing as search engine optimization headwinds and lower average daily rates led to a 5% EBITDA miss, the first miss since the first quarter of 2018. Soft gross bookings and room night trends for VRBO and disappointing results at Trivago also weighed on the quarter. Further, management expects these trends to continue and cut fiscal year 2019 EBITDA growth guidance to 5-8% from 12-15%. We lower our near-term estimates and price target to reflect management’s commentary and acknowledge that near term the stock may be range bound. That said, with shares trading at ~8x fiscal; 2020 EBITDA, we think valuation adequately prices in most of the risks and we remain positive on the thesis given the company’s potential for long term margin expansion.

Investors receive a 1.37% dividend. The $170 Jefferies price target was lowered to $145. The consensus target is $137.37, and Expedia closed most recently at $99.07.

Match

Jefferies continues to love this company, and its shares have really backed up. Match Group Inc. (NASDAQ: MTCH) is the worldwide leader in online dating products in terms of revenue, monthly active users and paid members. Its portfolio of dating sites includes several of the most popular products such as Match, Meetic, OKCupid, Tinder, POF and Twoo. It has four of the top-five highest-grossing dating apps in North America and three of the top-five worldwide.

With ever more Millennials turning to online dating, the prospects for this company are incredibly strong. Toss in the computer literacy of young Americans, and it makes sense that the stocks in this area would show robust growth. Some top analysts on Wall Street feel that as much as a stunning 50% of all dates will begin online by 2022.

The Jefferies report noted this:

Company reported this week. Third quarter revenue and EBITDA beat slightly, and management guided fourth quarter below Street estimates (revs of $550 million vs. Street’s $559 million). The expected step-down in Tinder net adds (437,000 to 236,000) is the likely driver of the stock weakness, in our view, though we do not think this is a function of competition. On the positive side, the initial 2020 revenue guide of mid-high teens growth does not imply a big deceleration from 2019. The backdrop of the impending IAC Interactive distribution provides an added challenge to the stock near term. Overall, we think the stock will find a floor around $52 (or 1x EBITDA growth), with a chance to recover back to $74-$90.

The Jefferies price target is a massive $105. The consensus target is $80.74, and shares closed at $68.69.

Three of these stocks were hit after third-quarter results and are offering very good entry points. With the market trading at very expensive levels, these are good companies offering investors solid value. The key for investors is to ignore the near-term chatter and look at the long-term stories, all of which remain very solid.