Internet stocks have tumbled worse than the general market as investors have worried about the potential for a broad-based economic slowdown. But RBC Capital Markets says the selloff is now providing buying opportunities.
“Post the carnage that was the Q1 internet reporting season, we zoom out to identify names looking more washed out versus those where there’s more downside risk,” analyst Brad Erickson wrote on Thursday.
The analyst said valuations have become overly pessimistic relative to fundamentals for certain companies. Some internet stocks could be more resilient, he noted, even if the economic environment deteriorates during the second half of the year.
As a result, the analyst reaffirmed his Outperform ratings for Booking Holdings (BKNG) with a $2,800 price target, Meta Platforms ( FB
) with a $240 price target, and Uber Technologies (UBER) with a $46 price target.
There have been signs the travel business will be robust for the intermediate future. Earlier this month, Booking reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings. Its management said it was preparing for a “busy summer travel season.” Erickson also expects the online travel agency to gain more market share in the U.S. and benefit from increasing cross-border international business.
And on Wednesday, Target (TGT) management told investors they saw consumers dramatically shifting spending away from physical merchandise toward “going out” experiences, which may bode well for travel.
Regarding Meta, the analyst said he was surprised with is recent conversations with ad agencies that suggested solid spending trends on the Facebook social media platform.
“FB was called out by several respondents as potentially being better insulated than other ad players,” he wrote. Ad agencies “called out FB spend as potentially being a latter cut to ad spend in the event of a broader slowdown.”
Finally, Erickson believes Uber shares are attractive after a 44% decline this year. The company has “structural advantages driver supply wise, higher incentives now de-risked, strong travel tailwinds to come.” It should also help that the ride-hailing company emailed its employees earlier this month to cut back on hiring and reduce marketing expenditures in its quest to improve profitability.
Write to Tae Kim at [email protected]