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Stock of the Week
The Best Stock to Buy Now

Cabot Stock of the Week Issue: February 12, 2024

Stocks keep hitting new highs, riding a stronger-than-expected earnings season and multiple red-hot trends (artificial intelligence, semiconductors, weight-loss drugs), all of which we have heavy exposure to in the Stock of the Week portfolio. It’s possible stocks in those sectors are due for a pullback, but tech as a whole is clearly thriving at the moment, so today we split the difference by adding a dividend-paying technology stock that’s been a long-time favorite of Cabot Dividend Investor Chief Analyst Tom Hutchinson.

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Quick housekeeping note: Cabot offices will be closed for the market holiday (Presidents’ Day) next Monday, so your next issue of Cabot Stock of the Week will arrive next Tuesday, February 20.

Alright, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to this red-hot market, shall we? Stocks continue to reach new highs, with the S&P 500 breaching the 5,000 barrier for the first time ever. Earnings season appears to be helping more than hurting, with the average S&P company reporting earnings growth of 2.9% for the fourth quarter of 2023. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence, semiconductors, and weight-loss drugs remain all the rage – and thankfully, we own more than a dozen stocks (give or take) that benefit from those unstoppable trends in the Stock of the Week portfolio.

Are things getting too overcooked? Perhaps. But investing trends also tend to last longer than people think. So this week, we’ll split the difference by adding a technology stock that’s been on a nice run (up 23% in the last three months), but one that trades still way off its highs, pays a dividend, and isn’t an obvious play on AI. It’s a longtime favorite of Cabot Dividend Investor Chief Analyst Tom Hutchinson.

Here it is, with Tom’s latest thoughts.

Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM)

Qualcomm (QCOM) is the world’s largest supplier of chips for mobile devices. It also holds the patents for the key technology systems that are the backbone of all 3G and 4G networks. Chips account for roughly 75% of revenues while licensing from patents accounts for 25%, although the smaller area is more profitable and better insulated from competition.

Big deal – there’s lots of semiconductor companies. And competition is fierce. But Qualcomm has an enormous advantage going for it right now. It is the undisputed king of chips for smartphones and ones that enable mobile 5G technology.

Analysts estimate that the 5G chip set market will grow from $2.1 billion in 2020 to over $23 billion by 2026. And another huge growth catalyst is emerging, artificial intelligence (AI). It’s a technological game changer that companies can’t afford to miss. Efficiencies and cost savings are a crucial matter of survival among the competition and businesses are scrambling madly to adapt the technology.

The AI market in the U.S. is expected to grow from $86.9 billion in 2022 to $407 billion by 2030. Global estimates for the industry have it around $500 billion in 2022 growing to over $2 trillion by 2030. Estimates vary, of course, but I haven’t seen any estimates with less than 20% annual growth until 2030. Research firm Grand View Research estimates the AI market will grow by a staggering 37.3% per year from 2023 to 2030.

But QCOM was a sector laggard in 2023 despite the AI boost and tech sector dominance. QCOM returned 38.5% for the year while the overall technology sector was up over 50%. Almost all QCOM’s 2023 performance came in the last two months of the year. The stock has strong momentum and is up 46% since late October. But you probably haven’t missed the boat because QCOM still trades about 20% below the 2022 high.

The issue is that device sales are cyclical and last year’s smartphone sales struggled because of excess inventory. Qualcomm’s revenues were down about 20% in 2023. Semiconductors are a cyclical industry subsector as well. But things are turning around. The Semiconductor Industry Association is forecasting 13% growth in worldwide chip sales this year after a decline of 8.2% last year, despite a strong second-half recovery. Leaders like Qualcomm should experience a much higher level of growth than the overall industry.

Early indications are that this year will be much better for smartphone sales than last year. In the last quarter, Qualcomm reported a strong revenue jump over last year’s quarter for smartphone chip sales. The chipmaker is also expecting a 5% rise in sales from smartphone revenue this year.

The company has also been making important strides in high-growth areas. For example, it had a strong showing in its automotive segment where it posted a 31% year-over-year revenue increase in the fourth quarter. The segment is still small, representing about 6% of revenues currently. But these car chips are in high demand and it could be a huge market in the years ahead.

Qualcomm reported earnings and revenues that soundly beat expectations in the fourth quarter with 5% revenue growth and 16% higher earnings than last year’s quarter. It marked a return to earnings growth after four straight quarters of declines and the company guided slightly higher than expectations for the current quarter.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm is introducing new AI-enabled chips for smartphones and personal computers (PCs) as well, a new market for the company. The biggest beneficiaries of the initial AI boost were the companies that benefit from the technology more immediately. But as AI continues to proliferate it will certainly find its way to mobile devices, and Qualcomm will be a primary beneficiary. When this stock moves it can make up for lost time fast.

QCOMRevenue and Earnings
Forward P/E: 16.1 Qtrly RevQtrly Rev GrowthQtrly EPSQtrly EPS Growth
Trailing P/E: 21.5 (bil) (vs yr-ago-qtr)($)(vs yr-ago-qtr)
Profit Margin (latest qtr) 21.4%Latest quarter9.945%2.7916%
Debt Ratio: 256%One quarter ago8.63-24%2.15-32%
Dividend: $3.20Two quarters ago8.45-23%1.81-39%
Dividend Yield: 2.12%Three quarters ago9.28-17%2.15-33%
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Current Recommendations

Stock

Date Bought

Price Bought

Price 2/12/24

Profit

Rating

10x Genomics, Inc. (TXG)

12/12/23

49

49

0%

Hold

Alexandria Real Estate Equities (ARE)

1/9/24

128

119

-8%

Hold

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (AEO)

10/31/23

17

23

30%

Buy

Aviva plc (AVVIY)

6/21/23

10

11

7%

Buy

Blackstone Inc. (BX)

8/1/23

105

130

23%

Buy

Broadcom Inc. (AVGO)

8/8/23

882

1270

44%

Buy

Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO)

1/23/24

52

50

-3%

Buy

Comcast Corporation (CMCSA)

11/1/22

32

43

34%

Sell

CrowdStrike (CRWD)

9/5/23

163

323

98%

Buy

Dave & Buster’s (PLAY)

12/19/23

51

60

19%

Buy

DraftKings (DKNG)

8/15/23

29

43

51%

Buy

Dynatrace Inc. (DT)

10/24/23

47

53

12%

Buy

Elastic N.V. (ESTC)

11/7/23

76

127

68%

Buy

Eli Lilly and Company (LLY)

3/21/23

331

729

120%

Buy

Green Thumb Industries Inc. (GTBIF)

1/3/24

11

13

21%

Buy

Intel Corporation (INTC)

11/21/23

44

45

1%

Hold

Microsoft (MSFT)

3/7/23

256

417

63%

Buy

Novo Nordisk (NVO)

12/27/22

67

120

79%

Buy

Nutanix (NTNX)

10/10/23

36

57

57%

Buy

PayPal (PYPL)

2/6/24

63

60

-4%

Buy

Pinterest (PINS)

11/14/23

32

36

12%

Buy

PulteGroup (PHM)

12/5/23

91

106

16%

Buy

Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM)

NEW

--

154

--%

Buy

ServiceNow (NOW)

6/6/23

559

793

42%

Buy

Soleno Therapeutics (SLNO)

1/30/24

47

49

4%

Buy

Tesla (TSLA)

12/29/11

2

189

10392%

Hold

Tripadvisor (TRIP)

1/17/24

20

23

17%

Buy

Uber Technologies, Inc. (UBER)

2/14/23

34

69

104%

Buy

Varonis (VRNS)

11/28/23

40

50

25%

Buy

Changes Since Last Week:
Comcast (CMCSA) Moves from Buy to Sell

I told you I’d likely have to start making some tough decisions, which is why we’re parting ways with Comcast. It’s been a solid holding for more than 15 months – our second-longest-standing position – but it simply hasn’t been doing the job for the last six months, or longer, so let’s pocket the 34% return (37% including the dividend yield) and use it on a future addition. As it stands, our portfolio is still quite crowded, with 28 holdings, so I will remain extra picky about what stays in in the coming weeks. But it’s a great problem to have – so many great stocks that you don’t want to sell any of them!

Here’s what’s happening with all of them.

Updates

10x Genomics (TXG), originally recommended by Carl Delfeld in his Cabot Explorer advisory, got a huge boost ahead of this Thursday’s (February 15) earnings report, zooming from 43 to 50, its highest point in a month. Analysts anticipate 17% revenue growth and narrowing EPS losses for the quarter. Be wary, though: the company has badly fallen short of estimates in each of the last three quarters. The fact that the stock rose this much ahead of this week’s report, however, suggests more favorable results this time. We’ll see. Keeping at Hold until the results are in. HOLD

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (ARE), originally recommended by Tom Hutchinson in the Safe Income Tier of his Cabot Dividend Investor advisory, held its ground at 118 after a rough, earnings-induced decline the previous week. Hopefully the bottom is already in. The big problem with the earnings was that funds from operations (FFO) came in a penny shy of expectations, at $2.28 per share. Also, the company reported a loss of $91.9 million, or 54 cents per share. Revenue, however, beat forecasts. The stock tumbled from 126 to 118, its lowest point in nearly two months. Shares are still above their 200-day moving average, so we merely downgraded to Hold last week. We’ll keep it right there for now but will need to see some improvement for ARE to keep its place in our crowded portfolio. HOLD

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (AEO), originally recommended by Mike Cintolo in Cabot Top Ten Trader, finally broke out of its 19-to-20 range, rising to just below 23 on no news. The clothing retailer reports earnings in a couple weeks, which could potentially extend the stock’s newfound momentum. We already have a 30% gain on AEO in just three and a half months. BUY

Aviva plc (AVVIY), originally recommended by Bruce Kaser in Cabot Value Investor, held firm around 10.7. Shares of this U.K.-based life insurance and investment management firm have 31% upside to Bruce’s 14 price target, and the 7.4% dividend yield helps cushion recent softness in the share price. BUY

Blackstone Inc. (BX), originally recommended by Mike Cintolo in Cabot Top Ten Trader, has come alive again, popping to 129 from 122 in the last week. Shares of this “Bull Market Stock” (Mike’s term) have recovered nearly all of their January losses and are approaching their late-December highs (133) as the market continues to strengthen. BUY

Broadcom Inc. (AVGO), originally recommended by Tom Hutchinson in Cabot Dividend Investor, tacked on another 2.5% this week to reach new all-time highs! There was no news, though the stock continues to ride the coattails of the unrelenting investor appetite for all things artificial intelligence and semiconductors – Broadcom is both. With a 44% gain on the stock, and with it already trading at new highs, it would probably be wise to keep new buys small, especially with earnings due out in a couple weeks. BUY

Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO), originally recommended by Bruce Kaser in the Growth/Income Portfolio of Cabot Value Investor, held firm after a bad start to February. Earnings are due out this Wednesday, February 14. Shares have 33% upside to Bruce’s 66 price target. BUY

Comcast Corporation (CMCSA), originally recommended by Bruce Kaser in the Growth & Income Portfolio of his Cabot Value Investor advisory, tumbled from 45 to 42 and is right back to where it was a month ago. In fact, the stock is down more than 7% over the last six months. Comcast is our second-longest-held stock, having recommended it back in November 2022. And it’s done the job we hired it to do – providing solid, steady gains, a reliable dividend (current yield: 2.95%), and a measure of safety when the market was weak in late 2022 and for most of 2023. Now, the market is not weak, and we no longer need Comcast to act as a safety net. In fact, it’s not – it’s been an underperformer for the last year and has now dipped below its 200-day moving average. It’s time to bid a fond farewell to this income-generating stalwart, cash in the 34% return (not including dividends), and trim some fat in our bloated portfolio. MOVE FROM BUY TO SELL

CrowdStrike (CRWD), originally recommended by Mike Cintolo in Cabot Growth Investor, zoomed to new highs yet again, rising more than 8% in the last week. Here’s Mike on the latest rally in this remarkable stock: “CRWD stagnated near round-number resistance in the 300 area during the past couple of weeks, but Tuesday evening’s well-received quarterly report from one peer (Fortinet), along with continued reports of an increase in cyber threats (a recent release claims Chinese hackers compromised thousands of Internet-connected devices and infrastructure like navel ports and utilities in the U.S.) prompted buyers to pounce, driving the stock to higher highs. All in all, our feelings with this stock are similar to that of leading growth stocks as a whole: Big picture, we think CrowdStrike’s unique positioning as the leader in new-age cybersecurity should lead to plenty of rapid, reliable growth over time—but, for the here and now, the stock remains somewhat extended in time and price, so we’re not pounding the table at the moment. If you own some, sit tight, and if you want in, we advise keeping it small and looking for dips of 10 or 15 points to start a position.” Good advice. With CRWD now almost a double for us, I highly encourage anyone who got in early after our September 5 recommendation to book profits on up to a third of your original position. For everyone else, it remains a Buy, but like Mike said, only on dips, and in small increments. BUY

Dave & Buster’s (PLAY), originally recommended by Mike Cintolo in Cabot Top Ten Trader, has pushed to new five-year highs, breaking above 55 resistance in a big way! Remarkably, there was no news, so Mike’s thesis that this is a long-overdue retail turnaround story seems to be playing out. The just-completed NFL playoffs were likely good for business, as Dave & Buster’s is a family-friendly sports bar and grill chain. We now have a 19% gain on the stock in less than two months. BUY

DraftKings (DKNG), originally recommended by Mike Cintolo in Cabot Growth Investor, has surely been getting the NFL playoff bump too – the stock is up 22% year to date and just touched new 52-week highs! Earnings are due out this Thursday, February 15, so we’ll see which way that moves the needle. Here’s what Mike had to say in his latest update: “DKNG looks great, motoring higher nearly every day of the past three weeks to new price highs, and even the relative performance (RP) line was able to reach virgin turf this week. Interestingly, the parent of its closest peer (FanDuel) just began trading in the U.S. recently, and this morning, MGM Resorts said that its BetMGM arm saw revenues up 36% in 2023 as a whole; that said, neither event had much of an effect on DKNG or the sector as a whole. As with many leading stocks, earnings are approaching—due next Thursday, February 15, with analysts looking for a 45% revenue bump and a small profit, though just as much attention will be paid to competitive-related metrics like revenue per user and churn in the wake of ESPN’s launch late last year. We’re optimistic the best is yet to come, especially if management is confident it can meet or exceed its own user and EBITDA targets that it put out at last year’s analyst day, but as always, we’ll see what comes.” BUY

Dynatrace (DT), originally recommended by Tyler Laundon in Cabot Early Opportunities, has gotten knocked to the turf since reporting earnings last Thursday. What went wrong? It’s hard to tell. Earnings per share (up 28% year over year) topped estimates by 40%, revenue (up 23%) beat by 2.1%, however, the company slightly lowered its annual recurring revenue (ARR) estimate for the March quarter, which was likely the culprit. Shares were certainly extended heading into earnings – up from 44 to 60 in just over three months – so this looks like a case of Wall Street looking for a reason to sell on an overcooked stock. But, as we saw a couple quarters ago when several of our positions sold off heavily on earnings beats, it’s best to hang in there as the buyers tend to swoop back in and snatch up shares of an otherwise perfectly good-looking company after an earnings overreaction. Given its continued growth, I’m betting DT will experience a similar bounce-back. BUY

Elastic N.V. (ESTC), originally recommended by Tyler Laundon in Cabot Early Opportunities, is up to new 52-week highs yet again, rising another 5% in the last week. In his latest update, Mike wrote, “ESTC obviously isn’t one of the big-cap tech plays that’s on everyone’s lips, and the firm has been all quiet on the news front for a couple of months, but the stock continues to act well, with next to no big-volume selling since its huge earnings move in December despite continued upside progress. The core business here is solid, with the firm’s corporate search products embedded in many big outfits’ observability and security apps, which should keep sales and earnings moving up—but the big added draw is that, since AI essentially needs to be able to search massive reams of data quickly, Elastic’s search offerings are perfectly suited to quickly be integrated in tons of new AI systems. We’ll see how it goes and remain flexible, but so far, so good with ESTC. We’ll stay on Buy.” So will we. BUY

Eli Lilly and Company (LLY), originally recommended by Tom Hutchinson in the Dividend Growth Tier of his Cabot Dividend Investor advisory, is in the midst of yet another furious rally, adding more than 100 points in the last two-plus weeks! Another impressive earnings report (out last Tuesday) was the latest catalyst: sales improved 28% and earnings per share increased 13% year over year. Importantly, this was Lilly’s first quarter since its latest weight loss and diabetes drug, Zepbound, gained FDA approval, and the results were encouraging, with $175.8 million in sales. Combine that with higher prices for Lilly’s preexisting groundbreaking weight-loss drug, Mounjaro, and the company’s ceiling appears even higher than previously thought. We now have a 120% gain on the stock in less than a year! Keeping at Buy, but as I wrote last week, those of you who bought shortly after our March 21, 2023, recommendation should sell up to a third of your original position if you have not already done so. BUY

Green Thumb Industries Inc. (GTBIF), originally recommended by Michael Brush in Cabot Cannabis Investor, held steady as the cannabis industry awaits any good news on rescheduling, which likely won’t come until March or April. Green Thumb reports earnings on February 28, so that’s likely the more realistic near-term catalyst. BUY

Intel Corporation (INTC), originally recommended by Tom Hutchinson in the Dividend Growth Tier of his Cabot Dividend Investor advisory, bounced nicely off 42 support, rising to the mid-44s as of this writing, after a sharp (14%) decline following earnings. As Tom noted recently, “The chipmaker actually exceeded expectations for both earnings and revenue in the fourth quarter, but it was next quarter’s guidance that repulsed investors. The company guided for earnings and revenues substantially less than what had been expected. Apparently, the bounty from the new chips and the foundry business won’t come as soon as optimistic investors had hoped. The future is still bright.” With an eye to that future – and coming off a nice bounce-back week – we’ll hang in there. HOLD

Microsoft (MSFT), originally recommended by Tyler Laundon in Cabot Early Opportunities, is up 3.5% in the last week, pushing to new all-time highs! Surging growth in AI is a big part of the story here, as six points out of the 30% revenue growth in the company’s Azure cloud computing division came from AI, according to chief finance officer Amy Hood. The company now has 53,000 Azure AI customers, as that division continues to chip away at Amazon Web Services’ stranglehold on the cloud services industry. Some companies tout AI as part of their growth even when it’s incremental or theoretical. With Microsoft, it’s measurable, and the stock is being rewarded accordingly. BUY

Novo Nordisk (NVO), originally recommended by Carl Delfeld in Cabot Explorer, is up from 118 to 120 in the last week as the weight-loss drug freight train rolls on. Specifically, Novo is likely still gathering momentum from its earnings report the previous week, in which the company reported full-year 2023 revenue growth of 36% while profits jumped 44%. An $11.5 billion acquisition of drug manufacturer Catalent, with the intent of boosting its Wegovy supply, has also been driving up the share price. There’s no slowing the GLP-1 trend right now, and we have two huge winning stocks as a result. BUY

Nutanix (NTNX), originally recommended by Mike Cintolo in Cabot Top Ten Trader, has been inching its way higher since a big run-up from 45 to 56 in January. In his latest update, Mike wrote, “Nutanix has many fundamental winds at its back, perhaps the biggest of which being that it’s the go-to technology platform for hybrid cloud environments (big firms with lots of assets have some stuff in the cloud but still retain lots of technology on-premise—hence the hybrid label), where its so-called hyperconverged infrastructure allows on-prem equipment to have the same efficiency as the stuff in the cloud. Moreover, as the AI revolution takes hold, a lot of that equipment should be on-premise, driving more business Nutanix’s way. As for the stock, it’s slowed down a bit of late, but that comes after a monster run (the 50-day line is still down around 49.5). We took partial profits a couple of weeks ago and continue to advise holding on to the rest and giving it room to breathe.” With a 57% gain in just four months, we’ll stay on Buy, preferably on dips. BUY

PayPal (PYPL), originally recommended by Carl Delfeld in his Cabot Explorer advisory, has been on a rollercoaster ride since we added it to the portfolio last week, ultimately falling from 62 to 60. Last Wednesday’s earnings report contributed to the volatility, as the results were fairly mixed: earnings rose 19% to $1.48 per share on an adjusted basis and revenue expanded by 9%, to $8 billion. This was offset by lower guidance for all of 2024. Clearly, Wall Street hasn’t figured out which numbers to focus on, as the stock first plummeted from 63 to 56, but has since recovered to 60. We’ll see whether the PYPL bulls or bears win this current tug-of-war. But looking at the stock from a longer-term perspective, shares are dirt cheap, trading at 11.5 times forward earnings and at a small fraction of their 2021 highs above 300, and yet are in an uptrend, advancing more than 10% in the last three months. There’s value here, and it appears we’ve weathered the worst of the brief post-earnings storm. BUY

Pinterest (PINS), originally recommended by Mike Cintolo in Cabot Top Ten Trader, has sold off sharply since reporting earnings last Thursday, falling from 41 to 36. But there’s no real reason for concern, in part because the stock was at new highs entering the report, but also because the report itself wasn’t so bad. Tyler Laundon, who also recommends the stock to his Cabot Early Opportunities audience, listed other reasons to still be encouraged about PINS: “Shares of Pinterest (PINS) are selling off today after Q4 earnings came in slightly below expectations (food and beverage weakness a culprit), though the big-picture story remains one of a company that’s made a number of operational adjustments and launched a series of growth initiatives that should drive higher revenue and EPS growth in 2024. I think the recovery story is intact and the stock’s worth owning. Keeping at buy half.

“In Q4, revenue was $981.3 million (+12%) versus expectations of $991 million. Guidance for Q1 ranges from $690 - $705 million, leaving some potential it could miss/exceed consensus of $702.3 million depending on how the chips fall. Some uncertainty here is why the stock isn’t screaming higher with other growth names. Hopefully that means opportunity.

“Stepping back, revenue growth in 2023 was just 9% and this should at least double in 2024 and remain in the high teens into 2025. Adjusted EPS growth in 2023 was 78% ($1.09) and should grow by 22% in 2024 (to around $1.33).

“Back to Q4, retail was the fastest-growing segment and video ads (helped by AI) are pushing over 30% of revenue, thanks in large part to Gen Z engagement.

“In terms of growth initiatives, Pinterest announced an advertising partnership with Google (the third such deal) that’s gone live in international markets (where there’s considerable potential to monetize a growing user base). In addition, the previously announced partnership with Amazon is ramping early in Q1, a positive sign.

“Lastly, Wall Street opinions remain skewed positive on PINS so I suspect the current weakness will draw buyers in. Here are a few of the latest ratings (PINS is trading near 36):

Ҥ RBC, price target raised from 46 to 48. Outperform.

§ Susquehanna, price target raised from 35 to 45.

§ JPMorgan, price target raised from 35 to 38. Neutral.

§ Wedbush, price target raised from 35 to 38. Neutral.

§ Goldman, price target drops from 42 to 41. Buy.

§ Barclays, price target raised from 29 to 36. Equal weight.

§ Morgan Stanley, price target raised from 25 to 33. Equal weight.” BUY

PulteGroup, Inc. (PHM), originally recommended by Mike Cintolo in Cabot Growth Investor, keeps holding in the 102 to 109 range. In his latest update, Mike wrote, “As rates have backed up, homebuilders have started to struggle—no real surprise there. Indeed, PHM saw some volume selling a couple of times as it tried to move higher in recent weeks. Even so, the weekly chart (shown here) certainly doesn’t look bad at all, with a straight up run in November and the first half of December and zero giveback since then, even with rates testing key levels. (Remember, mortgage rates are still down a bunch from their peak; analysts see PHM’s earnings remaining elevated in 2024 and new orders were buoyant in Q4.) Obviously, this isn’t a true growth situation, so our antennae are up—a drop much below 100 would have us going to hold and possibly selling some of the position—but right here, we’ll stay on Buy, thinking new buyers could start small on this multi-week sideways area while the long-term trend is still up.” Makes sense to me. We’ll do the same. BUY

ServiceNow (NOW), originally recommended by Mike Cintolo in his Cabot Top Ten Trader advisory, is up to new all-time highs, topping 800 per share for the first time! There was no news. This large-cap software stock continues to be super reliable, rising steadily nearly every week. Recent earnings were good: Q4 earnings and revenue topped estimates, with EPS up 31% year over year while revenues improved by 26%. Subscription revenue was up 27% from the same quarter a year ago. Most encouragingly, ServiceNow’s current remaining performance obligations, or CRPO, came in above expectations. CRPO rose 24% to $8.6 billion. Analysts had projected CRPO of $8.37 billion. CRPO bookings are an aggregate of deferred revenue and order backlog and serve as a sales growth metric. The company appears to be clicking on all cylinders right now, and we continue to reap the benefits. BUY

Soleno Therapeutics (SLNO), originally recommended by Tyler Laundon in Cabot Early Opportunities, held mostly steady, at least in the aggregate, at 49 after advancing 6% the previous week. There was no news. Soleno Therapeutics is a development-stage biotech company that burst onto the scene last September when its lead drug candidate, DCCR (Diazoxide Choline), was found to make a highly significant difference in a long-term study for the treatment of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). While approval of DCCR this year is not a given, the odds are massively tilted in SLNO’s favor. On January 22, Stifel initiated the stock at buy with a price target of 63.

SLNO was barely a five-dollar stock last fall. But the DCCR trial results announced on September 26 sent it up to 30 the next day. BUY

Tesla (TSLA), originally recommended by Mike Cintolo in Cabot Top Ten Trader, finally shook off some of the cobwebs from its latest earnings disappointment, topping 190 before retreating a bit this morning. Today’s dip comes on news that the company is slashing prices again, albeit temporarily, this time on its Model Y cars in the U.S., until February 29. That’s not much of a reason for the stock to sell off, but TSLA is now getting punished for minor infractions after two straight underwhelming quarters. Still, the stock appears to have bottomed at 181; as long as it holds above that support line, the next move is likely up. That’s been the stock’s history for more than a decade. HOLD

Tripadvisor (TRIP), originally recommended by Mike Cintolo in Cabot Top Ten Trader, added a point this week ahead of earnings this Wednesday, February 14. Analysts anticipate 5.8% revenue growth and 37.5% EPS growth. This is a play on the ongoing travel boom in a post-Covid world. While up sharply in recent months, shares trade at just a fraction of their 2014 highs above 110. BUY

Uber (UBER), originally recommended by Mike Cintolo in Cabot Growth Investor, was up from 68 to 69 after reporting earnings last week. Mike has the details: “Uber’s business remains in fifth gear, with the Q4 report and outlook topping expectations and tons of sub-metrics impressing: Bookings for Rides (up 28%) and Delivery (up 17%) were very solid, while EBITDA boomed 92% overall and total trips lifted 24% (and the number of trips per active customer continued to rise as well). Then, on the conference call, the top brass shared some enticing nuggets on newer businesses—grocery delivery is now at a $7 billion annual run rate in terms of bookings, while the advertising business, which was expected to reach $1 billion in 2024, already reached a $900 million run rate in Q4, with about 550,000 entities advertising on the platform (up 75% from a year ago). Perhaps as important as the results will be next Wednesday’s Investor Update, when management may lay out some intermediate-term profitability goals that could move the stock. For now, UBER remains in great shape, shaking off a minor wobble yesterday morning and hitting new highs today. We’ll stay on Buy, but we advise keeping new positions small and/or looking for dips, especially ahead of next week’s event.” Ditto. BUY

Varonis (VRNS), originally recommended by Tyler Laundon in Cabot Early Opportunities, pushed to new highs above 50 after a stellar earnings report. Both annual recurring revenue (ARR) and free cash flow beat analyst estimates for the quarter, providing evidence that last year’s switch to a Subscription-as-a-Service (SaaS) model is working for this provider of cybersecurity solutions. We now have a 25% gain in just two and a half months, with more upside potentially ahead. BUY

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at chris@cabotwealth.com.

Here, too, is the latest episode of Cabot Street Check, the weekly podcast I host with my colleague Brad Simmerman. Last week we welcomed on Stock of the Week contributor and Cabot Cannabis Investor Chief Analyst Michael Brush to discuss the suddenly resurgent cannabis industry. Give it a watch!


The next Cabot Stock of the Week issue will be published on February 20, 2024.


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Chris Preston is Cabot Wealth Network’s Vice President of Content and Chief Analyst of Cabot Stock of the Week.