The most upgraded stocks in November, the top seven listed on MarketBeat's platform, all have two things that aren't surprising in common. The first is that they are all monetizing AI. AI is hot, but most of the buzz is in its development and deployment; the average company's revenue and profit gains are still in the future.
Second, these companies are all set to report earnings over the following few weeks. The analysts are raising targets going into the reporting cycle, potentially setting the bar high. The takeaway is that these tech companies lead the field, monetizing now what others won't until tomorrow and on pace to deliver value to shareholders. Post-release weakness is likely a buying opportunity, provided no lousy news emerges.
Crowdstrike rises to the top of the list
Crowdstrike Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CRWD) has been slowly progressing up the upgrade list and is now in first position. The company is rated a Moderate Buy with a higher price target but still lags the market. The consensus implies a 10% downside, but most fresh targets are above that level.
Analysts expect revenue growth to persist in the mid-30% range and for the margin to nearly double. Stifel is among the most recent, upgrading the stock to "buy" with a target of $224 compared to the $195 consensus. Crowdstrike differentiates itself with its highly effective endpoint security, unencumbered architecture and scale.
Zscaler is a close second; analysts lead it into a reversal
Zscaler (NASDAQ: ZS) is a close second, with 31 positive analyst actions compared to the 32 received by Crowdstrike. It is also rated a "moderate buy," with a price target increasing but lagging the market.
However, the most recent targets are leading the market higher. It, too, is supported by the digital shift and growing need for cybersecurity. Jeffries upgraded it to buy (and Crowdstrike), citing its position in distributed and cloud-based workloads. Analysts expect it to grow about 33% with a year-over-year margin improvement. Because the analysts expect a sequential deterioration in margin not seen elsewhere, there is a significant opportunity for outperformance on the bottom line.
NVIDIA slips to third
NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) has held a prominent position on the most upgraded list all year and is in third position ahead of earnings. It's rated a "moderate buy" with a consensus of 15% above current action and trending higher. Analysts expect its revenue to nearly triple compared to last year, driven by sales of H100, AI-related hardware and services.
Guidance should also be solid; the risk with NVIDIA is that competitors are working hard to advance their chips and may one day whittle down NVIDIA's market share.
Adobe rallies on a strong foundation
Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) is the fourth most upgraded stock, rated a "moderate buy." Its consensus target assumes fair value with shares near the current level, but it has trended higher all year and is leading the market higher.
Analysts see this company growing revenue sequentially and year-over-year and widening its margin, which is already top-tier. The exposure to business and consumer products is critical to the margin and the recurring revenue, which provides a clear line of sight to future profits.
Salesforce.com may fall off the list
Oddly, Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) rose in the top five but may fall off the list. The most recent revisions are downgrades. They have the consensus sentiment and price target edging lower. As it is, the stock is rated a moderate buy with a potential 8% upside at the mid-point.
Because earnings are due out soon and expected to be steady with 11% top-line growth and substantial margin, there is a chance the stock already has strength priced in. Earnings are expected to grow by nearly 50%, aided by expanded services, AI-powered internal efficiency and recent price increases now in effect.
Workday resets outlook; analysts shrug it off
Analysts were caught off guard when Workday Inc. (NASDAQ: WDAY) reset its outlook last quarter but shrugged it off. The company's long-term outlook remains solid, supported by new AI-centric offerings such as AI Rising. AI Rising is a marketplace to help clients find and connect with the AI they need. Analysts rate this stock a "moderate buy" and see it trading about 6% higher. Workday should have grown revenue about 12.5% in Q3 and doubled its earnings.
Splunk a hold: Most upgraded and downgraded stock
The takeaway from Splunk’s (NASDAQ: SPLK) analyst activity is that it is a hold and fairly valued at current levels. The activity is mixed but plentiful enough to be on the most upgraded and most downgraded lists.
Analysts have raised their estimates for Q3 — the bar could be high. Regardless, they expect revenue growth of around 11% and earnings of around 40%. The price action in the stock is bullish; a good report could get it to advance without analysts spurring it on.