As the market pushes to new all-time highs, analysts are singing the praises of several blue-chip stocks. As the new year has gotten underway, analysts across Wall Street have raised their ratings and price targets on the stocks they expect to outperform in 2024 and beyond. Many stocks have also been upgraded heading into their fourth-quarter 2023 earnings prints, while others have gotten big upgrades after beating forecasts with their latest financial results. For investors, these ratings can help to discern which stocks to buy and what type of return they can expect from adding the security to their portfolio. While not an exact science, analysts’ ratings provide an indication of sentiment and expectations for a company and its stock moving forward. Here is your Wall Street favorites featuring three blue-chip stocks, January 2024 list.
Blue-Chip Stocks January 2024: Amazon (AMZN)
Ahead of its fourth-quarter financial results on Feb. 1, e-commerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is catching a slew of ratings upgrades. Analysts at Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE:JEF) raised their price target on AMZN stock to $190 a share from $175 previously and maintained their “buy” rating. At the same time, Deutsch Bank (NYSE:DB) named Amazon a “top pick” heading into its earnings print. The median price target on AMZN stock among 52 analysts is 16% higher than the current share price.
The positive sentiment comes after Amazon spent the last two years righting its ship coming out of the pandemic. After overstaffing and overbuilding, Amazon went into retrenchment mode, cutting 27,000 jobs in 2023 as it moved to get costs under control. It also delayed several projects and refocused its spending. Analysts expect those efforts to bear fruit in 2024. Also, Amazon has moved into new areas, from streaming NFL football games to selling cars on its e-commerce platform and pushing into AI.
Analysts see those moves as helping to drive Amazon’s financials and stock higher.
McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) stock recently hit an all-time high, closing above $300 for the very first time. Analysts see more gains ahead. Citigroup (NYSE:C) just lifted its price target on MCD stock to $327 per share from $308, and reiterated its “buy” rating. At the same time, HSBC (NYSE:HSBC) initiated coverage on McDonald’s with a “buy” rating and a price target of $317. The median price target on MCD stock among 32 analysts offering ratings on the shares is 11% higher than current levels.
Expectations are running high as the Golden Arches continues to post strong financial results. The company has also unveiled an ambitious growth strategy that will see it open as many as 10,000 new restaurant locations and add 100 million members to its loyalty rewards program by 2027. The company is also testing a new spin-off brand called “CosMc’s” that is aimed at appealing to younger consumers and teens. The first of those stores opened in McDonald’s home state of Illinois this past December.
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) just issued blowout earnings, sending analysts scrambling to upgrade their ratings and price targets on the company’s stock. Macquarie raised its rating on NFLX stock to “outperform” (buy) from “neutral” previously, and lifted its price target on the shares to $595 from $410. Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) was even more aggressive, increasing its price target on the stock to $650 from $460 and reiterating a “buy” equivalent rating. Wells Fargo said Netflix is “still a growth stock.”
The upgrades come after Netflix reported that it added 13.1 million net new subscribers in Q4 2023. The subscriber growth crushed Wall Street forecasts of eight million to nine million net new additions. Netflix now has 260.8 million subscribers worldwide, ahead of the 256 million that analysts expected at this point. The company also issued strong forward guidance, increasing its 2024 full-year operating margin forecast to 24%, up from 22% previously.
The financial results were released on the same day that Netflix announced it will begin streaming professional wrestling on its platform in 2025, the company’s first significant move into live sports. NFLX stock rose more than 10% after the Q4 print and is up 62% in the last 12 months.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.