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Why Turnaround Investors Will See FedEx Stock Flying Even Higher After These Gains

Some stocks perform poorly even in good markets, just like some stocks do well even in bad markets. FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX) has seen its share of ups and downs over time, but the company has been having earnings trouble long before the recession came along. After a huge earnings beat on Tuesday after the close, the 12% gain on Wednesday has shares that are getting closer to a year high.

For turnaround investors, this may just be the start. It turns out that FedEx’s stock price peak from the end of 2017 and start of 2018 marked its zenith. And late in 2018, the wheels started coming off. That makes the recovery a situation where the stock could have a lot more recovery ahead before running into the old all-time highs.

FedEx’s earnings report was covered in detail, but the stock has seen nearly a 5-fold surge in trading volume backing up its 12% gain to $157.00 on Wednesday. That is too much money (about $2.5 billion worth of shares traded today alone) to just be day traders chasing up the shares.

While FedEx shares had already risen more than 50% from the lows in March to $140.22 ahead of earnings, the reality is that some investors are going to go back more than 2 years to see that this was higher than $260 at its peak. That’s how bad this story went over time, and it cannot just count the recession for that. FedEx entered 2020 at about $153, and now it’s back where it started.

Another driving force may be some assistance from Jeff Bezos leaving some room for shippers to win again. Their relationship has not been without some turbulence, but that relationship was set to improve before anyone had heard of this thing called the coronavirus.

As far as the outlook ahead, its important to consider that the prior year’s results of $9.50 in earnings per share (EPS) and on $69.2 billion in revenues. Even before factoring in all of the higher targets and estimates after Wednesday’s upgrades, the research community was looking at a somewhat stable 2020 and a better 2021. Those are calendar years rather than fiscal years, but the consensus expectations were $9.49 EPS in fiscal year 2021 and $11.81 EPS in fiscal year 2022. Those are to be accompanies by consensus revenue expectations of $69.6 billion and $73.2 billion, respectively.

With businesses mostly still remaining open and still trying to keep their goods moving, and with the surge of packages that are going to consumers, FedEx could win. It may have taken a $370 million impairment charge against the value of its Kinko’s acquisition due to the coronavirus hurting business, but even after this price gain it still offers a 1.65% dividend yield for new investors.

24/7 Wall St. has tracked a massive number of analysts driving their price targets much higher. This was mentioned in our daily analyst coverage, but many more calls were issued than were featured today. Not all of the brokerages have buy ratings here, but it is impressive to see this many price target hikes all at once.

JPMorgan was the big upgrade call of the day, raising its formal rating to Overweight from Neutral and raising its price target up to $188 from $145.

Some of the other firms went very aggressive on price target upgrades. Credit Suisse had an Outperform rating and the firm raised its price target to $171 from $150. Wells Fargo reiterated its Overweight rating and also raised its target price even higher to $179 from $153. And UBS reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $181 from $158. BofA Securities reiterated its Buy rating and raised its price objective to $177 from $160.

Several firms had Buy or Outperform ratings that were less aggressive and made updates to their targets. Goldman Sachs reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $169 from $153. Cowen & Co. has an Outperform rating and raised its target to $167 from $156. Robert W. Baird reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $162 from $140. Raymond James reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $165 from $150.

And some firms did not have Buy or Outperform ratings but still made target price hikes.

BMO Capital Markets has an Market Perform rating and the firm raised its target price to $150 from $130. BMO had just raised its target up to $130 from $115 on June 23.

Barclays had an Equal Weight rating and raised its target to $155 from $135, but the firm had downgraded FedEx to Equal Weight back on April 17.

Despite a 75% rise from the panic-selling lows of March, turnaround investors are going to now likely be buyers of FedEx shares on any pullbacks even if they don’t want to chase a 12% gain in a single day. That said, the greed of the next $100 in potential upside before hitting its old highs is what would be the real draw for long-term investors wanting above average upside potential. And for that matter, FedEx would have to rise to $178.50 even before challenging its 52-week high.