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These reports, excerpted and edited by Barron’s, were issued recently by investment and research firms. The reports are a sampling of analysts’ thinking; they should not be considered the views or recommendations of Barron’s. Some of the reports’ issuers have provided, or hope to provide, investment-banking or other services to the companies being analyzed.


Ford Motor

F-NYSE

Outperform Price $15.42 on Oct. 19

by Credit Suisse

When we downgraded Ford last year, our concern was that near-term execution issues would ultimately limit its ability to prepare for the auto industry’s long-term transition. Yet in the past year-plus, we’ve seen a significant turnaround—Ford has ended its cycle of quarterly earnings disappointments, and its transition to an electric vehicle/autonomous vehicle/digital world has sharply accelerated. We believe there is more opportunity ahead, as Ford can benefit not only from improving fundamentals, but more importantly, change its perception on long-term positioning in EV/AV/digital. We upgrade Ford to Outperform from Neutral and raise our price target to $20 from $15.


Northern Trust

NTRS-Nasdaq

Outperform Price $125.51 on Oct. 19

by RBC Capital Markets

Northern Trust posted another fundamentally strong quarter, due to strong fee-revenue growth, plus more assets under management and custody. NTRS is a premier global wealth and asset manager with a storied past of producing best-in-class results throughout a cycle. The low-interest-rate environment continues to weigh on its ability to grow net interest income and has led to elevated money-market mutual fund fee waivers. Rising rates in 2022 should alleviate some of these pressures. We raise our estimated 2021 and 2022 earnings per share to $7.16 and $7.35, from $6.82 and $7.10, and increase our price target to $133 from $117.

Goldman Sachs Group GS-NYSE

Outperform Price $406.07 on Oct. 15

by Oppenheimer

Goldman’s 3Q21 EPS print was quite literally off the charts, at $14.93 versus our $9.71 estimate and the consensus $10.14. It’s a reminder that the Fed has set off mysterious and unpredictable animal spirits in financial markets by rapidly doubling its balance sheet. We are bumping up our 2022 estimate to reflect ongoing mergers and acquisitions and financing strength into the first half of 2022, but keeping our estimates in check to reflect significant “normalization” to 2019 activity levels for the balance of the year. Maybe we’re being too conservative. Price target: $576 ($56 above the prior one).


Lam Research

LRCX-Nasdaq

Buy Price $565.50 on Oct. 20

by Mizuho Securities

Lam Research reported an in-line September quarter and guided to an in-line December quarter, with Foundry/Logic [products] and DRAM [dynamic random access memory] strong, and NAND [flash memory] balanced into 2021. LRCX noted that headwinds, [including] supply-chain constraints, are impacting output, though it noted that industry demand overall remains healthy. However, a muted outlook on memory (60%-plus of revenue) is capping investor sentiment and multiples on Lam. Maintaining Buy, but lowering our price target to $700 (from $725) to reflect the weaker memory environment.


LCNB

LCNB-Nasdaq

Outperform Price $17.50 on Oct. 20

by Boenning & Scattergood

LCNB [a bank based in Ohio] reported 3Q21 EPS of 39 cents a share, versus our consensus-matching estimate of 43 cents. Lower-than-expected net interest income, higher-than-modeled operating expenses, and a higher provision drove the miss and were partially offset by a lower tax rate and share count. Overall, this was a mixed quarter for LCNB, as bottom-line results were softer than modeled on weaker NII. Balance-sheet trends were positive, however, and it was nice to see quarter-over-quarter loan growth, but deposit growth continues to be challenging. Our price target is $19.


Dow

DOW-NYSE

Overweight Price $59.89 0n Oct. 20

by Alembic Global Advisors

We rate Dow Overweight, with an $85 12-month target price. The [chemical producer] reported third-quarter operating EPS of $2.75, handily beating the consensus estimate of $2.56. Management’s near-term guidance was positive: The company sees robust end-market demand extending into 2022, coupled with near-term logistics constraints and low inventory levels.


Knight-Swift Transportation

KNX-NYSE

In Line Price $54.32 0n Oct. 20

by Evercore ISI

Knight-Swift posted 3Q EPS of $1.30, throttling our estimate of $1.06 and the average Street forecast of $1.07, as every business segment generated stronger-than-expected revenue and margin expansion. Full-year guidance was raised to $4.50 to $4.55 (from $3.90 to $4.05), pointing to an even stronger 4Q21 result, that now seems more likely to carry over well into 2022. As such, we are raising our full-year 2021 and 2022 EPS projections to $4.51 (from $3.96) and to $4.75 (from $4.01), respectively, with our stock-price target moving to $59 (from $54).

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